Following a record-setting year of 1.07 million stay-over visitors in 2014, The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) reported total arrivals in 2015 increased by an additional 14.3 percent, totaling 1.22 annual stay-over visitors. This global growth included a 7.7 percent increase in arrivals from the U.S. market and 0.9 percent increase in arrivals from Canada, as well as notable increases from Venezuela, United Kingdom, Argentina, Germany and Italy.
Most Caribbean islands saw a 3-10 percent increase in annual stay-over arrivals from 2014 to 2015.
“2015 was a monumental year for Aruba, not only in tourism performance but also in innovation and creativity,” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of ATA. “The launch of our award-winning Happiness Builder, a content-rich planning experience on aruba.com where travelers can build and share a custom video itinerary from 100+ video vignettes, paired with airport and island-wide hotel/product renovations and our famous Aruban hospitality, all contributed to the continued success of our beautiful destination.”
Tjin Asjoe-Croes explains Aruba's commitment to strategic and savvy digital marketing directly impacts Aruba's GDP, which is more reliant on travel and tourism than any other nation, relative to size, in the world.
Aruba's hotel sector also showed growth last year. Total visitor nights grew by 8.3 percent in 2015, while ADR increased by 2.7 percent to $237.39 and RevPar increased by 1 percent to $185.20.
In addition to receiving more visitors, Aruba saw an increase in their spending in 2015. Tourism receipts increased in Q1 by 7.2 percent, in Q2 by 3.1 percent and in Q3 by 0.4 percent, as compared to the same periods in 2014.
“Aruba's record-breaking tourism performance, coupled with the dozens of awards received this year for our island's innovation, proves the creative marketing and dedication of the government, ATA, industry partners and locals are successful in making Aruba one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world,” said Otmar Oduber, Minister of Tourism, Transportation, Primary Sector and Culture.
Aruba remains one of the most revisited destinations in the Caribbean, with half of all visitors returning year after year.
Aruba was also recognized as the most decorated destination in 2015, with national and global achievements ranging from the most digitally-savvy island in the Caribbean to the most sustainable destination in the world. Most recently, Aruba received one of only six available Platinum Adrian Awards for its “One Happy Selfie” advertising campaign, honoring Travel Marketing Excellence under the authority of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing International (HSMAI).