The recent re-arrests
and detention of three suspects in the case involving the
disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in May 2005 has
had no impact on Aruba tourism, according to tourism officials.
Although the arrests have sparked a
worldwide media blitz once again, the effect on the upcoming winter
tourism season is "negligent," a tourism official said.
The Aruba Tourism Authority reported "a
couple of queries on the subject, but that's it. Travelers are more
concerned about finding a room at the inn during the holiday
A statement issued by the Aruba Tourism
Authority said that "the matter is being handled by the appropriate
official authorities on Aruba. The Aruba Tourism Authority does not
comment on active police investigations. The Office of the
Prosecutor is the only entity that can provide official statements
on this case."
The prosecutor's office did issue a
statement when the two Kalpoe brothers were arrested on Nov. 21 in
Aruba at the same time that lead suspect Joran van der Sloot was
arrested in Holland. The prosecutor said that based on new
evidence, the suspects "are now charged with involvement in and in
the voluntary manslaughter of Natalee Holloway or causing her
serious bodily harm, resulting in her death."
In Aruba, authorities can arrest someone
based upon reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.
Magistrates investigate cases and judges determine a suspect's
guilt or innocence. There are no jury trials in Aruba.
Meanwhile, Aruba's robust tourism growth
throughout 2007 bodes well for the upcoming winter season. Myrna
Jansen, the Aruba Tourism Authority's managing director, described
the year as "resoundingly successful" in terms of stayover and
"The statistics have continued to climb
over last year, proving that the island's consistent product
improvements and upgrades result in high arrival numbers," Jansen
said.To contact reporter Gay Nagle
Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].