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Multi-million dollar investments keep Aruba top of its game

Multi-million dollar investments have been ploughed into hotels and other tourism facilities of Aruba as the island strives to enhance its position as a leading quality destination.
Following a philosophy of quality rather than volume in targeting future tourists, the Dutch Caribbean getaway has racked up a list of major investment programmes demonstrating the private sector is backing official policy.

The news underlines reasons why additional UK tour operators recently announced their decision to add Aruba to their destination menus, with extra flights also planned.  

A line-up of top companies, including Virgin Holidays and Hayes & Jarvis, have added the island to their portfolios. And leading travel brands Thomson and First Choice have announced the introduction of weekly charter flights to Aruba from Manchester from summer 2016, complementing its existing service to the island from London-Gatwick.  

This in turn follows on from the island enjoying record business from Britain in 2014, when visitor figures reached an all-time high. UK numbers grew by more than 12 per cent in 2014, topping the 10,000 mark for the first time. In addition to the 10,447 UK visitors, there was a 34 per cent growth from Ireland. UK arrival figures for 2016 are expected to grow by a staggering 70 per cent.  

More than a dozen hotels in Aruba have undertaken major expansion, refurbishment or investment programmes. Divi Resorts, for example, will have invested US$36 million (£24 million) by the end of 2016, covering the building of 60 new luxury rooms at the Divi All-Inclusive and a 135-suite addition to the Divi Phoenix.  

The Renaissance Aruba Resort completed a $25 million (£16.6 million) renovation of the adults-only Marina and family-friendly Ocean Suites property last year, while an additional $3.5 m investment is scheduled for this year.  

A programme of improvements costing $20 million (£13.3 million) is planned for the Marriott Aruba Hotel this year, while the Hyatt Regency Aruba plans to spend $12 million (£8 million) in upgrades throughout the property, with a completion date before the end of 2016.  

The Mill Resort and Suites is spending an average of $100,000 (£66,600 per room) in a further phase of improvements and following $4 million (£2.6 million) spent in the last two years.  

During that same period, Bucuti & Tara Beach resorts has spent £3 million (£2 million) on upgrades throughout the property, with a similar sum earmarked for this year.  

Meanwhile, investments of up to $150 million (£100 million) are planned in the coming years for Aruba’s Reina Beatrix Airport as traffic continues to reach new heights.  

This is in addition to the $1 billion invested by the Aruba government in recent, current and future infrastructure projects across the island, including beach facilities and phase 2 of its ambitious linear park scheme, creating a 10-mile environmentally friendly area to be enjoyed by locals and tourists, stretching from a point close to the airport to the main hotel district.

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