Contrary to Aruba’s reputation as a party island for American teenagers during Spring Break, it is mainly families who holiday here. The slogan Aruba uses to attract tourists is ”Home away from home.”
Aruba – Been There

Aruba's future is called tourism

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Aruba – Been There Aruba's future is called tourism

Aruba, once part of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands, was granted independence in 1986. From that historic moment on, the Arubans have been responsible for their own future. And that future is called tourism.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

With the necessary diligence and huge tax benefits, large American chains such as Holiday Inn and Radisson were tempted into opening hotels in the area and cruise ship facilities were slowly expanded.

The result: more than a million tourists each year. The local population has profited from these developments, but many still feel that enough is enough and wonder how much tourism their little island can tolerate. Although Aruba has changed dramatically over the past few decades, the government cannot afford to turn its back the tourist industry and is constantly proposing new projects.

Padú Lampe, otherwise known as Padú del Caribe, shoots me a look of surprise when I ask him whether Aruba benefits from all this tourism. “Of course!” he says. Born in 1920, his health is starting to fail him and he rarely leaves his house anymore. But he has always enjoyed the constant stream of tourists. “All these people that come to visit my island!” he says with a glimmer in his eye.

Poet, composer, musician, writer, painter: Padú is without a doubt one of Aruba’s most celebrated sons and everyone adores him. “O, Aruba, dushi tera…” His trembling fingers strike the piano keys as he performs the national anthem for me; a national anthem written by him.

Earn money by using your travel knowledge to help your friends, family, and other travelers book the best hotels. Learn more about becoming a TRVL Agent!

019-1710aruba042194

Guests of the Renaissance Marina watch a cruiseship from the swimming pool. Cruise tourism is very important for Aruba where each year around 400 ships moor in Oranjestad harbor and more than 500,000 passengers disembark. Another 750,000 tourists enter Aruba by plane or on smaller visiting yachts. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D2X

Aperture
ƒ/10
Exposure
1/400
ISO
160
Focal
120 mm

Guests of the Renaissance Marina watch a cruiseship from the swimming pool. Cruise tourism is very important for Aruba where each year around 400 ships moor in Oranjestad harbor and more than 500,000 passengers disembark. Another 750,000 tourists enter Aruba by plane or on smaller visiting yachts.

Other stories about Aruba