“We’re concerned about the negative publicity,” said Myrna Jansen-Feliciano of the Aruba Tourist Authority.
Takes its toll on Aruba, huh? Ever wonder why the story of Natalee Holloway has never gone away Aruba? Ever wonder why after all this time that so many people care about Natalee Holloway and her family? In America our children are our greatest national treasure. Parents are not supposed to bury their children. Worse yet, never know what harm came to them so they never get closure. It is exactly this mentality that this case is about how Aruba feels is exactly the reason why many are so upset and not traveling to your island. The interest in this case is not going away. It takes very little to ramp up the public’s interest in Natalee Holloway as people have adopted Natalee Holloway as their very own.
In most news coverage, and certainly here in the Buzz, 11 months like that usually translates to a nosedive in public interest.
But this case is not like most. And though searches for Natalee Holloway have wavered since her story first gained national attention, it doesn’t take much to boost her back into our top overall movers.
It isn’t about you Aruba. We have been stating this from the very beginning of this case. It’s about Natalee Holloway and how the investigation has been mishandled and how a family of a missing person has been mistreated. You do not insult a family of a missing person. You do not try and “shut her up“. You do not blame a victim who is most likely dead for her disappearance. For some reason Aruban officials, some in Aruba and in the US think that the Natalee Holloway case is different from other missing person cases. Since when do police officials or prosecutors blame the victim or the family for the cause of a disappearance when they were no where near the the location where an individual went missing? If the powers that be in Aruba ever comprehended the idea of compassion and that it is inappropriate to string a family along on an 11 month roller coaster ride, maybe today things might be different.
Now Aruba worries about the negative impact of the Natalee Holloway case? 11 months after the Alabama teen disappearance? One thinks that maybe they should have been concerned when the two black security guards were falsely arrested, the three prime suspects were allowed to go ten days without being arrested, the Van der Sloot property not 100% searched or the day that all three suspects were released from jail. All this time goes by and now this is a concern for Aruba, although it is too bad that they do not seem to think its a concern that Natalee Holloway vanished.
With the case still unsolved, islanders now fear that Aruba, which gets 70 percent of its gross domestic product from tourism, will be permanently scarred by the mystery.
Aruba and Arubans do themselves no favors by complaining about their tourism at the expense of a missing girl who vanished on their island. It all but leaves a distasting flavor in one’s mouth, let alone a disturbing sense that a tourist and their family would be treated in such a manner at the expense of tourism.
Locals are quick to call the case a tragedy and say they hope Holloway Ã¢â‚¬” last seen leaving a bar with three young men early on May 30, 2005 Ã¢â‚¬” will be found alive. But most also believe criticism of the investigation is unfair Ã¢â‚¬” and they worry the case is scaring away visitors, most of whom are Americans who patronize U.S. chain restaurants and hotels that accept U.S. dollars.
They’re especially angry that cable TV crime shows echo criticism by Holloway’s mother, Beth Twitty, that Aruban authorities are corrupt and incompetent. And they’re enraged that the governors of Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama have criticized the investigation and backed a travel boycott of Aruba.
(AP via Yahoo News)
It is not a boycott by three US states that has caused the problem for tourism in Aruba. Individuals across America in every state have the ability and their own free will to choose how they wish to spend their money and where they wish to vacation. Because of what they have seen with their own eyes, many have chose not to go to Aruba. Who did not think that tourism would not be affected due to Aruban officials actions? That is not the fault of the media or Natalee’s parents. The more you blame the victim and a victim’s parents the worse it will get. At this point there are many potential vacationers saying to themselves, “who in their right mind would go to an island and vacation there when if something like what befell Natalee Holloway happened to them, that they would be treated in the same manner?” This is why Aruba suffers today.
What would take Aruba 11 months to figure out that an unsolved crime or better yet botched investigation might be a bad thing for tourism? Let’s go back and time and look at the very first post that Scared Monkeys ever did in covering the disappearance of Natalee Holloway (6/2/05), “This Can’t Be Good For Tourism, Where’s Natalee Holloway“.
For an Island paradise that prides itself on sandy beaches and a constant trade wind, the last thing they would want is bad publicity of an unsafe island. However, An Alabama high school student, Natalee Holloway, disappeared during her graduation trip to Aruba.
Or the second post the Scared Monkeys did covering the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, “Natalee Holloway: Teen Still Missing in Aruba, Part II“.
As posted yesterday crime does occur on these islands and in many cases they go unreported. The last thing the Island Tourism Bureau wants is a blemish like this. One can see through out the reporting of the story and comments from Aruban officials the want and need to stress its a safe island. The story should be about Natalee Holloway and how to find Natalee Holloway. Not about how safe Aruba is or that there is little to know crime. ARUBA, this is not about you. Its about finding Natalee Holloway.
Aruban officials should have done everything possible and accepted all possible help at the outset of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Instead the ALE and those in charge set forth on the path that would lead to the eyes of the world watching an investigation that was at best incompetence and at worst a cover up.
Aruba should have been more concerned with finding Natalee Holloway and bring those responsible for her disappearance, no matter who they were to justice. Instead all we heard was how safe Aruba was and that it was concerned about its reputation.
Aruban Prime Minister Nelson Oduber said Holloway’s disappearance has dismayed an island that prides itself on its safety and friendliness – a haven for the 500,000 American visitors last year.
“Learning the news of Natalee’s disappearance on our island left us all in a state of shock and disbelief,” Oduber said. “We will not tolerate any activities that harm our American friends or tarnishes Aruba’s reputation.”
This investigation went from two security guards being arrested immediately to “something bad happened” to suspects and witnesses lying their way in and out of jail. Looking back on the actions early on in this case, how does a story such as this get reported so wrong. Or as so many statements from Aruba we would later learn are said to be fact and then retracted.
AP: ORANJESTAD, Aruba – One of three young men who took an Alabama high school student to the beach during her class trip to Aruba confessed he killed her, police say. Deputy Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig told The Associated Press that the man was leading police late Friday to the scene of the crime.
So many things could have and should have been done differently in this investigation. So many months later due to the myriad of poor investigating and what many perceive as an intentional cover up due to corruption in Aruba, as stated Dave Holloway in his book, “Aruba : The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise“, the investigation in to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway is at a puzzling position.
Many things do not add up in this mystery and not because suspects say nothing because they are innocent. More like because they are afraid to tell the truth. The many lies, changed stories and inconsistent stories among suspects just create more controversy than provide answers. If Aruba (Aruban officials and Aruban citizens) truly care about their image and tourism; they will hold those responsible for the disappearance of Natalee Holloway accountable. No matter who was responsible.