Travel Agent was on site for the recent Caribbean Marketplace 2007, during which host island Aruba announced that agents will have more than 350 million reasons for an easier sell for the island.
At the first official press conference to kick off the 28th
annual event hosted by the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA),
Among the major contributions is a more than $35 million
investment by the Aruba Airport Authority to improve
Among the increased airlift for the island is a Delta Air
Lines flight on Sundays from
A former cargo area will undergo multi-million dollar, waterfront redevelopment that is expected to begin in late 2007. The area will be transformed into a waterfront marina that will include residential, retail and commercial components.
Among the array of hotels and resorts experiencing hundreds of millions of dollars in major investments is the Westin Aruba Resort, which is undertaking millions of dollars in renovations and has been officially re-flagged from the former Wyndham Aruba.
The Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino opened its $5.2 million, 13,000-square-foot oceanfront Larimar Spa in November of last year. The Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino is undergoing a $40 million upgrade that includes a new lobby and upgraded rooms.
Spanish resort giant Sol Melia is finalizing the purchase of
the 153-room Bushiri Beach Resort and has plans to expand the property to about
450 rooms. Notable investments of more than $50 million are being made at Divi
In the third and fourth quarters of 2007, groundbreaking is
expected to begin on the longest linear park in the
Mark Benson, senior director of the Caribbean market for
GOGO WorldWide Vacations, says the improvements are a part of Aruba's efforts
to stay on top of such Caribbean competition as
"The destination is going through something of a
renaissance," Benson says, noting
"Aruba has always been good at staying one step ahead
of the game," Benson says, noting GOGO books more than 200,000 rooms in
On hand for the announcements were minister of tourism and
transportation, Edison Briesen; managing director for the Aruba Tourism
Authority (ATA), Myrna Jansen-Feliciano; and president and chief executive
officer for the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA), Jorge Pesquera.