Boycott Watch
February 5, 2007
Aruba Taking Action To Counter Their Boycott
Summary: Status Update: Aruba is taking action to lure more tourists to their island after the boycott inspired by the disappearance of Natalee Holloway has dramatically affected their economy.
    The boycott of Aruba triggered by the lack of action, or incompetence of Aruban officials as some may say, surrounding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway is being countered by Aruba.

   Over the past few months, at least one hotel in Aruba has been sold, which indicates that investors saw bargains, probably because soft sales lowered property values. Over the past few months, Aruba has been investing heavily into enticements to lure cruise lines into making Aruba a port of call, which has the effect of bringing in tourism dollars less hotel stays, as those vacationers can sleep in their ship-board rooms. The cruise-lines are bringing people into Aruba who would otherwise not pick Aruba as a primary vacation destination, but will go there if it happens to be one of several ports of call.

   While this has brought dollars into restaurants and souvenir shops, some of which sell Arubas secondary industry items being creams and lotions, it has not increased hotel nights, which is a major revenue stream for Arubas economy. To solve this problem, Aruba is now building up hotel-based tourism using their tried and true marketing techniques to increase hotel nights, rather than creating new marketing concepts and logos.

   Over the past few months, Boycott Watch has been contacted by several Arubans, including one tourism official, all making the same claim that the hotel sale and increased television advertisements indicate the boycott is over, to which Boycott Watch has responded by correcting them - investment is not an indication that the boycott is over, rather investor speculation and advertisement respectively, thus indicating some people think the boycott has reached its peak or that the Aruba economy has hit bottom and that Aruba is looking toward a brighter future.

   The most recent economic numbers we have seen back that up, and at the same time we at Boycott Watch would not be surprised if the boycott of Aruba, which has had a definite effect on their economy, is waning, particularly because Natalee Holloway is no longer in the news every day. Considering, however, the high profile of this case, there are certainly many people who will not visit Aruba if not in memory of Natalee Holloway, in fear of their own personal safety considering the poor self-image Aruba created for itself.

   Aruba has been hurt by the boycott against them, and while they are working to recover from the boycott, it remains to be seen if the tourism numbers ever return to its former glory. While some people will continue to boycott Aruba indefinitely, any natural growth of business may mask the boycott, but it will be seen as a stunt in growth. Additionally, while the economic pains Aruba has seen nowhere compare to the pain Natalee's family continues to feel, the boycott accomplished its goal of telling Aruba that Americans stand with Natalee Holloway's family.

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