The ATA, Aruba Tourism Authority, has a camp for children to show the importance of tourism to Aruba. Its goal is to “educate the children on the importance of the tourism industry.” The ATA, ALE and other Aruba officials may want to attend this camp themselves and remember just exactly what made their island popular in the first place.
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Its nice to show children the attractions that made Aruba a past destination for tourism. If you are teaching your children the importance of tourism, one wonders why the adults do not comprehend this same notion. If you want your children to understand the concept, then it begs the question … Why don’t the adults?
Tourism is not a result of beaches, hotels, gambling or restaurants. Its a perception of safety and how one will be treated when they go on vacation if something goes wrong. All to often in the past vacations were planned by price, destination and travel brochures with glowing endorsements. Not in a post Natalee Holloway world. If you have not figured it out yet, which obviously Aruba has nor or does not care to, Aruba broke a trust with its potential paying tourists.
A trust is not usually repaired any time soon, especially when Aruba continues to deny they have done anything wrong. How does an island of approximately 77 sq. miles, slightly larger than Washington, DC with barely 100,000 people manage to have a paying customer to their country disappear? People do go missing all the time, which is a sad reality of life. However, the trust that Aruba broke was not just to provide safety to tourists, but to properly and willfully investigate the disappearance in a competent and honorable manner.
Do you actually think people want to pay money to vacation where they have seen first hand how they will be dealt with as outsiders vs. the cronyism that takes place to protect your own? The matter only exacerbated yesterday by Paulus Van der Sloot being rewarded for his actions. The answer is no.
So the next time that Aruba feels the need to teach their children the importance of tourism, maybe the adults should attend those lectures as well.