A lot has been written and said about the economy, that somewhere along the way we’ve lost perspective on what is really going on. One things for sure, people are always talking about the “economy” but are really mostly repeating the one liners uttered by pundits or news headlines.
The economy is still an issue in Aruba. It seems, however, things have started to look up and is climbing out of the hole it was in for the last two years. Currently Aruba economy and tourism figures show a mixed picture.
Aruba airport for example is reporting decent figures and has been showing recovery for over 6 months now. When taking into consideration the new announcements of additional flights from existing and new airlines, things are surely looking up for the airport officials. Recently KLM restored the route Amsterdam-Aruba as well.
On the other side, I’ve read reports about Aruba’s biggest tour operator, De Palm Tours. A few months ago, they announced a very rare round of layoffs. Up to 40 people out of 220 people were cut. Since the company seems to have recovered.
The second report I’ve read was from Bloomberg news service. It states that Westin Aruba building is in trouble due to the world wide economic situation and fierce competition from neighboring Riu Palace. Westin Aruba building – operated by Starwood Resorts – has been foreclosed in May 2009 and is controlled by Wachovia. This is about the building, not the operator itself.
The most noticeable report comes from a statement made by the President of Marriott International. According to the article he or she said: “some projects in the Caribbean may never bounce back because they rely on the kind of lavish conspicuous consumption that is no longer popular with travelers.”
Does this mean that the Tradewinds Club – the high end Boutique Hotel style project of Marriott Aruba – is doomed? The prices there rank among the highest in Aruba. How about The Ritz-Carlton that Marriott International is going to build just next of the Marriott Resort in Aruba? (More about The Ritz later this week.)
The economy is definitely recuperating. It has undergone a major, and much needed, restructuring and is slowly showing signs of growth again.