The downward trend of tourism continues in Aruba. The decrease of passengers at Beatrix Airport is now at 12.8%. It should come as no surprise to anyone, although it would appear that Aruban officials kept their heads in the sand far to long, trying to spin the tourism situation and wishing that the Natalee Holloway case would just disappear.
The 3rd quarter from 2005 showed a -3.5% decrease of airline passengers. While other Caribbean islands like Jamaica had record growth in 2005, that was not the case for Aruba. It was also reported that less air-passengers in the second half of 2005. The airline passenger numbers for the 4th quarter in Aruba were down 7.4% as compared to the previous year.
Remember that famous prediction by the AP, that “the boycott will have no impact on Aruba“?
Let us also go back to another prediction. This one comes from the very first post we did regarding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, (6/2/05) “This Can’t Be Good For Tourism, Where’s Natalee Holloway“.
The disappearance, botched investigation, and boycott coupled with the continual unbelievable events and treatment of the victim, Natalee Holloway and her family have fueled the downward trend of Americans to Aruba. One would think at some point that Aruba officials would have stopped the bleeding and got their act together. Instead we find out late in the game that previously another woman may have been assaulted and nothing was ever done to investigate. We also continue to see an investigation focused on three suspects and no action taken.
What does all this lead to?
The airport of Aruba saw a drop of 12.8 percent passengers.
Maybe the AOL survey had some validity to it when it showed that 72% of Americans were less likely to visit Aruba since Natalee Holloway vanished.
Amigoe; May 2, 2006: Number of passengers Aruba dropped vigorously
ARUBA – The airport of Aruba saw a drop of 12.8 percent in the number of handled passengers in the first quarter of this year. The number of flight movements dropped with 2.8 percent, announced the Aruba Airport Authority. With 250.585 American passengers, the percentage is lower than last year in the first quarter, namely 15 percent. The number of passengers to and from Venezuela was 34.856, and Europe 26.636. The number of Colombian passengers went up with 9 percent to 13.424.