A.T.A. would like to inform our community of the current situation of our tourism industry according to information compiled at this moment from different sectors.
During the month of March 2021 our island welcomed a total of 48.967 ‘stay-over’ visitors. Of this total, 43.464 were from North America, 2.538 from Europe, 1.895 visitors from Latin America and 1.070 from other countries in the region.
According to Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, in March of 2021, the ‘Average Daily Rate’ (ADR) decreased with 15.5% compared to the same month of 2020. In numbers this is US$ 239.32 in 2020 compared to US$ 278.23 for 2021. The RevPAR also decreased to 25.9% of US$ 136.71 in 2020 to US$ 101.35 in 2021. Hotel occupation decreased with 12.2% compared to March 2020 (period when the lockdown started due to the Covid pandemic) the occupancy for March 2021 was 36.4%. The numbers provided by AHATA are based to 19 properties, 6 timeshares and timeshare hotels, which are the majority of the hotels with the exception of Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino.
The cruise industry has been paralyzed since the beginning of the pandemic. Recently, it was announced that Aruba is part of the itinerary of Celebrity Cruise lines which will re-initiate their services in June of 2021. However a definitive date has not been given yet for the start of this operation for the Caribbean. The cruise industry is pending for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to approve the recommendations and protocols related to Covid-19 for cruise ships. There are currently cruise ships stationed at our harbor as ‘warm lay-up’, meaning they are on standby pending instructions upon startup of the operation. This activity produces an income for our economy. There are no tourist on the ships only crew members (skeleton crew) and they all have to comply to all rules and protocols locally and internationally.
What to expect for the remaining of 2021?
Based on different current developments and analysis a forecast is being observed for the 2nd quarter of 2021. Projections show an increase of 15% to 37% compared to the first quarter of 2021, in which A.T.A. received a total of 112,317 visitors. The revised projection indicates that Aruba will be closing 2021 with a “cautious optimistic” scenario (recovery vs. 2019: 55%) instead of a “conservative” scenario (recovery vs. 2019: 45%). When comparing the first quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2020, this shows a grade of recovery 49%. And if compared to the same quarter of 2019 the grade of recovery is 38%.
Tourism Credits/Centrale Bank of Aruba
According to the Centrale Bank the so-called ‘Tourism Credits’ (priory known as ‘Tourism Receipts’) for the first 9 months of 2020 contributed with AWG 1431.1 million for our economy which is 48.5% less compared to the same period in 2019. This is due to the closing of the border due to the Covid-19 pandemic that started in March 2020 and lasted up till July 2020.
Just as any other destination our island is going through some challenges due to the global pandemic. To maintain our established protocols it is extremely important to reduce the amount of active cases in our community. The wellbeing of our residents and visitors are important and adhering to all protocols will contribute to the recovery of our economy. Together we shall overcome this and our tourism will flourish again.