The Central Bank of Aruba has released tourism numbers and they are looking bleak. For the month of June, 2006, overall tourists is down 8.8 percent. The numbers for overnight stays is even worse, falling a devastating 10.3 percent for the month. And we do not know how low room rates have come down to attract tourists to the island.
The rule of thumb is that the last 10 percent of the a hotels revenue is its profit. If this is the case, the hotel operators on the island are facing a very tight squeeze. My guess is that they are laying off many of the housekeepers, waiters, busboys, and bellhops these days. Add to that all of the off property businesses that have to be struggling and laying off employees, the job market in Aruba must be looking especially bleak.
Then Aruba gouges the tourist for their tax dollars to maintain the social fabric of the island. So the wonderful government is facing lower tax receipts (tourism down) and higher unemployment. And a group of powerful hotel operators that are insisting they increase the marketing dollars spent to get new tourists to come to the island.
Well, the poor citizens of Aruba are now seeing the price of an incompetant government. Are you happy now?