David Jessop | Caribbean Council | May 27 2022
After two lean years, Caribbean tourism is recovering. As travel restrictions are removed, there is widespread optimism about the coming summer and winter season.
Industry reports suggest that 2022 got off to a good start. The World Travel and Tourism Council, a body supported by major international travel companies, says that the region’s recovery is outpacing the rest of the world and that it expects Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Aruba to be among the Top 20 best-performing destinations anywhere.
However, a deeper dive and conversations with industry professionals suggest that the picture is mixed, the structure of the Caribbean market is changing, and new thinking may be required to ensure sustainability.
The view is that the present positive picture may prove difficult to repeat next year when post-pandemic traveller exuberance fades and present levels of excess disposable income and pent-up demand are tempered by a now near certain recession in the region’s main visitor markets.
Although arrivals figures produced by Aruba-based Tourism Analytics indicate that overall average recovery rate for Caribbean long-stay visitors in calendar year 2021 was equivalent to 54.4 per cent of the arrivals numbers recorded in 2019, its metrics and analysis indicate significant national variations.
Last year, three Caribbean destinations saw extraordinary levels of visitor recovery. This was either because as US destinations, they were largely exempt from United States public health protocols – Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands recorded, respectively, 103 per cent and 129 per cent recovery rates in arrivals over 2019 – or in the case of the Dominican Republic, its 77.5 per cent recovery arguably reflected pandemic-related entry requirements that were not particularly challenging.
The Turks & Caicos Islands, the Dutch-speaking Caribbean, Jamaica, Antigua, The Bahamas, and St Lucia also all showed an above-average return to pre-COVID arrival numbers.
However, elsewhere, the bounce-back in 2021 was slow, with Barbados, for example, experiencing only a 20 per cent recovery over 2019, Cuba 8.3 per cent, and The Cayman Islands just 3.0 per cent. These trends continued in the first quarter of 2022.
What these wide variations point to are country-specific factors. These range from the complexity and longevity of entry protocols, infection rates and travel advice in principal source markets, and Caribbean concerns about domestic vaccination and infection rates. Just as significantly, recovery rates also reflected a precipitate decline in US travel to Europe and Canada, with the big winners being US-oriented Caribbean markets and Mexico.
Most Caribbean destinations now hope to end 2022 in a much better place.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says he expects to see 3.2 million arrivals this year (2019: 4.3 million) and full recovery in 2024; Cuba, despite losing its significant Russian and Ukrainian market and being closed to US tourism, is hoping to receive some 2.5 million visitors (2019: 4.3 million); while Barbados’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Lisa Cummins, has predicted a ‘healthy’ 2022.
This, of course, is welcome news but should come with a warning.
The global impact of the war in Ukraine is leading to a near-certain recession in the region’s principal visitor markets as well as high levels of imported inflation, significant price increases across the industry, and a consequent reorientation in visitor demand. This will be damaging, particularly to those countries and enterprises that have just begun to repay significant levels of debt built up during the pandemic.
As currently configured, the tourism sector imports almost everything from food to cutlery and linen. Not only will global food shortages and surging energy prices drive up all hotel operating costs, but they will also put pressure on wages, making the Caribbean, an already expensive US dollar-denominated destination, less able to compete with other warm-water destinations that are hoping to replace lost Russian and Chinese clients with some of the region’s European and North American visitors.
In addition, airfares are likely to continue to rise. The global supply of oil and its derivatives has tightened because of sanctions. According to the International Air Transport Association, the cost of jet fuel is now nearly 149 per cent more than a year ago and will remain high going into 2023 at a time when carriers expect crew and equipment shortages to continue.
What this suggests is that as the recession and higher prices bite, the Caribbean market may fragment with high end properties continuing to benefit from rising demand among affluent leisure travellers, while many less prosperous United States, European, and Canadian citizens turn to lower-cost destinations such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, or head for the Maldives and Thailand.
More fundamentally, as room rates and air fares rise, significant numbers of visitors are expected to turn to cruising, all-inclusive hotels, Airbnb types of accommodation, and villa rentals.
In Puerto Rico, demand for short-term rental accommodation is already surging. Elsewhere in the region, industry professionals suggest that clients are taking over large houses and villas in preference to globally branded properties, and according to Rick Sasso, the president and CEO of MSC Cruises, the cruise industry, especially in the Caribbean, is set to benefit from the growing disparity between lodging prices onshore and cruise pricing.
Jim Hepple, the managing director of Tourism Analytics, fears that the primary tourism conversation now under way in the Caribbean has become dominated by the recovery of 2019’s arrival numbers. He says that instead of creating a long-term sustainable industry, the conversation at the moment is about getting back to 2019 and is not about the kind of tourism the region wants moving forward or whether the tourist has changed and will want different things in the future.
“If the pandemic taught the Caribbean anything it was how vulnerable the region can be to external shocks. Governments and the private sector must sit down together to plan a sustainable future for the sector which plays to the region’s strengths and minimizes the impact of such exogenous variables,” he observes.
Despite the IDB, the OECD, and others producing reports on reshaping the post-pandemic Caribbean tourism economy, few in the sector, let alone among its external partners, have shown much interest in change or recognise the need to reform the Caribbean’s largely undiversified model, which remains little different from decades ago in terms of its source markets, offering, import leakages, and capital structure.
Change, however, may be under way. Minister Bartlett argues that the time has come for Jamaica to “repatriate sovereignty” in tourism. He wants to identify how the industry might better drive sustainable economic growth through product diversification, induce growth in productive capacity, and place greater emphasis on quality, human development, secure employment, and the contribution of tourism’s multitude of SMEs.
His counterparts in Barbados and St Lucia are of the same opinion.
- David Jessop is a consultant to the Caribbean Council. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To access previous columns, visit: www.caribbean-council.org/research-analysis
Growth in Cancún and Tulum highlights the country’s jump to the top of the global destination charts. Some question whether it can—or should—stay there.
By Maya Averbuch May 10, 2022
It’s 2 p.m. in the Mexican resort town of Tulum, and the beach club at the Ikal Hotel is heating up for its “ecstatic dance” session. Inside a thatch-roofed pavilion, a sweaty crowd bops to a “folktronica” track spun by a DJ whose next stop is Berlin. Down a set of wide stone steps, fit thirtysomethings smack volleyballs on a beach that smells of seaweed and sunscreen. A “treehouse” room will set you back $800 a night, and a bottle of Crémant de Bourgogne sparkling wine runs $110.
A decade ago, Tulum was a sleepy fishing village that served as a gateway to nearby Mayan ruins. These days it’s part of the international party circuit—marketed as a jungle paradise with really great nightlife. The town’s beach strip is lined with tony restaurants, designer clothing boutiques, and chalkboard ads for yoga classes and hand-poke tattoos. With its clubs, linen-clad models, and ample supplies of weed, ayahuasca, and cocaine, it’s the kind of place where “the hippies become millionaires and the millionaires become hippies,” says tour guide Hervé Pech.
Tulum and its older cousin Cancún, a two-hour drive up the coast, are in the midst of a boom. Tourism is 6% ahead of 2019, and airlines have scheduled 20% more seats on flights from the US this year than they had before the pandemic. Arrivals at Cancún International Airport surpassed 22 million last year, up 82% from 2020. In the past two years more than 16,000 new hotel rooms have been built in the state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cancún and Tulum. The expansion is evidence of—and is fueling—Mexico’s move up the global tourism charts. In 2019 the country was the seventh-most-visited destination; today it’s No. 1 or No. 2, depending on whom you listen to.
That’s largely because unlike almost everywhere else, Mexico never really shut down. Even as European capitals were requiring Covid-19 passes and PCR tests and the US largely barred travelers from dozens of countries, Mexico was quick to throw open its doors, no questions asked, no tests required. The government said tourism was such an important driver of the economy that Mexico could ill afford to close its borders. Poverty in Quintana Roo rose early in the pandemic and the state lost 97,000 jobs, but by June 2020 hotels were already opening up again. That December the governor tweeted that people should keep a safe distance to stop Covid—while boasting that Cancún was back to almost 500 flights a day.
For workers who had to wait tables, scrub toilets, and drive buses or taxis for all those visitors, it’s been a mixed blessing. Mexico’s biggest beach destinations circled in and out of the news as they suffered from coronavirus spikes presumably brought on by tourists. Roger Martín Moreno says he thinks he got the virus while handing out drinks and coffee on a tour bus. “It started with a fever, and little by little I started to be short of breath until I could only breathe lying down,” says the 34-year-old, who says at least two drivers from his agency died from Covid.
And there are growing concerns about the boom’s sustainability. The increasing numbers of visitors threaten the area’s signature freshwater caverns, called cenotes, as well as the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Some fear Tulum could go the way of Acapulco, which in the mid-20th century became a glittering destination where Frank Sinatra escaped for a secret birthday, Elizabeth Taylor held her third wedding, and the Shah of Iran’s family holed up after the revolution. But the town suffered from unplanned, explosive growth and, later, drug crime. Today it’s one of the most dangerous places in a dangerous country. “When the drug-trafficking violence got bad, the international tourists fled,” says David Espino, author of Acapulco Killer: Chronicles of a Lost Paradise.
Cancún was intended to be the anti-Acapulco. The government in the 1960s designated the pristine stretch of sandy beach on the Caribbean coast as its next great resort destination, with specific areas for hotels, homes, and an international airport. Large swaths of land were set aside for conservation, streets and parks were laid out, and contractors installed modern electric and wastewater systems. But the city’s hinterlands—what’s come to be known as the Riviera Maya, stretching down to Tulum and beyond—didn’t get the same attention.
In Tulum only 15% of the buildings are connected to the sewage system, meaning tons of untreated waste ends up seeping into the groundwater, fouling the beaches, and killing the reef. Many hotels haven’t been connected to the electric grid, forcing them to use diesel generators. Construction workers from other states often build squatter camps on undeveloped land. A train line along the coast planned to open next year, as well as a local airport expected in 2024, will only add to the crowds. “It’s getting to a state of crisis because it’s grown so fast,” says Gonzalo Merediz, head of a local conservation group.
While the state government says it’s aiming for responsible development, divers say the cenotes are sometimes coated with gunk from nearby settlements and the sun creams that the tourists slather themselves in. That puts guides in a bind: Risk the health of the local environment—and the long-term economic benefits it offers—or be denied tips from customers angered when they’re told they can’t get in the water. “If the cenotes get contaminated, it won’t be worth it,” says diving instructor Alan Chuc.
And many visitors come for easy access to drugs, creating another set of problems. Gangs are engaged in a turf war in the area, which has fueled growing crime such as protection rackets that are hitting everyone from hotel owners to coconut sellers and bikini hawkers on the beaches. Since October, repeated shootings in the area have left alleged criminals and at least three tourists dead. In January two Canadians were murdered in nearby Playa del Carmen. In February two suspected dealers were gunned down in an upscale restaurant in Tulum, and in May a shootout in Cancún left one dead and six people injured.
Locals say police are quick to clean up after shootings to avoid spooking tourists, but not always quick enough. After a shootout in Tulum, one guest who happened to be nearby checked out immediately—in the middle of the night, recalls Samantha Raga, a former manager at a luxury hotel. “She said she didn’t care if she lost her deposit,” Raga says. “She grabbed her bags and left.”
24 May 2022 Zurab Pololikashvili Secretary-General, UNWTO
Tourism has never been more relevant. Nor has its importance to both our societies and our economies been more visible as it is right now. The pandemic, in prompting the introduction of travel restrictions, and a massive fall in demand for travel, brought the sector to a near-complete standstill. In doing so, it put many millions of jobs at risk, placed millions of businesses in jeopardy and led to a sudden fall in vital funding for work to conserve cultural and natural heritage.
As the world steadily opens up again, the restarting of tourism is bringing hope to people around the globe. Moreover, the return of tourism offers a chance to reassert the values that define the sector, namely peace, solidarity and international cooperation. The sector’s recovery also represents a unique opportunity to reassess the impact that tourism has on people and on our planet and to build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.
The World Economic Forum’s latest Travel & Tourism Development Index makes clear the scale of the challenge but also of the enormous untapped potential of tourism, particularly for developing countries. It also demonstrates that sustainability and resilience are key pillars of tourism growth and that tourism development can only be successful if built on a systemic approach where people, planet and prosperity go hand-in-hand.
Changes in demand, including the drive towards greater digitalization, growing interest in nature-based experiences and the emergence of digital nomads, will come with many challenges but also immense opportunities for new businesses, entrepreneurs and entire communities.
Destinations that cater to tourists with non-traditional tastes are already being established. But for these opportunities to be realized, the sector needs both economic and practical support. Now is the time for all countries to prioritize tourism and back the sector through post-COVID recovery and beyond. The time is now to build a new governance structure for tourism. This includes both governments and the private sector. Governments need to place tourism at the centre of development policies and the private sector can contribute to greater coordination and partnerships as well as new innovative financing.
International Tourism Data collected by UNWTO in March, 2022.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As much of the world begins to open up, the UNWTO is working to promote investments in projects that will help destinations scale their tourism industries sustainably, inclusively and resiliently. We also have the ambitious objective to achieve net-zero tourism emissions.
In this context, unlocking innovative finance will be key to enabling tourism’s transformation at every level, including through the development of essential infrastructure and the strengthening of socio-economic resilience in developing states.
Investment will also be crucial to enable destinations in all global regions to successfully adapt to meet the changing demands of consumers while working towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. And, of course, it will provide both countries and communities with the economic support they need to be part of tourism’s movement towards greater sustainability, allowing the sector to meet its climate action obligations.
In response to the resolutions set out at the COP26 in Glasgow, UNWTO is looking to create a UN NetZero TOURISM Facility and Ecosystem. The ecosystem will rest on the following pillars:
UN TOURISM, a unique alliance of United Nations partners, which will lead the change at global and national level.
International financial institutions and equity funds to support the green investment required.
International organizations, development partners and the private sector at large to support both the transformation and investment to reach net-zero emission levels for tourism.
Importance of investing in tourism
Investing in tourism will pay significant dividends, not least for destinations and their host communities. To a significant extent, this will depend on stability and peace. War, uncertainty and a lack of confidence in travel, global governance and institutions will only hamper the return of tourism and prevent our sector from delivering on its unique potential.
As such, UNWTO calls on all governments and international partners to recognize tourism’s role as a pillar of peace and to ensure the right conditions are in place to allow the sector to recover and kickstart wider recovery.
Supporting tourism at this crucial juncture will provide a lifeline for the most vulnerable in society, empowering them through jobs and education. At present, about 80% of the sector is made up of small and medium-sized businesses, many of them individual or family-owned enterprises. This shows the fragility of the sector but also its unique ability to drive transformation and development from the grassroots up. The restart and recovery of tourism will, in turn, help drive global inclusive recovery and build resilience against future shocks.
24 May 2022 Kate Whiting World Economic Forum
In 2019, international tourism grew for the ninth consecutive year. Tourist arrivals reached 1.4 billion and generated $1.7 trillion in export earnings, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Travel and tourism: post-pandemic
The picture looked very different two years later, as COVID-19 lockdowns hit the travel and tourism (T&T) sector hard. In 2020 alone, it faced losses of $4.5 trillion and 62 million jobs, impacting the living standards and well-being of communities across the globe.
While the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and easing of restrictions means a recovery has now started, it’s proving gradual and uneven largely due to variations in vaccine distribution, and because of Omicron and its BA.2 subvariant. And customers are not only being more cautious when it comes to health, but also around the impact of travel on the environment and local communities.
International tourist arrivals rose by 18 million in January 2022 compared with a year earlier. This equals the increase for the whole of 2021 from 2020, but January’s numbers were still 67% below the same month in 2019, according to the UNWTO.
The war in Ukraine has added to instability and economic disruption for the sector. Against this backdrop, the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Travel and Tourism Development Index reflects the growing role of sustainability and resilience in T&T growth, as well as the sector’s role in economic and social development more broadly.
The Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021
The index covers 117 economies, which accounted for around 96% of the world’s direct T&T GDP in 2020. It measures the factors and policies that will enable sustainable and resilient development of the sector.
These include everything from business, safety and health conditions, to infrastructure and natural resources, environmental, socioeconomic and demand pressures.
“As the sector slowly recovers, it will be crucial that lessons are learned from recent and current crises and that steps are taken to embed long-term inclusivity, sustainability and resilience into the travel and tourism sector as it faces evolving challenges and risks,” says the publication, a collaboration between many of the sector’s stakeholders.
The index consists of five subindexes, 17 pillars and 112 individual indicators, distributed among the different pillars, as shown below.
On average, scores increased by just 0.1% between 2019 and 2021, reflecting the difficult situation facing the sector. Only 39 out of 117 economies covered by the index improved by more than 1.0%, while 27 declined by over 1.0%.
Nine of the top 10 scoring countries are high-income economies in Europe or Asia-Pacific. Japan tops the ranking, with the United States in second, followed by Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore. Italy completes the top 10, moving up from 12th in 2019.
Viet Nam experienced the greatest improvement in score, with a rise of 4.7% lifting it from 60th to 52nd on the overall index. Indonesia achieved the greatest improvement in rank, increasing its score by 3.4% to climb from 44th to 32nd, while Saudi Arabia achieved the second greatest improvement in rank, moving up to 33rd from 43rd as its score rose by 2.3%.
Rebuilding travel and tourism for a sustainable and resilient future
Here are some of the key findings from the publication:
1. The need for travel and tourism development has never been greater
The sector is a major driver of economic development, global connectivity and the livelihood of some of the populations and businesses most vulnerable to, and hard hit by, the pandemic. In 2019, T&T’s direct, indirect and induced GDP accounted for about 10% of global GDP. For many emerging economies, T&T is a major source of export revenue, foreign exchange earnings and investment. Research has shown that T&T growth can support social progress and create opportunities and well-being for communities, so supporting travel and tourism development and recovery will be critical.
2. Shifting demand dynamics have created opportunities and a need for adaptation
In the shorter term, challenges such as reduced capacity, geopolitical tensions and labour shortages are slowing recovery. However, opportunities have been created in markets such as domestic and nature-based tourism, the rise of digital nomads and “bleisure” travel – the addition of leisure activities to business travel. Many countries have provided incentives to boost domestic tourism. For example, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong SAR, China, have rolled out programmes that provide discounts, coupons and subsidies for domestic travel. The trends towards more rural and nature-based tourism offer an opportunity for less-developed economies to harness the benefits of travel and tourism given that the distribution and quality of natural assets are less tied to performance in economic development, with natural resources being one of the few pillars where non-high income economies typically outperform high-income countries. The travel and tourism sector stakeholders’ ability to adapt under these conditions highlights its capacity for adaptation and flexibility.
3. Development strategies can be employed to help the sector build back better
Amid the current challenges, shifting demand dynamics and future opportunities and risks, a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient travel and tourism sector can be – and needs to be – built, says the publication. But this calls for thoughtful and effective consideration. It also requires leveraging development drivers and strategies. This can be done by: restoring and accelerating international openness and consumer confidence through, for example, improved health and security; building favorable and inclusive labour, business and socioeconomic conditions; focusing more on environmental sustainability; strengthening the management of tourism demand and impact; and investing in digital technology.
A note on the methodology
Most of the dataset for the Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) is statistical data from international organizations, with the remainder based on survey data from the World Economic Forum’s annual Executive Opinion Survey, which is used to measure concepts that are qualitative in nature or for which internationally comparable statistics are not available for enough countries. The index is an update of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), but due to the altered methodology, framework and other differences, the 2021 TTDI should not be compared to the 2019 TTCI. To help address this, the 2019 results were recalculated using the new framework, methodology and indicators of the TTDI. Therefore, all comparisons in score and rank throughout this report are between the 2019 results and the 2021 results of the TTDI. Data for the TTDI 2021 was collected before the war in Ukraine.
(May 13th 2022) Today Royal Caribbean Group released its 14th annual sustainability report, providing an update on the company's Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework and activities across its three wholly owned brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.
New for 2021, Royal Caribbean Group revamped its ESG framework to better reflect the company's contributions to a more sustainable cruise industry., according to a press release.
"All of us at Royal Caribbean Group are focused on delivering the best vacations possible and doing so responsibly," said Jason Liberty, CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "This report reflects our commitment to continuous innovation and building a sustainable cruise industry while growing our business for good."
The release of the 2021 Seastainability Report follows the recent announcement that Royal Caribbean Group has committed to another five-year partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A flagship partner, WWF will help the company continue to establish sustainable business practices in areas including emissions, sustainable tourism and more.
This year's ESG report highlights the company's unrelenting efforts to decarbonization, especially through the company's Destination Net Zero strategy, which aims to establish Science-Based Targets (SBT) and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Destination Net Zero, along with other ESG initiatives, will ensure Royal Caribbean Group develops ambitious and measurable goals for continued carbon emissions reduction, sustainable business development and growth, sustainable tourism, and waste management. Destination Net Zero encapsulates Royal Caribbean Group's focus on serving as a catalyst for innovation in the industry, with developments that include:
The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi and Miral launch new destination vision and strategy for Saadiyat Island.
ABU DHABI, UAE, May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Miral, Abu Dhabi's leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences, have today unveiled Saadiyat Island's new vision, strategy and brand, positioning it as a leading beach, nature and cultural destination, which bolsters the emirate's tourism sector and supports the diversification of Abu Dhabi's economy.
This new strategy is set to attract travellers seeking transformative, luxury experiences and drive Saadiyat Vision 2025 which aims to grow domestic and international visitor numbers, supporting the development of Abu Dhabi's tourism ecosystem.
Saadiyat Island is expected to attract 19 million visitors and contribute AED 4.2 billion in direct tourism revenue by 2025.
H.E. Saleh Mohamed Saleh Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi said: "Saadiyat Island is undoubtedly one of Abu Dhabi's finest treasures. It is unmatched anywhere in the world for its stunning natural beaches, world-class arts, cultural, educational, wellness, sporting and F&B experiences. This natural island is home to amazing wildlife and luxury hotels alike and there truly is something for everyone to enjoy, seamlessly fitting into Abu Dhabi's wider strategy as the destination of choice for global travellers.
We look forward to elevating awareness of Saadiyat's enriching experiences as part of Abu Dhabi's wider offering. From culture and entertainment to amazing landmarks and natural landscapes - all within close proximity to one another - Abu Dhabi is a must-visit destination."
DCT Abu Dhabi recently appointed Miral to oversee the destination management strategy of Saadiyat Island. The two entities have been continuously collaborating on growing the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi, the success of which has led to this renewed partnership.
By showcasing a diverse array of cultural experiences that appeal on a global level, Saadiyat has become a beacon in the cultural tourism ecosystem, which this new partnership seeks to further advance.
Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said: "We are honoured and excited to be spearheading Saadiyat Island's new strategy to position Saadiyat as the destination of choice, providing visitors with enriching luxury experiences. With such a unique offering, from diverse cultural institutions including the iconic Louvre Museum, to pristine white beaches and undisturbed wildlife, Saadiyat Island is well-positioned to boost Abu Dhabi's tourism sector."
The island's 'One Island. Many Journeys.' campaign will highlight Saadiyat's array of offerings, from a world-leading Cultural District, and luxury hotels and resorts, to a diverse wildlife ecosystem.
Saadiyat is home to the first international outpost of the iconic Louvre Museum, with three more world-class museums set to open in the coming years, and the forthcoming Abrahamic House which altogether will cement the island as a one of the world's leading cultural centres. The prestigious New York University Abu Dhabi and an international outpost of the renowned Berklee School of Music are also located on Saadiyat.
With five luxurious waterfront resorts and a boutique villa retreat located on Nurai Island, Saadiyat Island will be the destination of choice for discerning travellers. Visitors with a keen interest in sustainability and responsible tourism can experience Saadiyat's diverse ecosystem of protected wildlife, from endangered hawksbill turtles to over 300 species of birds.
Saadiyat also hosts a year-round programme of cultural, lifestyle, golf, wellness and culinary events and activities, all within one unique, secluded location.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.