The pandemic affected the Aruban economy, just like the rest of the world. Our economy suffered even more since our only economic pillar, tourism, was severely affected. On January 4, 2021, the Prime Minister of Aruba thoroughly explained the plans for the economic recovery of Aruba.
Ever since COVID-19 knocked on our doors, the government installed multiple workgroups to start working on a master plan. 250 volunteers worked together on the masterplan “Repositioning our sails” for the recovery of Aruba’s economy. Many projects are already in progress and the commission is now working on the implementation.
The government appointed a smaller commission to come up with new and different ideas, more out of the box ideas that can contribute to the innovation of Aruba’s economy. After a presentation, the government can finally announce the set-up of a committee to work on the management program of “Aruba Outdoor Amenity Economy”.
What does this entail?
It entails developing a new economic pillar, consisting of our natural, cultural, and monumental heritage. Thus an economic pillar for the people and by the people.
During the pandemic, many countries around the world realized that social, creative, and outdoor recreational activities are safer and at the same time pleasant. Aruba has lots of potential in this field. We are still not taking full advantage of this opportunity, especially for its added economic value.
The committee proposed a strategic management program for three ministries that will stimulate creative and recreational activities, cultural activities with social value, labor, and economic activities.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Culture, and the Ministry of Tourism will be involved with this program.
The management program is in charge of the upgrade of the chosen sites in the first phase. The upgrade will improve the experience of the visitors, both tourists, and locals, at each one of these sites.
The sites are categorized as follows:
- Historic and Cultural. The committee is assessing the conditions of each of these locations to come up with an upgrade plan. The upgrade will happen in phases according to the capacity of the government. The idea is to offer creative, commercial, and recreational opportunities in a new and innovative way, to create new jobs and income for our people and economy.
Examples of these may be:
Beach Galleria, Aruba Art, and Souvenir Gallery, which will be located on the beach. These galleries will offer handcrafted artwork and souvenirs that reflect the history and the Caribbean culture in Aruba. Said galleries will be for the established and upcoming artisans. The committee and the departments of the relevant Ministries will guarantee proper coordination.
Examples of this project may be:
- Ayo Rock Formation, our natural heritage with historic value, will have the facilities upgraded, parking improved, an entrance with information and trails. There will also be places to take pictures and souvenir shops offering Ayo Rock Formation Souvenirs.
- Lighthouse. Lighthouse souvenirs will be exclusively available at this location. Besides, they will also have places to take pictures.
- Eagle Beach, our worldwide acclaimed beach will also undergo an upgrade.
- Baby Beach; soon the government will start the upgrades, which will create unique opportunities for the artisans, and stimulate economic development at each of these locations. It will also create jobs for our people, and enhance the tourism products.
“Soon the committee will provide information about the procedures to participate with the creative workshops, which will be organized to stimulate the creative and artisan industry. It is about time that our souvenirs are made locally. Aruban Indigenous history, gold, aloe, phosphate, industry, and Second World War will become an integral part of our product “Aruba” offered to our tourists and locals.
This way they will get to know the historic and cultural foundation of Aruba. This is the plan to create a new economic pillar and for the development of our economy.
”We are convinced that this will bring many great benefits for our economy,” the Prime Minister said.