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Aruba’s Minister of Tourism leading a balanced, responsible, and sustainable tourism management

Aruba’s Minister of Tourism leading a balanced, responsible, and sustainable tourism management

This week, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism, Danguillaume Oduber, had a successful meeting with the Aruba Tourism Autority (ATA) and its board members to discuss the Corporate Plan for 2024. During this meeting Aruba’s tourism strategy was largely discussed. Aruba’s tourism strategy is focused on ‘quality tourism’. This strategy has been in place since 2017 and aims to attract affluent tourists with the financial capacity to contribute significantly to Aruba’s economy.

“When we took office in 2017, we shifted our focus from the number of visitors to the quality of visitors. We adapted, adjusted, and increased the annual household income threshold for tourists from $100,000 to $150,000. After six years of managing the Ministry of Tourism, we are quite satisfied with the results,” said Minister Oduber.

One of the most significant indicators of the quality of tourists coming to Aruba is the ‘Tourism Receipts’. Over the past six years, we have seen a 12% increase in stayover visitors, but more importantly, we’ve witnessed a nearly 60% increase in Tourism Receipts. “This clearly demonstrates that our strategy is delivering results, attracting quality, affluent tourists to our island” said Oduber.

Ongoing and future development for Aruba were also discussed during the meeting. “We want to set the record straight regarding the perception that this government, specifically Cabinet Wever – Croes 1 or 2, is responsible for the current construction of numerous hotels” Oduber said. Minister Oduber presented a list from the Department of Infrastructure (DIP) which shows that all the ongoing construction projects are projects from the previous government.

“Since 2017, we were committed to focusing on high-quality boutique hotels with 50 to 75 rooms, rather than promoting more hotel construction. The only hotel project we’ve announced is the Secrets Project in San Nicolas, which is beneficial for San Nicolas as it marks the first hotel in San Nicolas’s history. We have not announced any other hotel projects’, said Oduber.

Minister Oduber also explained that Cabinet Wever – Croes ‘inherited’ a commitment to 7,500 rooms from the previous government, but successfully managed to reduce it to 1,500 rooms, which is still too many rooms in the minister’s opinion. “However, we must live with these commitments as they involve leased land. We have made every effort to reduce the number further to achieve a more balanced, responsible, and sustainable tourism development” said Oduber.

Minister Oduber clarified to the community that this government and the Ministry of Tourism are committed to achieving balanced, responsible, and sustainable development. He affirms this government has a completely different approach compared to the previous governments, where land was given away freely for condominium and hotel constructions. “Our current focus is on quality over quantity and a sustainable tourism for Aruba” said Oduber.

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