Is Aruba Really the Happiest Island on Earth?

As the most tourism-reliant country in the Caribbean, Aruba wants to keep their visitors happy. But it appears the success of a tourism product is intrinsically tied to the contentment of the local people who provide it.
 
That’s why Aruba has been studying the “happiness” of its people (and its tourists, as a result,) for the past five years in a study conducted by the Aruba Tourism Authority and Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. The “Happiness Index” report discovered that a whopping 78% of the Aruban population is happy, and 76% express long-term satisfaction with life.  So it turns out that their famous slogan of “One Happy Island” is more than a marketing tool - it’s a fact! And the result of their independent study also caught the attention of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
 
When compared to the 2016 World Happiness Report, commissioned by the United Nations to measure the happiness index of 157 larger countries, Aruba’s results rank higher than No. 1 Denmark at approximately 75.3 percent. Which means relative to its size, it can be statistically proven that Aruba is indeed the happiest island in the world!
 
Last September, to further explore their findings and its uses in promoting successful tourism, Aruba hosted the “Happiness 360 Conference,” in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization. International speakers included the Secretary General of UNWTO, President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, UNESCO, and many more. It was a great success.
 
So what makes this little rock so darn happy?
Well if you’ve ever been to Aruba you’ll see why it has the highest repeat visitor ratio in the Caribbean – 65% of first time visitors return for seconds because there’s little that does not make one happy. Like perfect year-round weather. One seldom has to worry about tropical storms as the island is outside of the hurricane belt so everyone is treated to glorious sunshine just about 365 days of the year! Then there are the beaches - all open to the public so that local families and visitors alike can share nature’s bounty of wonders and marine life together. You’ll find no gated “party prison” type of resorts on this island.
 
A high level of education and multilingual population makes for a thriving work force on Aruba. And little unemployment and a strong sense of community and family, that also embraces visitors into its fold, are also leading causes of happiness. You’ll find many visitor communities that have been coming to Aruba for decades seriously view it as a home away from home and they have developed lifelong friendships with the residents. As well, recent island-wide infrastructure and attraction improvements in both Oranjestad, and now in San Nicolas, also benefit the locals as much as the visitors.
 
But it really comes down to the people.
“As the No. 2 most tourism-reliant nation in the world, Aruba attributes the success of its tourism industry to the commitment of our local people,” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority. “Tourism makes our people happy and the happiness of our community directly impacts tourism and creates positive experiences for our visitors — ultimately defining our One Happy Island."

And locals are proud to share their island’s secret spots and hidden gems with outsiders. Just ask! You can also track down one of the new “Happy Information Officers” enlisted to aid visitors enjoy their stay better.

So if you’re seeking an ideal escape from the stress and turmoil this last year has seen, now you know exactly where happiness lives! So why not book your Aruba holiday today?
 
And thanks for joining us here; this will be our last Aruba blog of the season.
 
Keep an eye out for our new 2017 editions of Aruba Nights and Island Gourmet magazines on island soon.
Happy Holidays from the Nights Publications Team!