Island’s Largest Expansion and Renovation Campaign in Years;
720 New Rooms Being Added at Four Resorts
|Oranjestad, Aruba – March 2, 2006 -- 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 (www.airportaruba.com). 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:
Aruba, where happiness lives, is truly a vacationer's paradise. Located only two-and-a-half hours by air from Miami and four hours from New York City, the island is ideally situated outside the hurricane belt and boasts year-round cooling trade winds and perfect weather with average annual temperatures of 82 Fahrenheit and less than 20 inches of rainfall per year. Aruba serves up 27 luxurious hotels/resorts, championship golf courses, sumptuous spas, vibrant casinos, extraordinary international cuisine, exclusive shops and boutiques, exciting land and water activities, unique cultural to-dos, world-famous music festivals and events and more. The backdrop of a pristine tropical escape coupled with the unforgettable hospitality of the islands people keep Aruba’s first-time guests delighted and its repeat visitor rate at 40%, the highest of any Caribbean destination.
The U.S. State Department and the Department Homeland Security recently announced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will require all U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, to carry a passport or other accepted secure documents to enter or re-enter the U.S. from vacations or business travel anywhere in the Caribbean effective December 31, 2006. This requirement is applied to all air and sea travel. The Aruba Tourism Authority, in an effort to assist its valued visitors, strongly encourages all travelers to apply for their passports and advises all travelers to allow six to eight weeks to process U.S. passport applications in anticipation of their vacations to Aruba, where happiness lives. For more information on the new U.S. passport initiative, please visit www.travel.state.gov
Aruba Tourism Authority
|Also See:||A Destination Under Scrutiny - Aruba - One Happy Island / March 2006|