Natalee Holloway Disappearance Still Weighs on Aruba’s Tourism


It seems like all the focus has been lately in Aruba what effects will the Natalee Holloway investigation have on tourism. Just recently there was an A.M. Digital article, ‘Fewer airline passengers to Aruba in the third quarter of 2005′ and further Aruban tourism concerns, ‘Tourism Officials discuss media coverage of Holloway disappearance’. There was also a rather telling New York Times article entitled, ‘Disappearance Still Weighs on Aruba’s Tourism’.

Lisa and Dan Masciantonio, from Upton, Mass., thought that they would see signs of the investigation into the disappearance of the Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, a case that dominated the cable-news programs throughout the summer. “I expected that I would see posters and ribbons tied around trees, but it seemed to us business as usual,” Ms. Masciantonio said.

Although many Arubans are concerned and consider the event just a tragic one that all wished could be solved, I think what many miss especially those in the tourism industry is just how rather callous it is to continue to reference the effects on tourism rather than focusing on how a missing persons case was handled from the outset and why three suspects remain free today without restrictions.

For Aruban tourism officials to make the following comments does not help their cause in any way. For many people in America its about a missing teenager Natalee Holloway and her parents search for her and search for the facts in her disappearance. It is not about your tourism.

Tourism officials are baffled not only by the case but also by calls to boycott the island. “Never could I have imagined that this could happen to Aruba,” said Marcial Ibarra, the director of business development for the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association. “We put all our effort into tourism. We live for tourism and have nothing else.”

Then to make further excuses as to why there may be more of an impact in their tourism rather than to pinpoint it on the one main event that has occurred and that being the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the perception of how poorly the case was handled is just denial.

The economy of the United States, oil prices and such will have more impact on any tourism economy than this isolated case,” said Myrna Jansen, the managing director of the Aruba Tourism Authority, responding to questions in an e-mail message. Tourism operators were “extremely disheartened” by any call for a boycott, Ms. Jansen said. “As far as we know, economic boycotts are called against countries that develop nuclear weapons, not against countries who are friends of the United States.”

Mr. Lesker points to big gains in tourism from June 2003 through June of this year, a trend that he admits has started to change. “There is less appetite for booking,” he said, although he suspects that energy costs in the United State are having a bigger impact than the missing-person case.

You really are not helping matters. One would think that individuals within the tourism industry would understand their target market and use some tact rather than make what many think is rather insensitive statements. Is a boycott the answer? Who knows? Dave Holloway seems to think that this is not the time to make such a statement. However, American citizens have a freedom of choice of where to spend their vacation dollars. Those that have always gone to Aruba and or have time sharing will probably always go to Aruba as an island destination. However, there are many first time travelers who only need a doubt in their mind or a cause to support that may choose to go else where. Time will tell, but rather then telling us about how tourism will be affected, solve the missing persons case at hand and please do not forget that people’s perceptions of how things are being handled is important also.

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Caribbean Tourism Organization Letter To US State Department
  • Washington, DC Travel Show, ACTS … June 21-24 … Help Provide Justice for Natalee Holloway
  • Aruba Will Survive with or without Natalee Holloway hype
  • Aruba Tourism 2006 into 2007 … Money, Money, Money … Down the Drain
  • Geoffrey van Cromvoirt to be Held for 8 Days in Connection with Natalee Holloway Disappearance

  • Comments

    24 Responses to “Natalee Holloway Disappearance Still Weighs on Aruba’s Tourism”

    1. nelson on October 29th, 2005 7:17 pm

      Because this is an isolated case, never anything like this EVER happened on Aruba, now some ignorants are calling for a boycott!!. Yeah right like that would really help the situation. Wake up people its not fantasy island!! We live in the 21st century and its a Dutch colony, if you know anything of the Dutch, you would find that they are, or the maybe THE MOST social and humanitarian nation on this planet!!. So do you really believe something like this would be permitted or the laws are so wicked!! give me a break. Now if you only wanna believe what you “THINK” is the truth fine, thats your believe but many people in this world know you are dead wrong.

    2. Gene Bernat on October 29th, 2005 9:15 pm

      The New York Times article is posted on “Aruba Truth;” however, it is a cut and paste job they only took the parts favorable to them. It is a snow job there sure is a lot of smowing going on for the tropics.

    3. Tazman on October 29th, 2005 9:40 pm

      I cannot imagine why the tourist people of Aruba are baffled. The disappearance of Natalee is not only a tragedy, but how the investigation has been handled is equally a tragedy. The groups of students that go to Aruba every year for their graduation celebration don’t think of any type of dangerous experiences happening to them. They are in large amounts together and have a false sense of “security”. Even kids interviewed on TV a week or two after Natalee’s disappearance claimed that they were OK as long as they were together. However, at the end of the evening they were interviewed walking out of the bar drunk and so their judgments were impaired. “Easy prey” !! “Easy prey on an island they know nothing about!!!”

      Natalee’s situation should be a “big wake-up call” for everyone who visits Aruba or any other vacation destination that accepts high school students for their “after graduation celebrations”! In California kids take the 3 day cruises to Mexico and (I have heard), they go wild on these cruises. Sex, drugs and alcohol are the main event for these kids, and they behave as if they have just been released from prison!

      The Aruban tourist industry should work together with the police, hotels, restaurants and bars to set up some sort of policy that they will not accept people, either locals or anyone else to prey on their tourists. And, if they have to, have a cop(s)
      at the etrance/exit of these establishments every day of the year to control the situation. Those who own these establishments also need to have better control of what goes on inside/outside of their establishments. They should have their own security people to be in full sight of everyone and those security people need to be aware of the activities.

    4. Marci on October 30th, 2005 1:04 am

      The Aruban people need to put pressure on the Aruban Justice System to solve the disappearance of Natalee. When the family has their daughter back home, then the Aruban people can have their island back, however their island is so tainted now, very few people will ever go there again.
      I am totally disgusted. I just heard on Fox News that the tape of Deepak Kalpoe’s confession that was sent to Holland cannot be evaluated and tested for authenticity presently because they have a back log of items to be tested. They said the tape does not have priority. Therefore Natalee’s family must wait longer. The next thing we will hear is that the tape got lost. O.K. Dave
      I heard you say this before, not to boycott Aruba, because the officials will not cooperate with you. Well maybe your right about
      that, however people will vacation where they feel safe, you can’t change that.

    5. mulder on October 30th, 2005 2:45 am

      It is hypocritical to slam an Aruban official for answering simple questions with their opinions when your last paragraph does exactly the same thing.

      You are using this article as a way to vent your frustrations with the case. Consequently, your comments have about the same effect as a crazy man screaming at people on a street corner.

      Park your emotions and start writing articles with substance. I am sick of the petty filler.

    6. Bluesky on October 30th, 2005 9:39 am

      Sure. Everybody has freedom of choice.
      Those who choose to come to Aruba would come to Aruba.
      Those who do not, would not come to Aruba.

      It’s that simple.

      The Aruba Tourism Authority has the choice to talk about tourism too. So if they want to talk about tourism, let them talk about it.

    7. Jerry on October 30th, 2005 10:06 am

      I would like to hear more about the Oct. 8 Videos from Search for Natalee Raise More Questions on this site, especially video 8. Why isn’t this front page news?

    8. John Staton on October 30th, 2005 10:50 am

      American Justice: Killer of Taylor Behl, in Jail, Killer of Christie Wilson, in Jail, Killer of Olamide Adeyoogie, closing in. Aruban justice, conspiracy to destroy evidence and protect P.I.M.P.S. sexual preditor gang, no real investigation for 4 months and no desire to investigate rape as a crime period.

      Big difference. But the USA is not owned by Drug Cartels. Aruba is and has this has been admitted by the Dutch since 1993.

    9. arrbor on October 30th, 2005 4:42 pm

      Maybe that is the problem, arubans never thought this could have happened in aruba.

    10. sandy on October 30th, 2005 7:27 pm

      Another artical that proves that Aruba and its offficials are only interested in our dollars. The fact that the dollars come from americans doesnt seem to make a difference to them, especially with the callus statements made by aruban officials in light of the American teen Natalie HOlloway who wnet missing on the last day of her vacation there. The fact that her mother has been searching for her and the bumbling of the case and the supposed coverup orchestrated by Palus Van der sloot and three young men being Joran Vand der sloot and Depak and Satish Kalpo , and God forbid any other number of people helping them to cover up this rape and dissapearance did not fall upon dead American eyes or ears. Justice for Natalee is the only thing that will allow your islands economy to begin to reflourish. I have never encountered such inhumane diregard for the mother of the missing teen Beth Twitty. Absolutly dispicable behavior!!!! SHAME SHAME ON YOU ARUBAN OFFICIALS…

    11. SB on October 30th, 2005 9:41 pm


      Maybe the collective conscience will be awakened by a loud thump in the pocketbook.

      There are many other nice places to visit…it isnt the only resort on the map.

    12. Jim Hanson on October 31st, 2005 2:44 am

      On May 29th, at 11:34 pm, Deepak Kalpoe had broken a high heel shoe the he was wearing at Carlos and Charlies .. While he was out in his orange Porsche, looking for the running shoes that he’d played tennis in earlier in the day, Joran, drunk and stumbling, tripped over Satish Kalpoe’s right foot while attempting to get to the washroom, slammed his head into the dance stage, and passed out cold. On seeing this, Satish ordered 64 shots of tequila, with 6 Mescaline chasers, 36 tabs of purple microdot acid, and a .45 hangun. As Joran lay bleeding on the floor, Deepak limped back into the bar with his high heels as he was unable to locate the running shoes in the back seat of his car which was piled high with size 18 shoes that Joran kept there. He was just too drunk to see his runners in Jorans vast array of colored shoes. Deepak walked to the bartender, slammed his fist on the counter and told the bartender to give him the phone or he would immediately call the bartender’s wife and tell her that her husband was having an affair with Paulus Van Der Sloot. The bartender smiled and handed him the phone. Deepak slammed his hand once more on the counter and demanded 12 shots of Russian vodka only, and dialed a number. Satish, who had decided to ingest all the drugs as soon as they were delivered to his table, yelled to his brother, “Dee … DEE! Look at Joran” … Deepak ignored him, and continued listening to the neverending ringing on the phone. Thirty seconds later, he slammmed the phone down and pounded back his 12 shots of vodka.

      Meanwhile, the half naked people on the dance floor were now dancing on top of Joran. They were all just too stoned on mescaline and acid to realize what they were doing to him.

      At 12:39 am, after consuming all of the alcohol on his table, Satish appeared pale green, and his eyeballs looked as if they were being sqeezed out of their sockets by his brain. He had a yelowish liquid slowly leaking out of his ears, and he screamed “DEEEEEEEEEEEE” ….

      Deepak didn’t hear his brother’s cry for help… he was too busy guzzling a bottle of Jack and trying to stand up.

      1:00 am … Joran’s bleeding, bruised body was carried out on an ambulance stretcher … Satish was heard screaming his brother’s name over and over again … much louder than the music. The patrons kept dancing and dancing as Satish tried in vain to pop his eyeballs back into his head after they had fallen into the empty shot glasses that covered his table.

      1:10 am .. Paulus Van Der Sloot strolled into Charlies with a joint hanging out of his mouth and screamed “JORAN, YU HAFF SKOOL EEN DA MORNIN!!!!!” …. “JOOOOORANNN .. KOMM HERE!!!!!”

      1:11 am … The bartender yelled “It’s time to goooooo” … Paulus squinted his already squinted eyes even more, pulled out some cash and demanded that the bartender sell him some mescaline before the bar closed.

      1:15 am … the security at Charlie’s threw everyone except the bartender into awaiting, painted scool buses outside the bar.

    13. Prima on October 31st, 2005 8:42 am

      This investigatino has prove that corruption is rampant in Aruba. The Dutch stick together, the white elitists, cover up for their countrymen. I have seen for myself how the Dutch are in control and “superior” on that island. Look at who are in positions of power, all white and Dutch.
      Americans will stick together and are united in their desire to help the Twitty Haolloway families find Natalee. Until Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway have peace, there will be severe economic consequences for Aruba.

    14. Bluesky on October 31st, 2005 9:58 am

      To Sandy and SB:

      I’ve read that article. That article doesn’t prove that Aruba and its offficials are only interested in your dollars. From your comment on the other hand I see that you are a very upset and frustrated person. It seems like you want to shout out your frustration. That’s Ok.

      Aruba has always been empathetic with Beth Holloway. It is some people like you, who have a short memory. You seem not to remember how the Aruban people have helped with this case. You do not seem to remember what special treatment that Lady got in Aruba. The problem is that criminal investigations take time, and you seem not to understand that. You do not have patience.

      About economy reflourishing. I am an Aruban. I know for a fact that Aruba has other economical avenues to pursue. You seem to think that Aruba is doomed without Americans. This Egocentrical way of seing yourselves as the people who Feeds us, is disrespectful of the dignity of the Aruban people. It is YOU that should be ASHAMED of yourself.

      In the mean time the investigation continues despite your Unpatience. This case will not be solved on the terms of what you think is best. It will be solved on the terms of the Aruban law. I support Aruban officials. They have and are giving all they can to solve this case, I believe that. It has been obvious to me that the Aruban Prosecutor does not succomb to Pressure of any kind. And I support that too.

      Arubans are proud of their country. Arubans defend their dignity.

      I hope that you can understand that.


    15. one who cares on October 31st, 2005 10:44 am

      The only way co-operation will be forthcoming from the police, investigators and Aruban government is when the residents go up in arms because they are being hit in the pocketbook caused by a tourist boycott of all the Dutch Antilles islands and Holland itself. Maybe then truth and justice will prevail.

    16. Pat on October 31st, 2005 11:03 am


      Those videos appear to be a forensic investigation of some kind. There may even be a body in view on video 8 to the right of the guy speading the plastic out. If so the body has an arm draped across the chest. Others have speculated that just after that a foot or arm can be seen to this fellow’s left.

      Whatever it is, it would seem that if the tabloid peole really wanted to contribute something meaningful they could track down the people who shot this video and find out what it is. Surely someone has the ability to enhance the video to see if there is really something there or just rocks.

      I beleive this could be Natalee, but I will admit the poor quality of the video makes that a very subjective opinion.

    17. dennisintn on October 31st, 2005 11:54 am

      perhaps if they would stop the natalee and beth bashing, particularly in their newspapers, forums, and blogs, we would be a little more sympathetic about them.

      all beth wants is natalee and justice for natalee. not too much for anyone to ask. not anything any of us wouldn’t expect for our loved ones.

      i especially enjoy spreading copies of aruban natalee/beth hater correspondence around to my friends and acquitances who still see aruba as a nice spot to vacation.

      being shown what the locals really think of americans in general, and a battered, kidnapped, raped, and murdered teenager who thought she was in a safe place is a real eye-opener for them. keep it up guys, and gals, makes it just that much easier for me.

    18. Corinne on October 31st, 2005 1:19 pm

      I am witnessing an interesting phenomenon that I’m sure the Aruban government had not counted on. The longer they stall on bringing justice to the Natalee Holloway case, the more angry and demanding of an answer people are becoming. An example of this was illustrated on the Bill O’Reilly website last week when results of a poll were given. The question was “Should America boycott Aruba?” The answer: 72% yes
      28% no

      I don’t think the results would have been the same even a month or two ago. I believe a month or two ago, most everyone wanted to believe that the Aruban govt. wanted to seek justice. I believe people have become impatient and even outraged as time goes on because it appears that the Aruban authorities have played us all for fools at Natalee Holloways expense.
      Now, Joran and Paul Vandersloot,and the Kalpoe brothers are responsible for Arubas problems since they have failed to step up like men and disclose what happened to Natalee. Not only do they have to shoulder the guilt of her rape, disappearance, and possible murder, but now also the problems Aruba faces in the eyes of the world.

    19. donrancher on October 31st, 2005 4:38 pm

      Is going to get a lot af attention if Dompig tries the turn around game and going after the Mountian Brook kids or Mom. This is Publilc Court not a Aruba Judge deciding. It will be Aruba of the Antillies (Antillies means worthless) Better start by arresting Van der Straaten on obstruction of justice.

    20. julie on October 31st, 2005 8:06 pm

      I have been invited to go to Aruba, it does not sound like a pretty place to me anymore knowing that the 3 suspects were allowed to go free after lying repeatedly and knowing there were the last person seen with Natalee. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the 3 thugs are responsible for her missing. That puke Kalpoe who on his video bragged about them all havng sex with her is the answer. If this had happened in America we would be working to help the Arubans to solve this crime. Look at the picture of the 3 thugs. I don’t see any light in any of them. 3 smart aleck looking thugs is all I see.

    21. SB on November 1st, 2005 11:57 am

      Is someone following Joran in holland to see what he is doing there…maybe trying a repeat of his earlier actions..people dont change

    22. Jerry on November 2nd, 2005 9:40 am


      They didn’t follow Jack-The-Ripper either.

    23. Trevor Jones on November 3rd, 2005 1:03 pm

      Wow!! Dr.Phil was on last nights Jay Leno show(Nov 3-2005) anouncing tne corruption of the Arubian government..they have lied and not done a bloody thing!!!!! AND that Natalie maybe ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! possibly used apart of the sex trade!!!!!!! WE MUST BOYCOTT ARUBA!!!!!!!! I HAVE BEEN THERE AND I WILL NEVER GO BACK UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT PROVES TO THE AMERICANS THAT THEY WILL DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO FIND NATALIE!!!!!IS IT POSSIBLE THAT CERTAIN OFFICIALS ARE A PART OF THIS TERRIBLE UNDERGROUND PERVERTED ORGANIZATION.LETS BRING NATALIE HOME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    24. Jim Hanson on November 4th, 2005 3:49 am

      Naive posters … John Staton – American Justice: Thousands upon thousands of unsolved missing persons cases … people go missing every day in the usa. Some parents have been waiting decades for news about their missing child.

      Trevor: Anyone who appears on Jay Leno does it for one reason only – publicity for themselves. Did dr phil have any proof with him? Any documents backing up his allegations? No … it’s all heresay … this whole case is heresay … seems everything I read on this blog is heresay … where is the PROOF to back up all the silly allegations here?

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