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The A.T.A. Annual Report for 2022 showed a much stronger tourism recovery than before

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On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, the official delivery of the Annual Report for the year 2022 took place at the Ministry of Tourism. According to the law of the A.T.A., every year there are two important moments, the first is the time of presentation of the Annual Report with the results of the previous year and the second is the time of presentation of the budget for the following year. Each year, the A.T.A. has been able to properly submit the Annual Report, including a summary of results and work done, as well as the financial statements with their respective “goedkeurende verklaring”.

After the minister receives and agrees, the report is sent to Aruba’s parliament for 10 working days. After being made available to Parliament, the Minister of Tourism can give its formal approval for the A.T.A. Annual Report.

Budget 2022 and results 2022

The 2022 budget was delivered in October 2021, at a time when it is still unclear how the tourism recovery will be for 2022. Looking back, the recovery has been extremely satisfactory; the number of visitors has almost fully recovered, and more importantly, the revenue generated by tourism was much higher than in 2019. The A.T.A. set a target of reaching a 95% recovery for this last indicator by 2022 and achieved a 118% recovery in Tourism Receipts in 2022 compared to 2019.

 

Given the various challenges in the first quarter of 2022, however, the US market managed to grow its seating capacity, approaching a full recovery compared to 2019. As for the cruise industry, it took longer to recover, approaching a 73% recovery from 2019 by 2022.

On the financial side, A.T.A.’s revenues were 16% higher than budgeted, while spending was 17% lower than budgeted among other things because of a pause in various activities during the first quarter of 2022, where Omicron affected travel.

 

Focus on Balance

As part of the 2022 recovery, continued focus on the future of Aruba as a destination, to ensure balanced and sustainable growth in the years ahead. This is certainly a difficult task, but it is a priority for the A.T.A., both at the advocacy and investment levels. A.T.A. focuses on working on its side to ensure Aruba can develop in a sustainable way.

 

Fiscal reform 2022

Aruba introduced a tax reform earlier this year, and through this, e.o., the cost of doing business increased through an increase in BBO. But for the A.T.A. the reform also meant that it opened the year with a portion of the tourist tax of 7.1% instead of 9.5%, while the tourist tax increased from 9.5% to 12.5%. In view of the lower portion that the A.T.A. receives, the A.T.A. has prepared several important amendments to the A.T.A. Act to mitigate the risk of this change from the A.T.A. model that could make the A.T.A. operation less effective. The amendment was handed over to the Minister of Tourism. After a strong year and strong first quarter of 2023, it is necessary to continue monitoring now that the situation may be normalizing.

The entire A.T.A. team is congratulated for their work and for this achievement of once again being able to deliver a report with a “goodkeeping statement”. I also thank the Supervisory Board, Grant Thornton and more specifically thank the Minister of Tourism for the necessary diligence that will be given in reviewing and approving this document.

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