The Hotel occupancy rates for Curacao Highest Level in Years, Not so for Aruba … We wonder why?


As the occupancy rates in Curacao are at their highest levels in years, Aruba finds itself in aArubatourismdown continual pattern of decline. Since Natalee Holloway went missing and the subsequent disaster of what was called an investigation into her disappearance, Aruba has suffered disastrous tourism numbers. While the rest of the Caribbean is up, Aruba finds itself mired in its own mess. One might say that the rest of the Caribbean may be benefiting from Aruba’s loss. So why is it a sister Island like Curacao has success and Aruba does not? I do not think it takes a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

Not only are the occupancy rates higher than in recent years, but the average room price is higher. How much higher the prices are, was not made available. 

To this point 2006 has been a super year in terms of occupancy rates. January started off well with a rate of 86.45 percent, followed by the top-month of February with an average occupancy rate of almost 90 percent (89.9 percent, to be precise). With a rate of 88.2 percent, March was also exceptionally good. April, May, June, and July respectively had occupancy rates of 81.5, 79.5, 72.9, and 75.6 percent. 


(ABC Islands)

We had warned from the outset when Natalee Holloway went missing that this would not be good for tourism. The manner in how Aruba conducted the investigation only added to their demise. The perception of safety and a tourist island doing the right thing is in the eye of the beholder, not a spin or marketing campaign.  As others in the Caribbean have seen increases, Aruba continues on the downward spiral. The 4th quarter of 2005 saw a 7.4% decrease in passengers to the Queen Beatrix Airport. The Central Bank of Aruba also reported a 14.7% decrease in airport passengers in the 1st quarter of 2006.  


As others prosper in tourism in the Caribbean, Aruba continues to falters even according to the most recent reports from the Central bank of Aruba. It is rather obvious that Aruba has not grasped the concept of what is needed to fix their dilemma. It is obvious by the success of other Caribbean Islands that Aruba is being singled out. Figure it out Aruba.

You have a second, third and fourth opportunity to make a first impression. A Dutch cold case team is supposed to come to Aruba to investigate the Natalee Holloway disappearance. If this is just for show, like everything else has been … your tourism will pay dearly. If this Dutch team walks away, suspects are released from the suspect list and the case is closed, your islands tourism will not even begin to know what hit it.

You have an opportunity to right a wrong. For your islands sake and for the decent, hard working people of Aruba’s sake … we sure hope you take advantage of this … Justice for Natalee.

The full Amigoe article, Hotel occupancy rates at highest level in years. (9/3/06)

WILLEMSTAD – The occupancy rates for Curacao’s hotels have not been so high in years. In the first seven months of 2006 an average occupancy rate of 82 percent was reached, according to information provided by the Curacao Hospitality and Tourism Association (Chata). 

Not only are the occupancy rates higher than in recent years, but the average room price is higher. How much higher the prices are, was not made available. 

To this point 2006 has been a super year in terms of occupancy rates. January started off well with a rate of 86.45 percent, followed by the top-month of February with an average occupancy rate of almost 90 percent (89.9 percent, to be precise). With a rate of 88.2 percent, March was also exceptionally good. April, May, June, and July respectively had occupancy rates of 81.5, 79.5, 72.9, and 75.6 percent. 

Never in the past fifteen years has the Curacao hotel occupancy rate been so high, according to Chata. That’s why everyone is looking forward to the promised expansion of hotel space. Before the end of the year the new Octagon Wing of the Avila Hotel will open with 68 new luxury rooms. Best Western Blue Bay Village at the Blue Bay Resort & Golf also plans to open the doors to 52 new bungalows (at least 100 rooms) by years end. 

The expansion of Lions Dive is scheduled to be completed before the end of next year, and expectations are that Renaissance Resort will also welcome their first guests by then. Hyatt, which broke ground on the construction of their new hotel December 1st and was the subject of much talk, is going to take a little while longer to finish. The same counts for La Palapa. 

When average occupancy rates are studied starting in 2002, the upwards trend is clear, with 57.4 percent in that year, 62.2 in 2003, 69.3 in 2004, and 75 percent last year. Every month so far in 2006 has been substantially better than the same months in any of the previous four years. 

In line with the better occupancy rates, the number of tourists visiting Curacao has also grown. Through July the American market had grown by 3 percent while the Dutch market had grown by 7.7 percent. South America and particularly the traditionally strong Venezuelan market were disappointing and continue to decline. The same is true for the Caribbean regions. Holland and the U.S. together comprise 60 percent of all tourists, the reason why the total number of visitors through July 2006 has grown by a solid 4.6 percent. 

Also, and for hotels this is even more important, the number of overnight stays has grown significantly. For the first seven months of this year the number of overnight stays grew 7.2 percent, according to statistics from the Curacao Tourist Board (CTB).



If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Amigoe: Some Good News for the Aruban Hotel Sector
  • Palm Beach County Florida … Aruba in America (Jorge Pesquera) … Tourism at all Cost
  • Aruba & Curacao Beaches Polluted by Oil Tanker
  • Economic Slow Down Spells Tourism Worries for Caribbean (Aruba, Puerto Rico …)
  • Aruba Tourism Association … Wake Up. Declining tourism and discounted Rates are Attributed to One Factor … Where’s Natalee???

  • Comments

    40 Responses to “The Hotel occupancy rates for Curacao Highest Level in Years, Not so for Aruba … We wonder why?”

    1. dancinbare on October 3rd, 2006 10:54 am

      They know and understand why.They are unwilling to accept the consequences for the actions on a priviledged few.They do not care about the cost to the average person on Aruba,since the peons are below.When they are being hurt in some way,they will act.Dancingbare

    2. Miss-Underestimated on October 3rd, 2006 11:04 am

      Maybe if someone has all the information, their can be a detailed journal of the statements that have come out of Aruba regarding Natalee Holloway. Home many times have the Aruba LE, spokesperson(s) and Aruba Media lied and spun what happended to Natalle Holloway and the great extent that Aruba (those stated above) have gone to protect the suspect?

    3. Richard on October 3rd, 2006 11:28 am

      But remember … Amy Bradley in March 1998 disappeared from a cruise ship that was docking in Curacao.

      Beth’s original boycott call included ALL of the Netherlands Antilles islands … Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Can’t do better than follow her advice, in my view.

    4. KELMAL on October 3rd, 2006 11:34 am

      Is this JUSTICE for NATALEE ???????????

    5. GretaMAL on October 3rd, 2006 12:48 pm

      Richard, You are RIGHT. Beth said stay away from Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Record amount of tourists are going there. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    6. glad2bAmerican on October 3rd, 2006 1:06 pm

      Been to Curacao….nothing I want to see ever again.
      It is so close to Aruba & seeing the tourism is on the rise
      there….the culprits will gladly move over and abandon Aruba, their declining country. Crime/drugs/corruption do not know boundries.

    7. Mortella on October 3rd, 2006 1:11 pm

      It’s the closest thing we’ve got at the moment, Kelmel!!!!!!!!! And it helps prevent this from happening to somebody else with their having “done this 20 times before” routine of preying on tourist girls.

      If it saves the life of just one girl, it will have been more than worth it, don’t you agree?????????????? An island is not a safe place to be with the performance we have seen in this disappearance with those last seen with Natalee making false exculpatory statements and being allowed to lie in this manner.

    8. GretaMAL on October 3rd, 2006 1:43 pm

      glad2b, That’s what is going to happen. Aruba will close down and everyone will move to Curacao.

    9. vicki on October 3rd, 2006 1:57 pm

      I wish that the powers that be in lieruba move to bonaire or curaco, that way, the GOOD people in Aruba can have their Island back. No, it wont bring us back Natalee, but it will get rid of the riffraff there. Justice will come and it will be strong and swift and the perps will go down..I see it happening now. Arubaneese,linda..all that have tried to help,God bless you. Its people like you that I feel sorry for.
      I believe KOEN is spilling his guts in Atlanta hahahahahaha and soon we will all know what happened.

    10. Carpe Noctem on October 3rd, 2006 2:00 pm

      Is this JUSTICE for NATALEE ???????????


      I think so!

      …and JUSTICE 4 others that should
      not be murdered, lied to, and raped in the land
      the bows down to the scumbag Van der Rape

      Wahoo-ski Aruba.


    11. GretaMAL on October 3rd, 2006 2:44 pm

      vicki, Dream On. Nobody is spilling anything !!!You are grasping at straws !!!

    12. Mortella on October 3rd, 2006 2:53 pm

      The best way to deter crime is to prevent it before it happens. Never again should a mother have to grovel and apologize to corrupt scumbags while people take to the streets not to protest their own corrupt officials but HER for wanting her child back.

      Never again should a father have to dig in a filthy landfill with biohazards and everything else in it with his bare hands for his own child. Never again should we trust Aruba with our tourists.

    13. JusticeforNatalee on October 3rd, 2006 3:01 pm

      Didn’t Satish say in one of his statements that he asked Deepak how Natalee was doing?
      This implies that Satish knew that Natalee was in distress and probably knows what happened to her.

    14. JusticeforNatalee on October 3rd, 2006 3:04 pm

      Of course, Satish referred to Natalee as “the girl” but his statement DOES imply that he was aware there was a PROBLEM.


    15. joe on October 3rd, 2006 3:18 pm

      I’ve also been to Curacao, and I thought the name of the island should have been cockroach. When I was there, it was pretty nasty. I plan on never returning there. Too many pretty places around.

    16. Laura on October 3rd, 2006 3:45 pm

      I have also been to Curacao, nothing to write home about. Stayed at the Lions Den Resort. It was ok. Had to go to the Pharmacy while I was there and had to catch a “cab” and interesting enough, it was and unmarked cab that took my husband and I into the town to visit the pharmacy for the medication that I needed. Made it very clear of how I felt about Natalee Holloway and the way the case was going, as I suspected, no response, just looked like a deer in head lights!!! These people have no clue and never will….

    17. Miss-Underestimated on October 3rd, 2006 3:49 pm

      The only reason that occupancy rates are up in Curacao is that
      Kelmak was able to leave Aruba because Beth left Holland so
      Kelmal bought a room for each or his/hers personalities.

    18. Arubaanse on October 3rd, 2006 3:50 pm

      But let us be honest here, if you compare the lifestyle in Aruba and the one of Curacao, we are much better. Holland has always used us a great example of how the other island should be. Our economy has always been better then theirs. Now it’s the otherway around. Sad but true.

    19. Mike on October 3rd, 2006 4:00 pm

      kelmal, gretamail, johnboy, amsterdamn, and all the other fricking names you use, how about making sure that when to move to curacoa that you take all the perverts involved iin this case with you.

    20. GretaMAL on October 3rd, 2006 4:14 pm

      MISS-u, Sounds like you are obsessed with me!!!!!!!!!1I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!1 -R4N-

    21. Miss-Underestimated on October 3rd, 2006 4:29 pm


      Luv Ya


    22. vicki on October 3rd, 2006 4:49 pm

      Miss u and Mike, you took the words right out of my mouth.Maybe the phyco will go to C&C and get a drink.

    23. Allan K on October 3rd, 2006 8:25 pm

      Aruba. A disgrace. So be it. I guess their is no justice from FBI, Interpol, Ice, Texas Rangers and others. Aruba signed their own death warrant with dastardly deeds, deceptions and aid of probally murdered Natalee Holoway. I wonder how some sleep at night?

    24. Ramlady on October 3rd, 2006 9:01 pm

      #17; Miss-U.: LOL; notice how all the split personalities of Kelmal/Gretamal/Amsterdamned are talking amongst themselves? Weird.

    25. on October 4th, 2006 9:58 am

      Aruba has to know it’s tourism is in the toliet when even Curacao can beat them! No, Curacao is NOT a vacation spot.

      What’s so funny is to remember the recent statement out of aruba that tourism was down due to 9/11 – and then compare it to the numbers in Curacao.

    26. SL-Gloria on October 4th, 2006 12:05 pm

      Curassow has a magnificent harbor view (from a boat), beautiful buildings copied by the Arubians. True, not a vacation spot if you are just looking for flat white sanded beaches. Too bad also that the refinery polutes the air with a nasty haze. But it is still worthwhile to visit if you go with an open mind to see the place and meet its people for what and who they are, without forging expectations of a magazine version Caribbean island. I’d go back to Curaà §ao any time.

    27. dancinbare on October 4th, 2006 12:06 pm

      Well,we will see.All that ends up in jail,for 15 years,then I will be happier.I support Beth.I will not go to the abc’s.Dancinbare

    28. GretaMAL on October 4th, 2006 12:23 pm

      St.gloria, I agree. Curacao is very nice. I would go back !

    29. Mortella on October 4th, 2006 1:06 pm

      A while back I heard of two Dutch members of parliament or whatever it is called there joking about selling Aruba to the highest bidder. There are complaints about the high number of crimes committed by people who go to Holland from the islands so I don’t think they are very complimentary to them. One said something like the highest bidder would be $1. That was not me saying that but the Dutch.

      And one of the Aruban tourism spokespersons keeps saying the U.S. economy is bad is why Mericans are not going. Guess they haven’t heard the DOW just broke a record and things are really humming.

      But we need to stay home and rebuilt our own sugar-white beaches on the Gulf Coast.

    30. GretaMAL on October 4th, 2006 1:42 pm

      mort, some like to stay home and rebuild their beaches and others like to take nice vacations. To each their own.

    31. dennisintn on October 4th, 2006 2:23 pm

      #l2, mortella, you are exactly right.

    32. da wench on October 4th, 2006 7:08 pm


    33. Richard on October 4th, 2006 8:44 pm

      Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there is no Aruban cover-up in the Natalee Holloway case. (I don’t imagine any of us can believe that, but still ….)

      Presuming that, the only other explanation for what has gone on in Aruba is sheer bloody incompetence and stupidity.

      So there again … is it a fit place for anyone to go to for vacation? Unless you want to bring (not hire; you might be wary of the locals) your own armed battalion to serve as guards.

      Clearly, Aruba has at the VERY LEAST demonstrated its utter incompetence. And most of us think that something worse is involved.

      Aruba … the last vacation you’ll ever have.

    34. molly on October 5th, 2006 1:44 am

      Going to Aruba? M-16, hand grenade, mace, bear trap…..don’t leave home without it.

      molly (in Houston)

    35. dennisintn on October 5th, 2006 8:52 am

      molly, don’t forget the drug testing kits for your drinks.

    36. Tazman on October 5th, 2006 7:43 pm

      I’d rather go to Hawaii!!

    37. jan willem on October 6th, 2006 3:35 pm

      It’s not just the Natalee-case that makes Aruba a less attractive holiday-island. Statistics show that among tourists, the percentage Amercians is rising. Reasons for the tourism-decline (in total) are it’s corrupt government (which exists of locals, helping family-members and voters into safe, unnessassary jobs) and it’s growing competition from Curacao, Bonaire and French Antilles. These islands show an increase in tourism. I’ve lived on Aruba during 1997 and 1998. I’ve seen it change when visiting againg in 2004. People over there really don’t do anything else but thinking of their own while the government is doing the same, trying to built up their pension and totally forget to run this (from origin beautiful) island in a proper way. The Netherlands will soon be asked to please take over Aruba’s bilion-guilder debts in oredr not to go bankrupt so they can all start over againg making debts and complaining about the Netherlands and everyone else..

    38. eli on April 8th, 2007 3:47 pm

      You people are all ignorants… so much drama and attention on natalee’s disappearance was due to her political connections within the family. What happens to the millions missing children you people have on your Wall Markt walls? All those little kids, that u do not give a damn about, but you go blame an island for the disappearance for a teenage girl who got completely drunk and drugged and went into a car with 4 guys she didn’t know?? Wake up and smell you country’s dirty political games.

    39. Benji on December 8th, 2007 11:54 pm


      That is very much untrue. Somehow everybody was blaming Amy’s dissapearance on Curacao.
      However she dissapeared during the trip from Aruba to Curacao.
      So Curcao couldn’t possibly be held at fault for that.

      BTW: Aruba is not part of the Netherlands Antilles.
      The Netherlands Antilles consists of 5 islands: Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.

    40. Nut44x4 on December 19th, 2007 5:17 pm

      #38 errrrr……wake up and edumacate youself :) :) hehe

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