Aruba in $230 million tourist drive

The Aruba Tourism Authority, together with its private sector partners, is forging ahead in 2006 with major investments in its tourism product totaling over $230 million.  Expansions and renovations encompass virtually every sector of the travel industry, from the airport and cruise terminal to hotels, spas and restaurants.   

“The island of Aruba is making significant investments in economic development across the island,” said Minister of Tourism and Transportation Edison Briesen.  “The $230 million flowing into tourism is indicative of the strength of this market and the island’s dedication to serving our visitors and enhancing the guest experience.  We are poised for an increase in both tourism numbers and revenue in 2006.”

Significant investment and expansion, to the tune of over $34 million, is underway at Queen Beatrix International Airport . The airport’s growth plan includes the installation of elevators to make the facility more accessible for disabled travelers, the addition of a new central security area, updated signage, free luggage carts and more.  The improvements are well-timed as many carriers, including American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Song, United Airlines, US Airways, have recently expanded service to the island.  Aruba is also planning changes at the cruise ship terminal, which will be expanded. 

The Government of Aruba is investing approximately $16 million in the creation of the largest linear park in the Caribbean, stretching 10 miles from Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport to the end of the high-rise hotel corridor.  The new landscaping will include green areas, walking and bike paths, designed to enhance the ocean view along this much-traveled stretch from airport to hotels.
Other areas of the island, such as Baby Beach, on the east end, and downtown Oranjestad, the island’s capital, are undergoing development and upgrades.  One of the most visible sectors of change is among the island’s hotels and resorts, where over $180 million has been invested in major renovation and expansions spanning 2005 through 2007.