Our MinTVS — tourism, public health and sport — published a minsplanation, ministerial explanation, about the effect of tourism on our life on the island, on October 14th, 2018.
He basically said that we benefit from tourists staying at hotels, shopping in markets, renting cars, taking tours, and dining out in restaurants. He went down a list including how WEB, Setar and Elmar benefit from tourism and repeatedly noted the fact that workers are being paid everywhere, from watersport companies, to gas stations, because of that tourist dollar income.
He listed the whole food chain.
If I were the MinTVS’ fourth grade teacher, I would grant him a 10, and a smiley sticker.
But in real life things are a bit more complex than that, more three dimensional, and layered, and we cannot sacrifice one aspect of our life, such as wilderness, to support the other; we cannot be asked to choose between our SHOCOs and a thriving economy, we want both, there is no tourism without birds, or a clean beach.
So yes, as a fourth-grade primary school student, his arguments were great, but what he might not get is that at a certain point there are NO PEOPLE to service all these additional hotel rooms, and that means that we will need to import people who will cost us money – in providing education for their children and in AZV medical insurance cost for their dependents.
The MinTVS should be clear about the cost of having all these extra people.
Once you go from the fourth grade to the fifth you are taught to THINK OUT OF THE BOX. So, maybe it’s time to start thinking about new things we can do, concepts, ideas, perhaps get a brain storming conference together, invite all smart Arubans to come for a think-tank, and perhaps from the synergy of great minds, an idea will spring forward, as suggested by the Dutch kingdom and by the IMF: Alternative energy? Something.
There will be a press conference today in San Nicholas regarding A COMPREHENSIVE TOURISM PLAN for the town, slapped together overnight by Oduber & Oduber, two ministers by the same last name.
Building another cheap All Inclusive (60 million for 600 rooms, is peanuts) will not serve Aruba’s needs!
Let’s first start improving some things we already have. Our roads are in need of TLC, our schools require funds, our healthcare – we are again losing our cancer specialist, and will have no oncologist – the hospital is in disorder. We have umpteen empty strip malls, skeletons of building, unfinished roads, abandoned rotundas.
MinTVS: Please pay attention to what is important and leave the cheap San Nicholas hotel project to the other Oduber, let HIM crash and burn, and you work on your own legacy, developing your own ideas.