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The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) welcomed wholesalers from ANATO

The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) welcomed wholesalers from ANATO

During a gathering on September 8th, 2023, ATA welcomed 19 wholesalers from ANATO, the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agents that operates in Aruba under the guidance of Mr. Carlos San Martin, the President of ANATO, along with the ANATO Wholesale Chapter’s supervisory council. Claudia Delgado, Sales Multi-liner for Colombia, accompanied the group on their visit to Aruba. The visiting group consists of wholesalers from various parts of Colombia, including Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellin. The goal of this meeting was to acquaint merchants with Aruba so that they can promote Aruba as a destination.

ANATO is a prominent organization that represents the tourism industry in Colombia. ANATO works together with travel and tourism agents to promote and develop the tourism sector in Colombia, creating business opportunities and visits between destinations. Most of these visiting wholesalers are not currently selling Aruba in the Colombian market, which is why this visit is of utmost importance. During their stay, they will visit various sites and attractions to get a complete picture of what Aruba has to offer. There will also be several informative and educational presentations. This visit ensures that Colombian wholesalers have the valuable and necessary knowledge to promote our island, thus increasing sales and the number of visitors from Colombia.

Carlos San Martin, President of ANATO, mentioned that they have been promoting the idea of this meeting for at least a year, considering Aruba’s importance as one of the preferred destinations for Colombians. Carlos San Martin himself recalled visiting Aruba for the first time about 35 years ago and returning 15 years ago. He mentioned that at that time, Aruba was the preferred destination in the Caribbean. Aruba possesses several interesting qualities like the proximity to Colombia, resulting in shorter flight times compared to other destinations. Aruba is also closer to Colombia than San Andres Island. The convenience and activities Aruba has to offer are not easily found elsewhere. Economically, Aruba competes well in terms of pricing, and the Colombian economy is growing. With the new administration in Aruba and the efforts of Jordan Schlipken Croes, Area Director of ATA Latin America, the idea of visiting Aruba resurfaced among Colombians.

Everything indicates that 2023 will be a strong year for the Latin American market. ATA anticipates that stayover visitor numbers will surpass pre-pandemic levels. ATA’s goal for Latin America is to achieve a 103% recovery compared to 2019, which represents a 3% growth. As of August 2023, Aruba has received 78,183 stayover visitors from Latin America, which is 22% more than in 2019. Colombia is the primary market for Latin America, and it has grown by 36% compared to 2019. Factors contributing to this figure include the introduction of additional flights to Medellin and the launch of new routes such as Cali.

Ronella Croes, CEO of ATA, expressed that meetings like the one with ANATO are crucial because ATA continues focusing on its diversification strategy through Colombia and other countries in Latin America. Latin America represents approximately 9% of the total visitor market, according to their goals. This year, with great anticipation, ATA is awaiting the first flight of Latam Airlines to Aruba from Lima, which will enable them to achieve the aggressive goals they have set for the coming years for the markets of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

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