Aruba has developed and positioned its tourism sector as one of the premier destinations in the Caribbean over the past twenty-five years. The push towards tourism development was primarily aimed to create jobs and to enhance the quality of life of its population. The results have been astounding: not only has the island successfully transformed from an industrial-based economy to a tourist- and service-based economy, but the island now boasts one of the highest living standards in the Caribbean. The prosperity on the island is broadly shared among Arubans. Tourism has become an engine of economic growth, totaling U.S.$2.3 billion in total economic impact, generating U.S.$35 million in room tax and gambling licenses revenues and employing 13,000 jobs directly. As a percentage of GDP, tourism represents about seventy percent of Aruba's annual GDP. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) expects the significance of tourism to increase to U.S.$2.5 billion by 2021 in constant 2011 prices. Tourism's contribution to the economy will decrease from 73.1 percent to 68.2 percent during this time span, implying a diversification of the economy. Aruba's share of arrivals and receipts in the Caribbean has slightly increased over the years, representing 4.2 percent and 5.3 percent of the total arrivals and receipts, respectively, accruing to the Caribbean region. It appears that Aruba's competitive position in the region has remained unchanged as one of the most appealing and successful destinations. Aruba as a destination has been consistently ranked as one of the most competitive destinations in the Caribbean. This ranking is corroborated by the high level of tourism satisfaction and loyalty towards the island.
The Minister of Tourism, Transportation and Labour
The Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
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Number of Pages
Croes, Robertico R.; Rivera, Manuel A.; Pizam, Abraham; Olson, Eric D.; Lee, Seung Hyan; and Zhong, Yun Ying, "Winning the Future: Strategic Plan for the Development of Tourism" (2011). Dick Pope Sr. Institute Publications. 34.