The big guns. I enjoyed watching Aruba’s tourism pioneers, Harold Malmberg and Eduardo de Veer on TV. Both advocated a timeout and an opportunity for an independent study regarding the suggested change in the law of hotel licensing. I remember a poster in Harold’s old office, depicting a local fisherman and his grandson, the poster had a caption: The quiet voice of experience. I really like that saying, it reflects the authority, and credibility these two men have in our community, having successfully navigated the precarious previous four or five decades at the helm of their companies.
I liked the point Eduardo made about his company’s participation in the economy, over 20 million in water and electricity, over 20 millions in the purchase of supplies locally, and over 50 millions in wages and benefits. He is an excellent politician and he lined up all stakeholder, the MinFin, Central Bank, and ATIA, among others, stating we’re all in agreement that an independent study is required. It was an excellent strategy to show we’re all on the same page. We’re not polarized; we’re all united in favor of fact-based decision-making, rejecting decisions made based on notions. He also made a good point about the impossibility of changing the rules mid-game. Having made the investment, as the permits were granted, a change in the business-model cannot be enforced.
I liked some of the points Harold made. He pointed out that 30 years ago, we were all building timeshare resorts, and now the demand is smaller, demonstrating the capricious nature of the business and the need to go with the flow and provide the client with what he wants to buy, not just what we want to sell. He also talked about the density on Palm Beach, with many dozens of restaurants within walking distance, which has taken the taxis out of the equation. He pointed out to the many segment of the market, water sports, car rentals, restaurants, vacation rentals, condos, none of them regulated, and questioned the urgency to all of a sudden regulate all inclusive resorts.
Eduardo might have made that point, but never mind, they were both excellent ambassadors of the local tourist industry, they spoke well, and I hope Aruba listened.
The video production, granted, it was a rush job, showcased our lovely island and all that is gorgeous and right about it.
I don’t know why the serenity prayer just came into my mind but it did: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
TIRE BURNOUT IN ARASHI. We went to the Arashi Beach last Sunday, soaked up the last rays of the overcast sun and realized the sunset was cancelled. Sahara dust was in the air, but we had a good time nevertheless, except for the motorcycles which wouldn’t give us a break, they went around the parking lot all afternoon, gunning their engines and screeching their tires, gunning their engines and screeching their tires. Give me a break! By 8:30pm we folded our beach-chairs and were prepared to go home, when some souped up cars took their departure burning tires, and leaving long squiggly rubber marks behind. I checked Wikipedia: Burnout is the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary and spinning its wheels, causing the tires to heat up and smoke due to friction. That’s it, so imaging Arashi Beach on a Sunday night with these morons behind wheels. Gotta talk to Bert Kelkboom, the operator of the Arashi kiosk, to keep his noisy, polluting friends away, or to tell them to behave!