The Aruba Tourism Authority has announced that tourism to the island is off to a strong start in 2011, with a 5.2 percent increase in visitors this January compared to the same period in 2010, allowing the island to break their January 2008 record (71,262 stay-over visitors) as they welcomed 74,965 visitors this year.
An increase in bookings for the first quarter from the North American market, compared to the same period last year, is also anticipated. Additionally, improved air service from the Canadian market and generally positive market conditions indicate that visitor numbers from Canada will continue to increase.
In 2010, Aruba experienced an overall increase in visitor arrival numbers of 1.48 percent when compared to 2009. Aruba’s top three markets accounted for 80.85 percent of the total visitors and the U.S. remained the largest visitor generating market with a 64.96 percent market share, followed by Venezuela (11.01 percent) and the Netherlands (4.90 percent).
The local cruise industry is also faring well. While the 2009-2010 season received 289 calls and 516,000 passengers, the 2010-2011 cruise season will see an increase to 310 calls and approximately 530,000 passengers, which is a roughly 5-percent increase over the 2009 season. Aruba expects to surpass the 100,000 cruise visitor per month mark in March 2011.