Aruba’s caretaker Minister of Public Health and Tourism Dangui Oduber during a press conference at the Aruba Ports Authority (APA). (Aruba government photo)
ORANJESTAD–In the month of August, Aruba is scheduled to have eight cruise ship calls, announced Aruba caretaker Minister of Public Health and Tourism Dangui Oduber at a press conference earlier this week.
In June 2021, Aruba received its first cruise ship after calls stopped in March 2020, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This stop of more than one year meant hard times for the Aruba Ports Authority (APA), but also for Aruba tourism in general.
Minister Oduber, together with APA and the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), made a lot of efforts to get the cruise lines back to the island. Cruise lines were approached in a pro-active manner to explain the situation in Aruba and also to share the health protocols that have been put in place since the pandemic to protect the cruise passengers, the crew and the local population.
The pro-active approach yielded results, because Aruba was one of the first countries to which cruise lines resumed their ship visits and this month, August 2021, Aruba has eight calls scheduled.
The increase in calls will help Aruba’s tourism to recover and create opportunities for the island’s economy, employment for tour operators, taxi drivers, shops and restaurants. Minister Oduber said he had confidence in the recovery of cruise tourism as projected by the APA. Tourism is Aruba’s number one economic pillar.
Minister Oduber announced that for the remainder of 2021, he expected 69 cruise calls in total, of which 24 of the Carnival Horizon. “We are very happy to have convinced Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Carnival Cruise Line to come to Aruba. We see the eight calls in August as a positive signal. It is indicative for the confidence that cruise lines have in our destination,” he said.
Oduber said he was happy with the gradual recovery of cruise tourism considering that the pandemic is still ongoing. He said the delta variant of the coronavirus has been causing an increase in COVID-19 infections and that Aruba needs to remain very vigilant because this can affect the recovery of tourism. He urged people who haven’t done so as yet to get vaccinated.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/aruba-expects-8-cruise-ship-calls