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Aruba Nights Island Guide
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Thread: Residents renting Timeshare units for their "Staycations"

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Residents renting Timeshare units for their "Staycations"

    I received a private message from a long term member and is also a long time Aruba resident.

    This forum member did not give me permission to post his/her name, so I won't.

    He/She does not want to cause controversy.

    There are some VERY VALID points in the message that I received.

    I did pass on the message to the Minister of Tourism and to the CEO of the ATA and to the CEO of AHATA.

    Please, if you choose to respond, we ask that it be civil and I want to remind everyone, that the Aruba locals welcome us to their home with open arms.
    I also say that I totally get it and can commiserate with those that are affected by the situation.



    We welcome thoughtful and civil discussion.

    Here is the message that I was sent an hour ago.

    Locals Crowding Resorts

    Hi Andrea, I do not want to start a controversy on the board but there is currently a big issue here. At least two resorts, Surf Club and Caribbean Palm Village have rented to swarms of locals this vacation week. So here is the issue:

    Aruba insists tourists coming to the island spend $$ for and jump through hoops to get a covid test in order to be on the island. Aruba is also insisting people pay extra $$ for insurance in the event they contract covid while here.

    Tourists do that thinking they are as safe as possible because they are going to a resort where everyone has been tested....even if others have been there for 5-7 days and the test is not on the spot recent.

    WRONG: Tourists arrive and low and behold resort is loaded with locals...and as noted kids who are wild and unsupervised. There are over 400 active cases on the island among locals...who knows who at the resort has been in contact with an active covid patient. No testing for locals except a hand spray and temp check. And at least half of the rentals include another 4-6 'guests' who arrive to spend the day.

    They are exposing tourists many of whom are coming from towns and cities with far fewer than 400 cases.

    What is heavens name is wrong with those in charge here???

    I have an 80 year old friend who arrived on Sunday and is staying at one of those resorts....when she reported what was happening I told her to stay in her room until Monday. How sad!

    I have notified 2 people I know who were considering coming to Aruba over the Christmas holiday (another time when locals hit the resorts) and told them to stay away unless this issue is resolved.

    Please, in your role will share this issue with the tourist board. It borders on insanity!!!
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 10-10-2020 at 12:53 AM.
    November 26 - December 10 Photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/K6JFHPUx18oB69Nh7
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    I whole-heartedly disagree with the sentiment that tourist should feel safe that they are going to a resort with other tourists who have been tested. If you are a high risk person, who has concerns with the ability to fight off covid, I don't think you should travel at this time. If the small town someone lives in feels safer by the numbers, then stay there until you are comfortable again. It is a personal choice of course but expecting a country to impose the same expense and requirements on their people as they do nonessential travelers does not seem necessary to me. Are resort and restaurants testing daily
    ? Tour operators, taxi drivers, no, so if you interact with anyone who lives on Aruba, its not different than someone staying in a hotel with you.
    Locals have had a tough year, just like us. If they can afford a little R&R at a resort, good for them. And this keeps more of their fellow Arubans employed.

    The issue of unsupervised children should be addressed with hotel security and/or management.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Hmm, my feeling is, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. There are risks at home and there are risks with travel. When deciding whether or not to travel we need to research what is going on with the virus. Aruba posts a daily status report on the number of cases, including a break down of how many residents are sick, as well as, how many tourists found positive. This posted information should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to travel to the island. We get a similar daily report in our city. We use that information to decide if the risk is low enough for us to feel safe dining out.

    As for locals at the resort, my feeling is, the island is their home. People desire/need a vacation and they are choosing to spend their vacation time on the island. Could we really expect the residents of Aruba to just stay in their homes so that the tourists can enjoy the beaches? That wouldn’t seem fair to me.

    In trips past, we had issues with unruly/unsupervised kids at a resort and so we no longer stay there. Unsupervised children on vacation is not all that unusual.

    To sum it up, I think it’s unrealistic in the climate we are in to expect to travel anywhere and be 100% safe. Until there is a vaccine we all need to be responsible and weigh the risks. It really doesn’t come down to local vs tourist.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyd14 View Post
    I whole-heartedly disagree with the sentiment that tourist should feel safe that they are going to a resort with other tourists who have been tested. If you are a high risk person, who has concerns with the ability to fight off covid, I don't think you should travel at this time. If the small town someone lives in feels safer by the numbers, then stay there until you are comfortable again. It is a personal choice of course but expecting a country to impose the same expense and requirements on their people as they do nonessential travelers does not seem necessary to me. Are resort and restaurants testing daily
    ? Tour operators, taxi drivers, no, so if you interact with anyone who lives on Aruba, its not different than someone staying in a hotel with you.
    Locals have had a tough year, just like us. If they can afford a little R&R at a resort, good for them. And this keeps more of their fellow Arubans employed.

    The issue of unsupervised children should be addressed with hotel security and/or management.
    I think the big issue is that those who are working-in hotels, restaurants, tour operators, taxis, etc. are following protocols. However, those staying in the resorts are not social distancing, and not wearing masks which is exactly why the virus has spread so quickly on the island. Yes, they are entitled to have some R&R but they also need to follow protocols and control their children.

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    I believe that is exactly what the person who messaged me feels too.
    All should be practicing social distancing, wearing masks and following the rules that have been set for the safe opening of Aruba.

    Yes, we as tourists do have to be sure that we are NOT bringing disease into Aruba.
    Aruba is right making us do the hoop jumping.
    If all people are not following the protocol plan, what is the point of the protocols?

    It has got to be ALL that practice safe actions.


    Quote Originally Posted by robin View Post
    I think the big issue is that those who are working-in hotels, restaurants, tour operators, taxis, etc. are following protocols. However, those staying in the resorts are not social distancing, and not wearing masks which is exactly why the virus has spread so quickly on the island. Yes, they are entitled to have some R&R but they also need to follow protocols and control their children.
    November 26 - December 10 Photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/K6JFHPUx18oB69Nh7
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  6. #6
    Senior Member SkiChris's Avatar
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    I was on vacation at the Marriott Aruba Surf Club in September and I offer these photographs from my visit to the beach 27 days ago, on Sunday Sept 13 2020. I chose to post the photographs I have from a Sunday, as a weekend would be the best example of a day when local residents are most available to visit their local beaches. Please note that I’ve stressed the word “their” local beaches. All of the beaches in Aruba are public, they belong to the people of Aruba, and as tourists we should be very grateful that we are welcome to share in that paradise.
    I took these photos on a Sunday at 12:30pm. My palapa is in the very front row on the beach (closest to ocean) at the Marriott Aruba Surf Club (I am a timeshare owner there). I had been at the pool for the morning and had just moved to the beach after lunch…so to arrive at 12:30 and get an ocean-front palapa should document how truly empty the beach was, as you can see in my palapa photo. The second photo is of the water to demonstrate how well people were spaced apart and how much room there was in the ocean to find your “happy place” in the sea. The Surf Club resort was at ~25% capacity, at best, as clearly evidenced by my photographs. The staff at the Marriott was excellent. I felt extremely safe. Throughout my stay in Aruba, I found the residents to be extremely aware of the magnitude and reach of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were respectful of my safety, and ever mindful to make me smile.
    Residents renting Timeshare units for their "Staycations"-sun-sept-13-2020-palapa-marriott-aruba-surf-club-jpgResidents renting Timeshare units for their "Staycations"-sun-sept-13-2020-beach-marriott-aruba-surf-club-jpg
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    Well the number of daily positive cases seems to be going down this month. Lets hope it continues and doesn't get affected by crowding of resorts. I have mix feelings about this situation. On the one hand it is their island, they deserve some rest, relaxation. I checked into a local hotel last month and was not required to be tested but they took my temperature and required I wore mask at the property. When I entered or exit the pool I was expected to wear the mask except in the water. So it would be unrealistic to expect a local checking into a hotel to get tested. It's their home, their turf. However, to the posters point, they are requiring us to get tested prior to departing there, get insurance and the whole nine yards. They advertise that it's for our safety as well. But if they are going to have a bunch of locals at resorts, how I can I feel safe if I'm not sure if they got tested or are positive? The same can be said for other guest non locals who tested 3 days before their trip but at least I know they all went thru the same protocol I did. I dunno.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member EDMLS1358's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegmeister View Post
    Hmm, my feeling is, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. There are risks at home and there are risks with travel. When deciding whether or not to travel we need to research what is going on with the virus. Aruba posts a daily status report on the number of cases, including a break down of how many residents are sick, as well as, how many tourists found positive. This posted information should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to travel to the island. We get a similar daily report in our city. We use that information to decide if the risk is low enough for us to feel safe dining out.

    As for locals at the resort, my feeling is, the island is their home. People desire/need a vacation and they are choosing to spend their vacation time on the island. Could we really expect the residents of Aruba to just stay in their homes so that the tourists can enjoy the beaches? That wouldn’t seem fair to me.

    In trips past, we had issues with unruly/unsupervised kids at a resort and so we no longer stay there. Unsupervised children on vacation is not all that unusual.

    To sum it up, I think it’s unrealistic in the climate we are in to expect to travel anywhere and be 100% safe. Until there is a vaccine we all need to be responsible and weigh the risks. It really doesn’t come down to local vs tourist.
    I agree with almost everything you say but the resort has an obligation to its owners first not the local citizens. Until this virus happened the Surf Club did not give locals access to the resort. The management of the Surf Club should have informed its owners about what is was doing and allow us to decide if we would like to cancel our trip or come at another time. With all the kids running around who will be responsible for any damage that might be caused?The issue as I see it is that we as visitors had to be tested but the locals who are sharing the resort with us did not. That does not seem to be a safe way of doing business.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Kent-ArubaBob's Avatar
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    Well all I know is last week was the crazy week because the Island is out of School for the week. So this has nothing to do with Covid. That always was a BIG local week. So I can assure you that this week will be alot more tame and calm. But the resorts have to stick to the rules weather they are local or tourist. The testing is one thing but they have to enforce mask and social distance for everyone to be fair. And they have really taken a hit so they are probably glad trying to get to a fuller schedule so the Locals still have jobs. Its a tough deal for everyone. AB
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  10. #10
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    I had multiple texts from the kids last night. One of the board members and a full time resident appeared to have a large outdoor party last night-DJ, lights, etc. No social distancing, no masks. The kids talked to security and called the police 2x but nothing was done-it was approved by the board or property manager. They were so very upset not about a party, but the fact they were not following any covid protocols. One guard told them it was a group of owners from Venezuelans who are doctors, but with the borders closed, I tend to think it was all local friends. I think the locals need the treat of shutting down the island with no financial aid to do what is necessary to prevent another surge.

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