Oranjestad, May 22nd, 2012--The probability of cruise visitor returning to a destination depends greatly upon the level of satisfaction experienced by the passenger, the better the experience the more likely they are to return. Hence our interest in uncovering how pleased our visitors actually are with our port, whether this influences their desire to return to Aruba and how these visits impact the island’s economy.
According to Alfonso Boekhoudt, Director of the Aruba Ports Authority, “It is crucial that we are able to measure these factors, they are far more relevant to determining whether or not our industry is growing in the right direction than concluding this merely by the quantity of passengers on a visiting ship.”
To seek the answers to these question and to study the impression that our port has on cruise passengers, students from the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Aruba, under guidance of Professor Dr. Ryan R. Peterson, conducted a series of in depth interviews with visiting passengers at our port in 2011. The inquiries focused primarily on the calculation of the direct and indirect impact on the revenues produced by port activities and the direct and indirect effects on the island’s economy (mainly the center of our city Oranjesad).
We calculated the spending patterns in specific areas of our economy, such as: food & beverage, commerce, transportation and others. We were able to identify the total contribution of the port on our economy which include direct and indirect factors.
We also identified experiential components that play an important role in our economy such as:
a. The quality of our port and its components
b. The quality of our destination and elements of influence
c. Satisfaction and loyalty factors
The analysis of the port competitiveness suggests that our cruise port enjoys a high rating compared to ports in the region. Services such as cleanliness, friendliness of port staff, and port safety generated a high score. The study did reveal however that the impact of the port on the general satisfaction level did not have a primary role in influencing the decision to return to the destination.
Further analysis also revealed that the port’s total economic impact on the economy of Aruba is about US 150 million dollars. The average spending per passenger on our island was about US 170 dollars, which is a substantial increase from the latest figures published by our Central Bureau of Statistics in 2005 (US112.11 dollars).
Cruise tourism is an essential component of our tourism industry. In addition to benefitting our country it has a tremendous potential of continuing to generate financial gains on a long term basis. It is our intention that this study highlights the importance of the port as the primary point of contact with the passenger upon disembarkation but more importantly we want to draw attention to the revenue that the cruise industry generates for our island and how that impacts the lives of our people.
On behalf of the Aruba Ports Authority N.V. we thank the students of the University of Aruba for a job well done during the interviews.
Aruba Ports Authority N.V. together with the University of Aruba signed an MoU in 2011 to conduct studies pertinent to our port and its impact on the economy of Aruba. The study is distributed with authorization of the University of Aruba. For additional information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing & Communications manager
Aruba Ports Authority