Aruba Government Building
ARUBA–The Government of Aruba has submitted a law proposal to Parliament stating that a maximum forty per cent of the island’s hotels may be fully all-inclusive, while properties selling part of their inventory as such are limited to only twenty per cent of the total number of rooms.
It concerns an adjustment of the existing ordinance for tourist accommodations. A special all-inclusive permit valid for 20 years will be required in the future, but the request won’t be honoured once the aforementioned respective ceilings have been reached.
The percentages are based on the current situation and commitments already made. Licence holders will have to give account of compliance annually.
As long as there is still space within the limits set for all-inclusive offers this will be announced by the Minister of Tourism on a yearly basis, along with a fixed period during which new petitions can be filed. These must be accompanied by a business plan that includes intended investments in the island’s economy over the next 20 years.
Exemptions to the quotas can be given by the Minister in case of for example conventions where an all-inclusive stay is part of the programme. While there are benefits in terms such as employment and the purchase of consumption goods at the resorts, in the eyes of the Eman Cabinet the disadvantage in terms of guests not making use of local restaurants is much bigger.
The Council of Advice is against the idea and urged further study. The matter should first of all be handled in separate legislation and not by amending an ordinance that deals with serving alcohol and hygiene.
However, Government denies this constitutes misuse of authority as suggested. It merely regards regulating the sector, although a new law will be needed in the future because the current one is outdated.
The Advisory Council also lamented that the Social Economic Council SER has not been consulted. Parliament in May 2015 had asked to look into such a permit system and its consequences, yet the result was not awaited.
Important questions regarding the impact on the destination’s competitive position therefore remain unanswered. The Council fears the measure might actually keep visitors away and negatively affect the investment climate.
However, Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) published some research on the issue in January and Government says that is enough to show the approach is correct. There are also all-inclusive packages targeting well-off clients and several specialised chains have shown an interest to come to the island.
Source: Daily Herald
Limits to be set for all-inclusive hotels