Starting January 2007 United States introduced stricter rules regarding air travel within the western hemisphere, the so called Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The most important change is that all US citizens are requiered to show a valid passport upon entry on US territory.
In an earlier post I wrote about this new rule and the negative impact it might have on Caribbean tourism in general. Apparently the majority of US citizens don’t own a passport and US State Department can’t cope with all requests for new passports. This is the reason US officials postponed the rule until October 1st, 2007.
Aruba tourism officials announced today that the rule didn’t have a significant impact on tourism numbers thus far. People are getting their passports, just like the new rule requires. Additionally officials announced that tourism is up 4% in comparison to last year. This is a general figure as it’s not clear exactly what exactly is 4% up. Details will follow soon.