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Aruba's "beaches are public property"


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Friday, March 02, 2007

"Marriott wants the beach for herself http://www.amigoe.com/english/


Water sport businesses are upset with the Marriott Hotel, because it wants to have the businesses removed from the beach via the court.


ORANJESTAD– A great number of water sport businesses are very upset with the Marriott hotel, because they say that the hotel wants to have them removed from the beach in front of the hotel. The Marriott has recently instituted a lawsuit against the National Government, demanding the government to meet her commitments and remove the buildings on the beach in front of the hotel.


The hotel’s lawyer Johan Sjiem Fat confirmed that the Marriott wants that indeed. But this is not new, besides it is part of the commitments with the government about the Hadicurari fishing center. The old center was old, was right before the new Surf Club that Marriott was building, and didn’t actually fit it the surroundings. After negotiations with the government and the fishermen on relocating the center elsewhere, the Marriott committed to invest almost 4 million dollars in a new fishing center and pier; part of the commitments with the government was also that no other buildings will be permitted on the beach. When the center was complete, the hotel thought that everybody was pleased and that the government would then relocate the other 10 water sport businesses on that particular beach.


Independent Water-sport Foundation Aruba (IWFA) is convinced that after having invested in Hadicurari, the Marriott now thinks that they have the right on a private beach. It was nice that the hotel had built a new fishing center, but that’s something that nobody, especially the fishermen needed. IWFA said that the water sporters will use all laws to fight and resist Marriott’s plans. The beaches are public property and if the hotel is allowed to decide on who can earn her living on the beach, it means that the beaches are being privatized. The problem is not that the water sport buildings interfere with the view. The hotel herself has many buildings on the beach, like palapa’s, bars, and shower facilities, for which they don’t even have a permit, and the DOW is aware of that. So if the government has to meet her commitments and relocate all the buildings on the beach, it also includes Marriott’s buildings.


The real problem is that the hotel does not want competition. It wants to replace the local water sport businesses with a few big ones, with whom it has an arrangement. The hotel thinks that with a lot of money it can arrange everything. But the businesses are there for a very long time, some of them for even 20 years; they have invested a lot of money in those businesses. This is a fight for equal treatment. Besides, if Marriott gets her way, all other hotels will follow. The Hyatt is already sending cruise-tourists away form what it calls ‘her’ beach saying that the beach is private property."

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Hello - just wondered if you know whether the beach by the Bukuti Hotel is open to the public? We'll be coming in on a cruise ship and wanted to go to a beautiful beach where we can also snorkel.

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All the beaches in Aruba are public so you can go to and use any beach you wish. I do not know however whether or not the Bucuti would allow you to use their restroom facilities. There is nothing to see snorkeling wise at their beach.

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