All-Inclusive (AI) tourism plays a substantial role in the Aruban tourism economy (Table 1). Package tourism arrangements have experienced significant growth over the past decade, currently estimated at approximately 60 percent, with an estimated 15 percent of visitors enjoying an AI accommodation1. With an increasing demand for AI tourism arrangements, and concurrently, growth in AI resorts and AI offerings – currently estimated at 35 percent of total hotel inventory2 – the need for prudence is clear and present.
The economic contribution of AI tourism in Aruba is projected at an estimated Afl. 720.6 million. This is equivalent to 25 percent of gross tourism earnings, and 15 percent of nominal GDP in 2015. More specifically, AI tourism generates directly (measured by current account surplus and destination expenditures) an estimated Afl. 414.2 million, whereas indirectly (measured by business transfers, expenses and investments) its impact is estimated at an Afl. 217.9 million, with a calculated induced impact (measured by consumption multiplier) of an additional Afl. 88.5 million. Despite widely shared convictions and international experiences regarding the disadvantages of AI tourism, currently there is no conclusive evidence that AI tourism -in, by and of itself- has a significant negative economic impact on the Aruban economy nor that it has a disproportionate stake, more than other resorts, in the local tourism accommodation industry.Download PDF