Aruba has once again proven to be a favorite destination spot amongst holidaying Americans. The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) recently released visitor arrival statistics for February 2003. The U.S. market had a 9.60% increase in arrivals. Aruba also showed an increase of 9.86% in room night bookings. The total increase for the year to date is 7.15%.
Marcial F. Ibarra, Aruba’s director of tourism for North America, attributes Aruba`s growing popularity amongst Americans to Aruba’s cultural warmth and diversity, the continued increases in the number of scheduled flights and the island’s safety and spectacular year-round weather. In addition, Aruba remains a top repeat holiday paradise and a destination for families and honeymooners.
Aruba enjoys scheduled air service between the United States and Aruba on American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways. Charter airlines offer additional nonstop flights.
Passengers can take advantage of both the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and U.S. Customs Service offices in Aruba allowing U.S. bound air passengers to clear customs before they leave the Dutch Caribbean Island. This service allows visitors to save time as their return flight is considered a domestic flight.
Aruba reports that the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., led the increase by 20.36%. The Northeast region, which encompasses eight states, followed with a 12.54% increase. The number of nights equated to 305,570 compared to 278,135 in 2002, which constitutes a 9.86% increase.