Truth About Aruban Tourism
1. Reviewed the most popular Caribbean tourism destinations there are, choosing those with the most comparable events, activities, and attractions as that 'safe, happy island' we all despise so much.
2. Using www.travelocity.com, www.expedia.com, www.orbitz.com, and www.priceline.com, I averaged the three least expensive round-trip airfares for one adult to each destination. I also averaged the three least-expensive three-star hotels at each destination, again using single-occupancy as a benchmark to obtain a per person price. I chose multiple-stop flights and specified no departure or arrival times to better obtain the least expensive results.
Note that I did not compare cruise prices; given the Congressional hearings and widespread concern about cruise line safety and accountability, I just do not feel comfortable advocating this industry in any way.
3. I multiplied the lodging / hotel figures by 7 to get a weekly, per adult rate and then added the round-trip airfare cost for each destination, and compared these.
4. Finally, I compiled the rates into a table for ease of comparison:
$834 (48% less than Aruba)
$1283 (20% less than Aruba)
$1311 (19% less than Aruba)
$1341 (17% less than Aruba)
Puerto Rico (Joe Mammana's favorite and part of the U.S.A.)
$1356 (17% less than Aruba)
$1381 (15% less than Aruba)
$1381 (15% less than Aruba)
$1380 (15% less than Aruba)
St. Kitts & Nevis
$1438 (11% less than Aruba)
$1454 (10% less than Aruba)
U.S. Virgin Islands
$1588 (2% less than Aruba, mostly due to high airfares)
British Virgin Islands
$1610 (about equal to Aruba)
What a surprise- Aruba is more expensive than all but one of the destinations I examined! But wait, it gets better. Aruba has all those wonderful attractions like casinos and hoppin' night clubs (a girl for every guy and a Rohypnol for every drink), horseback riding along the beach, private island retreats, sailing, fishing, and many other wonders including legal prostitution that other islands don't? Wrong...well, except for the prostitution; Aruba has a monopoly on that. Take a look:
Aruba has: fine dining and restaurants
So does: Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Aruba has: horseback riding and equestrian events
So does: Anguilla, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitss & Nevis
Aruba has: museums and historic sites
So does: Anguilla, Barbados, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, U.S. Virgin Islands
Aruba has: music, concerts, and festivals
So does: the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Puerto Rico
Aruba has: night clubs (date rape drugs and sleazy 'wingmen' not included)
So does: the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
Aruba has: ecotours
So does: the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis (who pride themselves in ecotours), U.S. Virgin Islands
Aruba has: hiking and cycling
So does: the Bahamas, Dominica, Jamaica
Aruba has: sports venues and facilities
So does: the Bahamas, Barbados, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis
Aruba has: golfing
So does: the Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Puerto Rico
Aruba has: casinos and gambling (a good father and son activity if you're Dutch)
So does: the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis
Aruba has: sport fishing, watersports, sailing, guided tours, art and local crafts, and scuba diving
So does: every other Caribbean island in this study!
What doesn't Aruba have (a competent and honest police force goes without saying)? I couldn't find any educational attractions, health spas, theatre, caving and rock climbing, botanical gardens, or zoos and wildlife parks in Aruba. But Anguilla, Bermuda, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands do.
Once again, my friend at www.caribbean.com come through for me. Thanks!