EcoTerrorism here means ATV/UTV terrorism, both the “sport” and the projectiles

One of my friends suggested I adopt the term. It is appropriate. EcoTerrorism.

I don’t have to explain the Eco part to you. You know Aruba’s natural resources are under attack. Nature is abused, exploited and disrespected.

Then we have terrorism, which by definition, uses a relatively small event, to create a big impact. We see it in all walks of life that the use or the threat of violence, aims at creating fear, in a wide audience, beyond the immediate victims.

On two consecutive days in a once-sleepy neighborhood, two projectiles are unleashed.

The first thought that came to my head was EcoTerrorism. This was the handiwork of EcoTerrorists.

How can I be sure? I was asked. I can’t, I answered, but gut feelings are gut feelings, and I will get some help today looking at camera footage.

Many car rentals on Aruba sold parts of the fleet in order to survive during and post pandemic. When business bounced back they bought new/old vehicles, UTVs and ATVs, with much lower price tags as a purchase and a higher price tag when rented. Revenue is higher on ATV/UTV rentals.

The permits, courtesy of the former minister of Transport were not a problem, he was a fan of buggies and facilitated the import of hundreds ATVs, single riders, and UTVs, side by side riders, quickly becoming the predominant mode of tourist transportation here.

So its economics. It costs less, and you make more money!

All around, including big, non-taxable, tips.

At the same time, our visitors changed.

We now welcome a more defiant, adventurous, younger type of visitors who throw caution to the wind in the face of a pandemic and travel. Let’s say for the convenience of stereotypes, adrenaline-rush motivated type of visitors, who worship trail racing, power sports, rip-roaring through the landscape, in clouds of dust, engines thundering.

We now see cowboys instead of the farmers we once had, the quieter family people of yesteryears, who sat on the beach, tanned, then went for dinner.

Making us an Adventure Destination is totally ridiculous. We are not satisfying as an adventure island, we are not New Zealand, Colorado, Alaska, we are flat, and dull as far as thrills offered, here tours rely on hype, a wooden ladder, and dust, to hocus pocus a resemblance, a shadow of adventure.

Tres Trapi had nothing to offer to ATV/UTV tours. But the park closed and where should they go? Home. Reinvent yourself as ECOTOURS, instead of EcoTerrorists.

Aruba as an island cannot be everything for everybody, and if we wish to survive as a quality tourist destination we should scratch Adventure Tourism off the menu, it destroys too much of what we value.

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September 13, 2021
Rona Coster