Look Out Arubans … Looks Like Aruba Tourism in only for the Big Developers


Aruba is supposed to be known according to the ATA for its charm and nice treatment from the Aruban people. However, it would appear that Aruba is more about the large developers and mega-malls when it comes to tourism. So much for all the local shops owned by Arubans in downtown Oranjestad, looks like the powers that be in Aruba care more about the mega-developers. No wonder they are willing to do anything to protect tourism at all cost.

Amigoe; April 4, 2007: Mega-Mall forms a threat for the town center  

ORANJESTAD — Developing a mega-mall near the cruise harbour will lead to unacceptable sales losses for all the stores and kiosks in the town center of Oranjestad.   AVP-party-leader Mike Eman calls the ‘plans’ of APA and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) unacceptable.   Also Benny Nisbet of the non-parliamentary party PPA is questioning the plans.  

Having a shopping center right there at the cruise harbour will hurt all the businesses in the town center.   Why would the cruise tourists elsewhere, if everything they need and want is available right there.   The number of kiosks, shoppes, restaurants, and bars that are being threatened by the plans is big.   The Port of Call Mall has 21 stores; the Seaport Mall has 40; Royal Plaza Mall has 45; there are 32 businesses in the Havenstraat; the Caya Betico Croes (Mainstreet) has 144 businesses; the Shea Mall and Aventura Mall have both 9 stores; there are 8 stores on Plaza Daniel Leo; Bayside Mall has 48; Renaissance Mall has 57 stores; Holland Mall has 9; Wilhelminastraat has 30; and the 20 kiosks at the harbour entrance, and the 17 market halls at the ‘little harbour’.   A total of more than 400 stores and 40 restaurants that are endangered by the realization of this new mega-mall.  

Renovating the harbour of Oranjestad to promote the cruise tourism and moving the container harbour to Barcadera, should be part of an integral plan for the development of Aruba, is the opinion of AVP.     There is a blueprint for quite a few years already to enhance the cruise tourism and to create a modern container harbour in an industrial area with more room and a good infrastructure.     Eman says that it is unacceptable to use this blueprint as a steppingstone to use 40 hectare land on the premises of the container harbour for mega-malls, casinos, and other projects at the Paardenbaai.   That the plans help the town center to sell more is nonsense.  

If 200 to 300 millions are invested in a mall at the harbour entrance, you would do everything possible to have the cruise tourists spend each dollar in this mall so you can get your invested money out.  

Eman sees more a modern and attractive harbour with a corridor that leads the cruise tourists to the town center, the streets, commercial centers and historical places.   He is of the opinion that there should be a national discussion on this, before any decision is made.


Posted April 5, 2007 by
Amigoe, Aruba, Economy, Main, Travel | 18 comments

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  • Comments

    18 Responses to “Look Out Arubans … Looks Like Aruba Tourism in only for the Big Developers”

    1. John Staton on April 5th, 2007 8:49 am

      Actually this is behavior consistent with what I predicted several months ago. With the continued recognition of what a dangerous place Aruba is and the powers that be wanting to protect themselves (anyone really believe that they care for the average citizen of Aruba ?) they are creating safe enclaves away from the non powerful of Aruba. Just as you can get away with gang rape and murder in Aruba if you are a member of the correct group, you can expect to profit while those without power starve. As we all witnessed no action from the general populace when the cover up sunk their economy, we can expect no action from them now. Stupid is as stupid does!

    2. Miss-Underestimated on April 5th, 2007 8:57 am

      “Follow the Money”

    3. Carpe Noctem on April 5th, 2007 9:31 am

      ARUBA KILLS!!!

      Tourists wind up in drainage basins…
      some in part.

      We need to keep showing the world
      the ARUBAY 24 VIDEO!

      Aruba can got to hell. We need to
      continue to clamp down on them like
      a Cobra that has been waiting a little
      too long for a really tasty meal.

      BOYCOTT that trash dump.

      DO IT 4
      - Natalee Holloway & her family, and all
      the others currently missing there JUST LIKE

      Also, stay away for the safety
      of your own family.


    4. Carpe Noctem on April 5th, 2007 9:48 am

      Shake it, do not break it!

      It took Dompig’s Momma 9 months to make it.

      Enjoy! =)


    5. dennisintn on April 5th, 2007 10:16 am

      do tourists really want to spend thousands of dollars to travel and see and experience news things and then find things just like they left behind at home? a new mall is a new mall. oranjestad or boston, makes no difference.

    6. Miss-Underestimated on April 5th, 2007 11:00 am

      this is all part of the ATA to provide compounds for tourists. Keep them in a SAFE area.

      No more ma and pa shops, no more shops owned and operated by the locals. Big Money runs the island.

      I wonder if the locals could hold a protest?

    7. vicki on April 5th, 2007 11:50 am

      Even if they helds a protest would it even matter???These poor ppl have no say at all….Its to sad. Like I said, Satan controls this place….

    8. Richard on April 5th, 2007 12:32 pm

      I expect you can extort bigger bribes and penalties (in the form of various fees, etc.) from major retailers than from Ma and Pa whoever back in Aruba.

      The other idea this raises: are we to understand that the value of land in Aruba is rising (or that they think it will) to the extent that only big stores can deliver big returns?

      In other words, contrary to what they were talking about earlier about a “more selective” breed of tourist, is the big-money game becoming such that rents, etc., will go way beyond the ability of the little guy to pay there?

      And so the only economic alternative is to get big retailers?

      Wonder what kinds of incentives Aruba will be prepared to offer. Note how they’re relying on the cruise ships to bring in traffic; right now, the cruise lines are losing their shirt in the Caribbean and the growth markets are in Europe and, in later years, Asia. So I’ve read, anyway.

    9. Carpe Noctem on April 5th, 2007 5:25 pm

      Some more Dompig relatives.


    10. Maggie on April 5th, 2007 5:56 pm

      #1 excellent post!

    11. Elaine on April 5th, 2007 6:42 pm

      Carpe, you crack me up! ROFL! And, I am still laughing about the “Muchausen by internet proxy”

    12. Elaine on April 5th, 2007 6:43 pm

      ooops “Munchausen by internet proxy” I meant, danged typos

    13. Katablog on April 5th, 2007 11:45 pm

      Actually the cruise companies like to do this so that passengers get off, feel like they’ve experienced the country by buying their little cheap keepsakes or shop in the way over priced jewelry stories that give kickbacks to the cruise companies for recommending them and steering passengers their way.

      Apparently the cruise companies are seeing passengers worried about their safety in Aruba and so want to provide this mall (not big stores, a lot of little stores) for passengers. Also, making shopping convenient makes it easier to get passengers on tours (which the cruise companies also take a big percentage). You’d be surprised how much cruise companies make on “non-cruise” “services”.

    14. Carpe Noctem on April 6th, 2007 11:20 am

      lol, thanks elaine!

    15. hirohito on April 7th, 2007 4:35 pm

      Is one of the Bham construction companies going to build some of this stuff?

    16. Patti on April 7th, 2007 6:45 pm

      I agree with Katablog. This is another attempt to save their tourist industry. The idea: Just build a mall right on the waterfront where tourists don’t have to walk through town. Two objectives: 1) Reduce the chance of them being mugged, raped or murdered by having less an area to secure and 2) Save Aruba the embarrassment of tourists seeing all the homeless drug addicts that live on their streets.

      The problem with this plan is that it does nothing to end the real problem there, which is crime, drug addiction and homelessness. It rewards the new investors and the cruise lines while taking away revenue from the businesses that have been operating on the island for a number of years. It is bound to leave the downtown area behind; to turn into a drug infected slum.

      The business owners of the downtown area need to raise their voices and stop the hostile take over by the foreign big-money investors. Push to have their streets clean and renewed. There is a certain flair to old downtown areas. Practically, every city in the U.S. has taken to renewing their old town areas and have found the results to be both lucrative and functional. People don’t go to Aruba or any other island in the Caribbean to see a shopping mall. They can do that in any suburb in the U.S. Save your downtown area. Clean up your streets. Save your businesses and keep your old style flair and culture. That’s what tourists want.

    17. Jon on April 8th, 2007 5:19 pm

      where is donald trumpp when aruba needs him?

    18. Malo on April 17th, 2007 4:54 am

      Everytime I check this link and read the Aruba-mania overhere I’m like ROFLMAO.

      Only hours ago an american citizen killed more than 30 innocent students at a university in Good Old Virginia, shooting them at point blank.
      But in the heads of you people, all evil continues to be found on Aruba because of one (1!) unsolved missing-people case.

      You guys sure know what proportion means.


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