Amigoe; April 5, 2006: More and more high income tourists to Aruba
The European market is a growth market for Aruba. Therefore, there is a lot of advertisement for the island in this market. Minister Edison Briesen cut an Aruban cake recently during the biggest tourist market ITB in Germany.
ARUBA Ã¢â‚¬” According to minister Edison Briesen (MEP) of Tourism and Transportation, Aruba more and more manages to attract richer tourists. The figures of the Central Bureau for Statistics show this. The minister anticipates that this can be stimulated even more with the completion of the special department of the Airport for private-airplanes.
The figures show that 19 percent of the tourists that visited Aruba in the second quarter make more that 100.000 dollars per year. In 2001 and 2002 was this 13 and 10 percent respectively. The number of visitors that make less than 50.000 dollars per year dropped from 40.7 percent in 2001 to 24 percent in 2005. However, the biggest group of visitors is the ones that make between the 50 and 75 thousand dollars per year. Therefore, Aruba has to aim for the upscale-market, says Briesen. The special terminal and runway for private planes will be complete in July. People with private planes will then have their own immigration, customs, shoppes, and cafeteria. They will no longer have to be taken to the other side by bus, and stand in long immigration lines. They will be out in 15 minutes.” Briesen also hopes to attract more luxurious mega-yachts.
The tourist sector has to go along with the trends. The American tourist for example takes shorter vacation, like three nights for example. Briesen understands that hotels prefer to sell six-nights packages, but still, we have to also go along with this trend. He warns that the competition becomes bigger for Aruba. “For example in Dubai they are building five- to six-star hotels. They even create new islands over there. Their product is same as ours: son.” He doesn’t worry so much about the competition of cheaper destinations in the region like Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. “We are more upscale than most of the other countries. The safety plays a bigger part, especially after 9/11. But, of all the Caribbean islands, we are the one that is farther away from our biggest market, so that continues to be a big challenge for us.”