Solidifying its positioning as the most decorated destination in the Caribbean, Aruba swept dozens of industry awards and top consumer rankings over the past year – accepting accolades ranging from “World’s Best Beaches” and “Happiest Island in the World” to “Destination Partner of the Year.”
“TripAdvisor, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI), Expedia and Travel Weekly are among the many industry leaders to recognize Aruba for our always-evolving on-island product and marketing achievements,” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA). “As a destination driven by innovation and creativity, we are honored by the global distinctions.”
Aruba’s famous Eagle Beach ranked No. 2 in the Caribbean and No. 3 in the World in the annual TripAdvisor rankings revealed this week. Locals’ favorite Arashi Beach achieved a top 20 Caribbean placement.
Also this week, the ATA received several coveted Adrian Awards – including a Platinum, Gold and two Silvers for Aruba’s “Local Shortcuts Series” advertising/digital marketing campaign, honoring Travel Marketing Excellence under the authority of HSMAI. This 40-video series showcases Aruba’s most organic and engaging storytellers, the island’s local people.
Leading to two additional Gold Adrian Awards, Aruba and AFAR partnered on the Caribbean’s first “Insta-Adventure” – a digital treasure hunt encouraging Instagrammers to “tap” their way across experiential destination content to win hundreds of real-world rewards and grand prize vacation to Aruba.
Travel Weekly also applauded Aruba’s advertising/marketing campaigns with Gold and Silver Magellan Awards.
A testament to the island’s overall commitment to tourism and marketing success, Aruba was named “Innovative Destination of the Year” by Caribbean Journal and “Destination Partner of the Year” by both Expedia and Classic Vacations. Caribbean Journal commended Aruba’s world-leading conferences, massive green energy push and creative tourism board. Expedia applauded the destination’s year-over-year increase in travel demand and exceptional on-island experience, ultimately awarding Aruba over all Caribbean competitors, while Classic Vacations recognized the destination’s exemplary travel services and experiences for the No. 1 rated luxury vacation company’s travel advisors.
ATA also earned a Silver Travvy Award for the “Best Tourism Board in the Caribbean,” selected by nearly 40,000 travel agent voters, as well as a Silver award for “Best Honeymoon Destination in the Caribbean.”
The Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism Authority spotlighted Aruba’s digital innovation and success – as the destination’s Happiness Builder, an interactive video itinerary-planning tool, was the category winner for Technology in the CHIEF Awards.
Beyond Aruba’s tourism and marketing success, locals had another reason to smile with results of a five-year Happiness Index study conducted in partnership between ATA and Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. Confirming Aruba as the “happiest island in the world” relative to size, results indicate 78 percent of the Aruban population is happy, while 76 percent express longer-term satisfaction with life.
“As the No. 2 most tourism-reliant nation in the world, Aruba greatly values the happiness of our local people – they are the heart and soul of Aruba and ensure the quality tourism experience that has defined our destination,” said Tjin Asjoe-Croes. “With increased U.S. visitation after an already record-setting 2015, Aruba is proud of all our on-island and in-market partners who are dedicated to the destination’s continued fruition and global recognition.”