God bless our tourists

Third annual Vow Renewal on Eagle Beach

Aruba, I do, presented a heartwarming celebration on Eagle Beach, with couples young and old, visitors and also a few locals promising Andy Osborne, our fantastic wedding official to remain best friends, mentors, playmates, and confidants till the end of times.

This year’s edition seemed a bit more casual with Ruben Garcia as the slightly distracted emcee. He was not as structured and regimented as Michele Brooks, so the ambiance was a bit more laid back and relaxed.

It‘s not an easy job, to take charge of 230 love-struck individuals, and get them to focus on the task at hand, namely the repetition of vows, eloquently composed and recited by Andy.

The beach looked virgin and lovely, and the Hora Loca complete with champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres, butler-passed by the generous Hyatt Regency people, beads, masks and hats, Carnival dancers and a full band, made an impression.

The arches, swings, trellises, triangles and the Aruba sign, provided attractive backdrops for photography. I saw some great stuff on social media.  

We’re very lucky, said Andy, post ceremony, that we can congregate on this hassle-free beach, and celebrate life’s pleasant moments undisturbed. And he is right.

Though the sunset was nothing to write home about, it just dipped into the ocean, no technicolor output.

As I was walking off the beach, I hated myself for being a party-pooper and just thinking about the plastic cleaning crew at the end of the event, as guests left behind crystal welcome-drink cups AND champagne flutes, besides discarded party favors, once the music died.

I have become a kill-joy. But I am sure ATA had prepared for the inevitable aftermath.  

Attention Tourism Product Enhancement Fund: Eagle Beach requires bigger trash can, they were all overflowing.

ON ISLAND SPEND

The Aruba Tourism Authority hosted a strategic session regarding tourism in Oranjestad, the result of a survey of 6,763 departing guests, leaving the airport from January to December 2018. They were asked about their spending pattern on the island and provided interesting, albeit subjective information.

ATA also presented the results published by VISA, the credit card, data derived from 594,017 cardholders hailing from 146 countries. They spend a total of $430 million on Aruba, and also used their cards to withdraw cash, as much as $46 million.  Their average purchase was $162, and the average total spend per person amounted to $723. Visa also reported 8% were business travelers, and 92% consumers on vacation.

Other staggering amounts, I rounded them up, reveal that 190M were spend on lodging, 79M on restaurants, 53M on retail, 30M in department stores, 18M on car rentals, 16M on food & groceries, 13M on clothing and accessories, 15M on entertainment, 8M in casinos and 5M on spas and wellness.

God bless our tourists.    

 

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August 22, 2019
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster