I’m sure some have asked this very same question, as the economic woes worldwide seem to impact all economies. As opposed to many, I don’t run behind the headlines and panic to hysterical proportions. I prefer to analyze the situation instead.
The economic impact is not going to go unnoticed here in Aruba. Recently I came across an article which reported that the bookings for the coming weeks are 25% lower in comparison to the same period last year. The Caribbean average is down with 19% as well. The Minister of Tourism admitted the drop in bookings, while the airport reported a small dip in revenue generating passengers for the past quarter.
What now? Some officials seem understand the gravity of the situation and have proposed an increase in investment, especially in the marketing budget. Local tourism partners have suggested that they won’t offer any additional incentives through price drops, as they want to keep the level of the product high and with a price drop this can’t be achieved. I personally believe they will offer incentive, make sure to be on the lookout for that.
As the forever optimist that I am, I still see light at the end of the tunnel. If people aren’t booking in advance, they might do so through last minute deals. No man overboard.
In terms of the banking sector in Aruba, it’s very solid. I don’t expect any of them to collapse because of the crisis. The problems might arise at the time a bank need to borrow on the international markets. The overall prospects for the mid and long term are still on the positive side.