ORANJESTAD — The Aruba Timeshare Association (ATSA) has held a general meeting at La Cabana Beach Resort and Casino. The ministers Dangui Oduber (Tourism and Public Health), Ursell Arends (Integrity, Nature, Transport and Elderly Care), and Endy Croes (Education and Sport) were also present. They updated the members on various topics. The association presented the annual figures for 2021 and gave a short update about the Security Foundation.
Minister Oduber spoke about recent developments and the exit strategy of the pandemic. He announced an increase in the hospital’s intensive care capacity, new entrance protocols at the border, and a strategy for society, accepting antigen tests and strengthening the Directorate of Public Health (DBG), and advancing the vaccination program.
He also spoke about tourism policy, the six areas that the Aruba Tourism Product Enhancement Fund (TPEF) focuses on attractions, safety, environment, heritage, awareness, and investment. For example, Eagle Beach is being further developed, the sand that has been dredged from the harbor is used to replenish the stocks of white sand, the Malmok Board Walk project Phase three, the maintenance and beautification of the stairs of the Hooiberg, the restoration of Fort Zoutman, sustainable waste policy through the cleaning service of TPEF and special waste bins for this and funds for the dog and cat sterilization program Stimami Sterisami.
The Minister of Education and Sport discussed the efforts of the SPO practical education to better integrate students into the labor market, also by informing the companies and not just the students. The SPO promotes inclusiveness and sustainable economic growth, and employment for all to improve quality of life. At the SPO, students with an IQ between 60 and 80 points are also taught, so that they learn to follow instructions. According to Minister Croes, if they are sufficiently motivated, these students can mean a lot to employers because they are loyal and do good work. The program includes students aged 12 to 18 who can start work immediately after three years of practical training.
The Minister of Nature gave an update on the current status of the sewage treatment plant at Bubali Plas, which is not included in the reforms of the Land Package. Funds are not available but the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) is investigating the possibility of privatizing the installation. Meanwhile, the current facility is being refurbished to expand capacity, work is underway to introduce environmental laws for waste and the United Western Wetland Area is intended to become a protected area under the management of Arikok National Park.