Aruba Tourism Authority’s Destination Update
ince the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Aruba has implemented a host of tactics to ensure a safe environment for residents and visitors alike. Prior to reopening borders last summer, Aruba announced the 'Aruba Health & Happiness Code,' a stringent cleaning and hygiene certification program, mandatory for all tourism related businesses, including restaurants, shops, tours and taxis. The health and sanitation certification program ensures that businesses maintain a safe environment for both employees and patrons and are consistent island wide. Additional safety protocols in place include social distancing and the use of face masks indoors. Aruba’s local vaccination rollout for residents began in February 2021 of the two dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. To date, approximately 75 percent of the island’s total population have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, cases among tourists remain extremely low. Looking
18 THIRD QUARTER 2021 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
at the number of visitors from July 2020 through July 2021 in relation to the number of tourist positive cases, they amount to less than 1 percent. Aruba was one of the first destinations to reopen to the U.S. market last year, and since then, the island has been safely welcoming travelers with a steady growth. In the year since reopening, Aruba has now surpassed the number of arrivals pre-pandemic, welcoming more than 100,000 visitors to the island in July alone and hitting a new monthly arrival record for 2021. In particular, year to date, U.S. total arrivals, which remains Aruba’s key market, have surpassed pre-pandemic numbers. Additionally, our guest experience index (GEI) has remained at or above pre-pandemic levels with visitors particularly complimentary of the cleanliness and safety of their experience, a testament to the island’s ongoing safety measures and COVID-19 infection cases remaining low among tourists. The resumption of cruising in Aruba
began in June 2021 when the destination was a part of the first cruise itinerary in the Caribbean since March 2020. Not only was this a significant milestone for Aruba’s larger tourism recovery efforts, but as a destination, we are encouraged by the growing number of voyages and cruise passengers we continue to welcome to our shores. Notably, cruise guests are considered same day travelers and, therefore, are exempt from testing on-island. This is a result of Aruba working closely with cruise partners to implement thorough testing protocols, as well as high vaccination rates among cruise line passengers and crew. Looking ahead, Aruba’s nimble health and safety response strategy has enabled the destination to continually adapt local measures and traveler entry protocols as needed based on local and market-dictated conditions. For the most up-to-date entry requirements and on-island protocols, visit www.aruba. com/us/traveler-health-requirements.