Boycott Watch
November 14, 2006
Aruba Tourism Continues To Fall - Boycott Stronger Then Ever
Summary: The boycott of Aruba related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway is stronger than ever. The recession we previously reported has now triggered inflation, which is a very bad economic sign.
    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."

   This 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.

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 ©2006 Boycott Watch