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Coconut Telefax July 15, 2019

Bikini Day in Aruba, With a Twist

On July 5, members of the media were invited at sunset to White Modern Cuisine to take part in Bikini Day celebrations on the anniversary of the invention of the bikini in 1946 by a Parisian fashion designer, Louis Reard.

International Bikini Day featured a fashion show of itsy-bitsy things, showcasing the talents of local and international designers, most notably local designer Gigliola Gomez, who has been active with her own brand since 2010, participating around the globe in fashion weeks promoting Aruba as a vacation destination. This time Gigliola showed off a bikini and caftan, Biento, inspired by the island’s spectacular sunsets. The bikini was royally worn by Arnalda Lampe with makeup by Andy Mendez.

Gigliola Gomez, right, with her bikini design, left.

Gigliola also introduced a young designer, Daniella Carrion, promoting her own brand with a clever name, Vitamin Sea.

The show at White Modern Cuisine included a twist, a literal fabric twist on many of the bikinis, representing the fight against breast cancer. All designers twisted their bikini tops, artistically, to help promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Among designers included in the show:

From Argentina, Cipitria, with designer Maylen Irigoitia

From Brazil, Aqua de Sal, with designer Fabiola de Oliveira Machado

From Chile, Sebastián Del Real Ossa

From Colombia, MolaMola, with designer Adriana Dangond

From Peru, Capittana, with designer María Daniela Núñez Dodero

Most designers used Aruba as a point of departure for their bikinis, inspired by the island’s color scheme, our palm trees, ocean, sun, flowers, flamingos, sunsets, beaches, lighthouse, and the fofoti trees.

During the week, under the umbrella of “One Fashion Island,” the designers conducted fashion photoshoots targeting the Argentinian, Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian, and Peruvian markets.


AHATA’s Council of Kids at Work

The conversations held between the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA) and the Aruba Kids Council concluded with the last meeting at Scol Primario Kudawecha.

Earlier, AHATA had presented the Aruba Kids Council with a number of challenges and had anxiously awaited suggestion and advice from the primary school students. The students were tasked with the challenge of attracting more local youth into the island’s tourism industry. Tisa LaSorte, the AHATA CEO, asked the kids to brainstorm effective recruitment methods in light of the industry’s importance to the island.

The young council members were allowed access to a number of hospitality personalities to learn about the types of jobs available, the benefits, the opportunities for personal growth, and the availability of in-house training and apprenticeship. The members then came up with a great number of suggestions, such as incorporating tourism materials into school curriculum.

“We can beat the challenge,” said LaSorte, “by following the kids’ recommendations, filled with common sense and the joy of discovery.”

Mirla Passchier helped organize the project, part of a national campaign to attract young people to the industry and sustain the island’s most important economic pillar.


Aruba Marriott Resort Honored

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino was recently named the winner of the Operational Excellence Award 2018 within the Caribbean & Latin American region for the Premium Full Service category, during the Marriott Operations Summit in Cancun, Mexico.

The hotel was awarded this prestigious accolade based on its successful year, achieving high results on the operational hotel-wide scoreboard. This includes impressive achievements on all audits (brand standard audit, safety audit, Marriott Bonvoy audit) and high scores on all key parameters of guest service satisfaction (check-in experience, staff service, food quality, room cleanliness, internet speed and performance, and elite appreciation).

“Congratulations to the entire team on winning the Operational Excellence Award 2018,” shared Karen Chastain, complex general manager. “I want to thank our associates and management team for their continued commitment and dedication to the hotel’s success year over year.”

This property-based performance accolade is one of the ways Marriott celebrates its associates and honors Marriott hotels that exemplify the legendary spirit to serve the customer and communities in which they operate. It is part of Marriott’s most important and enduring principle set forth by the company’s founder, J. Willard Marriott: “If you take care of your associates, they will take care of the customer.”


Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami Kicks Off New Spay & Neuter Program

Now reorganized as a not-for-profit foundation, Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami announces the kick-off of its new spay and neuter program for July 2019 – June 2020.

This program was originally initiated and mainly sponsored by Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, supported by Aruba Tourism Authority and the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund. The program offered subsidized operations for the pets of individual owners and fully paid spay and neuter operations for the animals of rescue organizations, enabling the sterilization of roughly 11,000 local dogs and cats between 2016 and 2018.

After a short hiatus, the program is back, now under a foundation. It is the intention of Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami to reduce the population of dogs and cats by means of spaying and neutering on Aruba by offering subsidized surgeries to all cats and dogs. The prices are approximately 50% of the normal cost of the surgery.

For the duration of 2019, the prices are the following: female dog, Afl 150; male dog, Afl 85; female cat, Afl. 80; and male cat, Afl 35. A microchip and placement of the chip, as well as a simple HTC blood test, are included in the price. Dogs and cats need to be registered online at and must be at least six months old before surgery.

Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami works closely with the local rescue foundations, all veterinarians, and with the government’s “National Plan,” also known as “Problematica Kill Cage, Ley di Cacho, y Cacho Riba Caya,” introduced by vets Dr. Irene Croes & Dr. Dellanire Maduro.

“Our goal is to reduce the suffering of dogs and cats, improve the quality of life for our local residents, and rehabilitate the image of our island in the eyes of our visitors,” says Ewald Biemans, chairman of the board of Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami. “Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort will match contributed funds, florin to florin, up to Afl 300,000 for this coming year. We aim to raise at least Afl. 600,000 to be able to sterilize 5,000-6,000 dogs and cats within a year and be able to continue with the plan into the future, as long as it is needed.”

The Tourism Product Enhancement Fund pledged a contribution of Afl 125,000, and an anonymous sponsor dedicated Afl 100,000 towards the spay & neuter program for 2019.

The board of directors of Fundashon Stimami Sterilisami: Ewald Biemans, chairman of the board; Rik van der Berg, vice chairman; Emile de Cuba Jr., treasurer; Suzanne van Grinsven, secretary; Louella Brezovar, director at large; and Yesenia Arends, director at large. Participating veterinarians: Animal Care Clinic, Animal Health Veterinary Hospital, Contreras Veterinary Services, and Veterinary Clinics Aruba.

Please visit for more information.


Southwest Airlines Celebrates 5 Years of Providing Service to Aruba

The Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA) was delighted to host the Southwest Airlines’ staff with a breakfast celebration in honor of Southwest Airlines’ 5th anniversary of providing roundtrip service to Aruba.

It was on July 1, 2014, that Southwest Airlines launched its inaugural flight from Baltimore (BWI) to Aruba. With this acquisition, Aruba Airport opened up the possibilities for connections from other destinations and markets in the US.

Southwest Airlines marked history on March 7, 2015, when it launched the first international flight out of Houston-Hobby Airport (HOU) to Aruba. Current service to HOU is once a week on Saturdays. As part of Southwest’s network plans, BWI-AUA and MCO-AUA services were increased to daily flights.

Southwest currently operates daily non-stop flights from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and seasonal service from Houston William P. Hobby Airport to Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).

During the last five years, Southwest Airlines was not only able to establish successful point-to-point traffic, but also made it possible for many international guests to use this popular airline to travel to Aruba.

“In 2018 our valued airline partner provided 84,849 passengers the opportunity to travel to and from Aruba. Year to date (May 2019), our reliable airline partner transported nearly 35,000 passengers with a rising trend. We look forward to reinforcing and further developing the partnership that will ultimately benefit our passengers and destination,” said AAA Air Service Development Manager Mrs. Jo-Anne Meaux-Arends.

Southwest’s successful low-cost model is made possible through high productivity, reliability, and efficiency, which are the key drivers of the airline’s 45 years of consecutive profitability.