April 30, 2009


It's ironic that the AHATA addresses and admits serious concerns for their tourism, but never adds the boycott of Aruba into the equation.  At least they won't admit it on paper.  

To add insult to injury, the recently aired Natalee Holloway movie on the Lifetime Network (which reported the highest ratings in Lifetime Network's history) which depicted the cover-up and ultimate scandal in the handling of Natalee Holloway's case has YET AGAIN fueled the fire to Aruba's dire situation.  

The result?  

Reminding the public AFTER FOUR YEARS about this self-serving island and what they did to the Holloway family.  

...And what they are capable of doing to YOUR FAMILY.


ORANJESTAD — Tourism-minister Edison Briesen wants additional funds for the promotion of Aruba as holiday destination, as the prospects for the second quarter have grown worse than that of the first three months of this year.

The sector expects the number of accommodations to decrease with 35 percent during the second quarter.  For the ‘summer months’ such as July, there are hardly any reservations, said branch organization ATCA. 

This organization previously approached the government this year for additional funds for the sector seriously affected by the worldwide crisis. Briesen is now convinced in view of the negative statistics presented by ATCA the hotel sector as well as the airport during the yearly tourism conference last Wednesday.

Last week the Amigoe already announced a strong decline of the number of airline passengers during the past quarter with 11.5 percent compared to last year. It now appears, that the number of tourists accommodated during the first three months of this year, decreased with an average of 6.8 percent. 

Moreover, in January it concerned 4.7 percent less, and in March already a decrease of 10.1 percent. The revenues per accommodation decreased with 15.6 percent. Furthermore, the revenues during March indicated a decrease of nearly 25 percent.

During the presentation for foreign travel agencies and transportation companies of the tourism conference, Ahata indicated that the ‘last minute pick up’ for the months of May and June turn out to be worse than the first quarter of this year. 

“Looks very bad”, said the branch organization. 

Moreover, it remains a guess for the rest of the year, said Ahata, although it is expected that the market will stabilize in September/October.


Last year the sector received an additional 10 million dollars from the government for the promotion and execution of the so-called contingency plan, a joint approach of the government and the business, trade and industry to maintain the number of tourists. 

This amount appears to have been insufficient, says minister Briesen who furthermore not only wants additional funds, but also wants to change the plan. At the same time, he wonders if it all will be sufficient for the sector as the other 38 islands in the region are also busy investing enormous amounts in the tourism sector. 

They are also handing out serious discounts of approx. 20 to 25 percent in the struggle for the tourist. Briesen: “I am happy that our sector is not handing out these kinds of discounts yet, as it will become more difficult to increase the prices at a later stage. It now concerns discounts of 10 percent.”

The minister hopes that the extra money expecting to become available from the arbitrary case against oil refinery Valero -though the verdict is not official yet- with regard to the ‘bbo’-tax, is allocated to tourism. 

“Contrary to other islands, our government does not have ample financial means at its disposal, so it remains difficult.” He therefore hopes that the international economy and tourism market will pick up for Aruba in view of the billions invested in the business, trade, and industry by the American and European governments.

Meanwhile the minister is also trying to firm up the South-American market. This in view of the fact that after last week the airport announced that partly due to the embargo on charters by the Venezuelan authorities, the number of passengers from this country has seriously decreased. 

Briesen is therefore flying to Venezuela on Sunday to discuss this problem with the Venezuelan minister of Infrastructure and Tourism. In addition, the minister will visit the huge tourism exhibition in Brazil in a few months to convince the airline companies there to fly to Aruba.


Director Rob Smith of Aruba Hotel and Tourism Authority (Ahata) says that during his twelve years in the tourism sector on Aruba, he has never experienced such an economical decline. “I have experienced nearly everything, such as wars and 11 September, but nothing compared to the current impact on tourism due to the economical instability. We therefore must stand our ground to survive this crisis. This implies that we must stay in the picture (media) and maintain our good relations with our North-American partners.”

Nowadays, the trust of the traveler is replaced by the financial capacity, says Smith. “It is therefore of importance that Aruba is present when consumers decide their holiday destination. We have the advantage that Aruba is a relaxation and recreation destiny for those wanting to relax after stressful times.” Another advantage according to Smith is the large number of timeshare accommodations whereby the island is assured of a fixed number of tourists.


Nancy said...

If I were given a free vacation to Aruba, I still would not go due to the way this situation was handled.

Anonymous said...

Dutch Minister of Finance Ersilia de Lannooy thinks Aruba is a bad investment, and no more money will be granted.

thomas said...

my name is thomas and my wife is naomi living in orange county, ca and we were on an eastern caribbean cruise the exact week natalie disappeared. because the ships crew was international and half the passengers were international and the other half were us proud americans, they decided not to announce it for a possibility of anger from us american passengers. we found out after wards when we were set to go back home to california and you can rest assured i thomas was so infuriated with this that i told my wife we're to from today forward boycott Aruba. from that day forward, we felt really bad for all the american celebrities of Dutch descent including Fox New's Greta Van Susteren, she's a real sweetheart. she's worked tirelessly to find out the truth including an exclusive interview with joran van der sloot. and now this couple from pennsylvania who were snorkling and took some underwate photo's and came across what looks like a human skeleton. now world famous forensic expert dr. cyril weicht doesn't agree with photo being possibly remains of natalie holloway, quite frankly i thomas and confused, can someone tell me what's going on?

thank you
thomas from orange county, ca