Boycott Watch  
December 3, 2009
Aruba Hotel Can't Pay Employees - Confirms Boycott Watch Reports
Summary:Aruba keeps claiming tourism is up, but hotels don't go broke from full occupancies.
    Boycott Watch has been on the cutting edge of reporting the economic problems in Aruba all stemming from the boycott in support of missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway. Today, true-crime blogger extraordinaire Michelle Simonsen sent us a tip, an article in the local Aruba newspaper with the headline "Strike at The Aruban." It's a headline we would have normally glossed over, and thanks to Ms. Simonsen, we read the details. The newspaper reports that the Aruban hotel has missed its payroll, and in response hotel employees held an in-lobby protest. Had this been a single event we would have ignored it, but the same report says the hotel had to close its Sales & Marketing department earlier this year, meaning the hotel had low sales long before the U.S. economic troubles so the Arubans cannot blame the U.S. economy for their woes. The Aruba government is blaming their woes on the drop In the U.S. economy, but if sales and marketing departments close because of long-term drop in sales, the hotel is not just expecting to regain lost business. Without sales there is no profit so the longer such departments remain closed, the harder it will be for those hotels to turn a profit, and apparently those hotels are just not expecting long-term and large profits.

    In our most recent report, Aruba had blamed the U.S. economy for low tourism, but Boycott Watch had hands-on reporting showing Americans who were on cruise ships which docked in Aruba were purposely not getting off the boat and those who did spent little or no money on the Island in support of the boycott inspired by the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

    Boycott Watch also reported how Aruba recently had to borrow one sixth of their GDP to stay afloat this year, a clear indication that tourism, the primary industry in Aruba, was in trouble. Further indicating the level of trouble for the hotel and tourism business is the fact that the Aruban Hotel has a large casino, which is just a cash cow, and the lack of revenue from that part of the casino operation speaks volumes about the nation is doing financially.

    From a tourist standpoint, there are many bargain deals for travel packages to Aruba, and the low costs indicate a lack of current demand as we approach the Spring Break sales season, and that's not a good sign for Aruba. It tells us hotels in Aruba are fighting for every tourist dollar they can get, even taking a small loss on the hotel room while hoping to make it all up in casino and food service revenue. This is not a good time to go to Aruba because you may find your hotel room reservation to be void because the hotel you paid for in a package may be closed when you get there. It's a gamble, so if you do go, make sure you have plenty of cash and credit on hand in case you need to suddenly change hotels. From a business standpoint, international investors may find some bargains, but Aruba is a risky investment considering the fact that Americans no longer want to go there and because the Aruba government has had to borrow large sums of money, do they may have to cut back on basic services.

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