A New Dimension


Riu Hotels & Resorts’ latest venture in Aruba has given the island an added dimension when seeking to attract the all-inclusive-vacation crowd, reports staff writer, Ian Stalker in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

The 482-room Riu Antilles, which opened in mid-October, is an adults-only all-inclusive, the first all-inclusive on the island for adults alone, tourism authorities note.

Riu’s other Aruba property is an all-inclusive that welcomes children and the two properties underscore growing lodging choices for visitors, says Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority.

“We want to provide a healthy mix [of accommodations],” she says, noting Ritz-Carlton has arrived in Aruba, adding another luxury option in a destination that also has the likes of Hyatt, Radisson and Marriott properties.

About 30% of rooms on the island are in all-inclusives.

“But you’re not contained to an all-inclusive. The island is your resort,” adds Sjeidy Feliciano, a tourism authority spokeswoman.

For instance, a growing number of visitors are opting to stay in villas or rented homes, she reports.

Some 40,000 to 45,000 Canadians visit Aruba annually and around 16% of them choose the likes of condos or villas. Timeshares are also building a following with vacationers.

Tjin Asjoe-Croes labels Aruba a blending of influences, citing the likes of Dutch architecture found in the capital of Oranjestad. “And then you have the Latin flair. It’s in the cuisine and music.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.