| In an article by Boycott Watch
President Fred Taub that was originally published by World Net Daily on June
15, 2006, ( here
and here ) Boycott
Watch broke the story that Aruba had lied about its tourism numbers in the face
of a boycott related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Aruba then
backtracked in its reports to cover up the fact that tourism was down, not up
as they originally reported. Aruba's backtrack, however, was not enough.
Why would Aruba lie about tourism
numbers? Simple - The island country relies on tourism for its survival, and
the US represents the number one tourism dollar source, so Aruba officials
wanted everyone to be happy and visit Aruba despite the boycott called by
average Americans ( here ) and reaffirmed by
Alabama's Governor. ( here )
In a press release by the Central bank of Aruba on
November 9, 2006 (
here ), Aruba reported "In July 2006, the number of
stay-over visitors and their nights spent on the island fell by 9.1 percent and
5.4 percent, respectively, compared to the corresponding month in 2005. In the
first seven months of 2006, stay-over visitors and total nights spent on the
island went down by 10.2 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively. However,
according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average occupancy
rate of the hotels for September 2006 shows a contraction of 2.5 percentage
points to 66.6 percent, compared to the corresponding month a year earlier.
Figures on tourist arrivals and nights spent on the island for August and
September 2006 are not yet available."
report clearly states that tourism to Aruba continues to fall over past
declines, which indicates that travel to Aruba is still being hurt by the
boycott of Aruba related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.
The report continued: "Data published by the
Cruise Tourism Authority reveal that the number of cruise passengers and ship
calls went up by 45.7 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively, in September
2006, when compared to the corresponding month of 2005.
"In September 2006, the consumer price index was
4.1 percent higher than in the corresponding month a year earlier. The annual
average inflation rate was also 4.1 percent, which is an acceleration of 0.9
percentage point compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. This
inflation rate is 0.4 percentage point higher than the annual average inflation
rate for the United States in the same period."
From this, we see that although Aruba has attracted
cruise companies to make Aruba one port of call, people are not specifically
going to Aruba and that prices are rising as businesses in Aruba are trying to
do whatever they can to retain income, thus inflation has set in while sales
are down - a bad economic condition.
Although one may
have expected there to be an easing of the Aruba boycott or at least a leveling
off, that has not happened. The boycott of Aruba related to the disappearance
of Natalle Holloway and the way the Aruba government has handled the case is in
full force, and the effects of the boycott are growing.