As with most iceberg, its not what you see above the water line that causes the damage.
(Vanderbilt – ‘06)
Natalee Holloway went missing May 30, 2005. Since then Aruba tried to downplay the initial story as they must so others to protect their coveted tourism. Between downplaying or purposely not properly investigating the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, Aruba has made more mistakes and mis-steps that has cost them their so beholden tourism.
Tourism down some 15–20%, which in turn means that hotel, restaurant and bar revenues will be down. That in turn directly correlates to government tax revenues being less. That in turn means that once paid for services can be no longer.
(Click on to enlarge)
Aruban police walking off the job in protest. For all that the island boasts of safety, tourists will be enlightened to know that the police force can just walk off over a payment dispute. It would seem like that is about the last image that Aruba would ever want to project to tourists … No police force on duty.
Tourism has continued to decline even as future hits to tourism have not been yet realized. Starting January 2007 Carnival Cruise line will be taking Aruba off their 7 day Caribbean cruise with 5 destinations.
The disastrous loss of tourism caused only by the fact that a crime against an American tourist could not be approached in a responsible and professional manner. An official US boycott never had to be called. Individual Americans knew what was right in order to inflict their own brand of justice to those that cared to look the other way. I think they got Aruba’s attention.
Increased taxes, protests in the street, daily accusations toward government officials are all a result of the loss of tax revenue caused by America’s refusal to treat Aruban tourism as business as usual after Natalee Holloway. The sad reality is that the Aruban officials thought this all would just go away and an apathetic American public would just get over it and come to Aruba anyways.
You thought very wrong and now find yourselves aboard the SS Aruba. When will someone come forward in Aruba and do the right thing? Not only for the sake of Natalee Holloway and her family, but for yourselves.