On Sunday, I was sent the Forbes article by a friend who wrote: If you think they are not reading you, they will be reading Forbes.
Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law.
And this week it reported on Aruba.
The headline was a dramatic statement: “The Future Of Aruba: How The Tiny Caribbean Island Is Bracing For Major New Hotel Development.”
Note the word bracing, like it is an accident, a head=on collision.
Then it went on to list a few upcoming projects we all know: Secrets Baby Beach, St Regis, Embassy Suites, Hyatt Place, Radisson Blue and the Oranjestad Port City.
But at the end of the day the article BALLOONED, its writer editing the content to include:
Secrets Baby Beach, 600 rooms, St Regis, 310 rooms, Embassy Suites, 330 rooms, Hyatt Place, 116 rooms, Radisson Blue 209 rooms, the Oranjestad Port City, Kimpton Hotel, 215 rooms, Panama Jack, 400 rooms, the last two are a repositioning and additions of the Holiday Inn, Acqua, up to 500 rooms, Grand Harbor Resort & Water Park, 400 rooms, that’s the one next to Screaming Eagle.
The development of a boutique hotel around the Olde Molen, was left out, 100 rooms.
All condos being built behind and around Eagle Beach were not even mentioned.
Aruba Life, in Noord, did not make the list.
As I said before, fantastic opportunities, only they are all happening here at the same time, on a 20 x 6 piece of real estate that already stretched its resources to the max. Think water and electricity production, sewer treatment, education, the airport.
It is now evident that GOA, is NOT MOTIVATED to cut its expenses, they are NOT going to tighten THEIR belt. After more than 2 years under the same government it is clear that structural changes in the way we do business and handle public finances will NOT happen.
Get more people in here to pay taxes, build more rooms, import more employees BROADEN your tax base, raise tax revenues. Get more money to misspent.
This formula is guaranteed to ruin our quality of life, and destroy what made Aruba successful in the first place.
With all due respect, the AHATA CEO, explained to the visiting journalist that committees are being formed to address these issues in time.
And I ask, are they?
We also need to make sure, she added and she is right, that we manage where growth takes place and the location of activities and attractions, to avoid saturation of high-traffic areas. It is and should be our highest priority to ensure that the visitor experience remains enjoyable and return-worthy.
I hope GOA is listening to her.