TORONTO — Aruban Prime Minister Mike Eman was thrilled when the Caribbean island hit the one million mark in air arrivals last year. But he won’t be looking for two million arrivals any time soon.
Instead of expanding in volume, Aruba is focusing on the quality of its product. Prime Minister Eman has said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to excessive hotel development. He’s also focusing on neighbourhood renewal on the island, new schools and a goal of 100% energy sustainability by 2020. “We’ve put an emphasis on quality of life in Aruba. I like to say, a nice place to live is a nice place to visit.”
That’s not to say Aruba will be devoid of new builds or new hotel product. The new Zoetry Isla di Oro Aruba is slated to open in 2018, and a Bahia Principe is coming too. Recent additions to the island include The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba and the Riu Palace Antillas.
Prime Minister Eman, on a visit to Toronto this week, said he was encouraged by Aruba’s relatively high profile in Canada. “The Aruba brand is very well-known here in Canada. We look forward to talking to airlines and travel agents to find ways to enhance the connection between our island and Canada.”