AHATA: Recovery period will entail further losses

Oranjestad, April 18, 2020: Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association conducted a survey within its hotel members to gauge the current expectations for occupancy rates for the rest of 2020. These current expectations are based on the possibility that Aruba’s borders and of other countries could open back up by June.

There is little knowledge at this point about the ability of various countries to get the virus under enough control to open their borders, or of the number of seats that airlines can offer to Aruba. Another aspect that shall affect the volume of visitors is the immense financial toll this crisis shall take on individuals worldwide.

The new normal of travel with new social distancing and safety rules, as well as new tourism strategies to ensure a more sustainable and responsible approach will also influence the volume of tourists.

With these factors in mind, coupled with perceived demand for travel and vacationing, the current projection for the average occupancy for Aruba’s hotels is a very gradual trajectory of recovery that culminates in 55% occupancy by December of 2020.

These levels of occupancy fall under the break-even point for the industry and many local businesses that depend on tourism for revenue shall be operating at a loss during the recovery trajectory the rest of this year and beyond.

The painful reality is that many local businesses are not able to survive the months of lockdown and the recovery period. 

As Aruba prepares for a new and more diverse economy after the crisis subsides, AHATA continues to participate diligently in such efforts as well as to seek immediate solutions for the survival of as many employers as possible and the primary pillar of our economy. 

Solutions are urgent and we need immediate and decisive action for substantive relief for our private sector employers.

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April 18, 2020
Rona Coster