More terrible economic and tourism reporting out of Aruba. The tourism numbers continue to decrease. The June 2006 numbers follow the patter of tourism decline since the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. The continued loss of tourism for 2006 is rather significant in the fact that they will now be compared to 2005 when there was also a loss of tourism on a monthly basis. The fact that tourism is now compared to a negative number and still decreases on a monthly basis, just compounds the plight faced by Aruba.
In June 2006, the number of stay-over visitors and their nights spent on the island fell by 8.8 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, compared to the corresponding month in 2005. Available data for the first six months of 2006 show that stay-over tourists and their nights spent on the island decreased by 10.3 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively. Figures on tourist arrivals and nights spent on the island for July and August 2006 are not yet available.
According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average occupancy rate of the hotels contracted by 3.1 percentage points to 80.6 percent in August 2006, compared to the corresponding month a year earlier.
Data published by the Cruise Tourism Authority show that the number of cruise passengers increased by 21.5 percent in August 2006, when compared to the corresponding month of 2005. In contrast, the number of ship calls decreased by 14.2 percent. (Central Bank of Aruba)