New Aruba Minister Wastes No Time, Invests $20 Million in Downtown Aruba Upgrade

Otmar E. Oduber was just sworn in as minister of tourism, transportation and labor affairs in late October, but already has big plans to promote the culture of Aruba in the form of a $20 million project to beef up the downtown Aruba area.

We met with Oduber during the Caribbean Marketplace and learned of the island’s three year plan to renovate, refurbish and build new cafes, shops and restaurants in the island’s downtown area. It’s all a part of Oduber’s master plan to put the culture of Aruba on the forefront.

“A lot of people say Aruba is very American, but we have a lot of authentic culture travelers don’t really know too much about and we are looking to change all of that,” he told us.

But his plan is even larger than that. In fact, over the next four years, his business objectives include invigorating demand for stay-over tourist from selected markets, including some new ones such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

The midwest continues to be an area the island sees potential growth from, especially with new flights from those areas.  Aruba is targeting possible American Airlines flights from those destinations and more, although no specific details have been ironed out.