As a Caribbean island where 80% of GDP is linked to tourism, Aruba has had to think creatively about how to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its latest offering is aimed at digital nomads who can email or Zoom from anywhere: visit for a “workation” of up to three months. Citizens of countries including the United States and Europe’s Schengen area don’t need a visa, while the country has a high-tech approach to COVID-testing.
Tourists visiting from at-risk areas will need to take a test before travelling, but most visitors are able to take a test on arrival. Results are typically delivered within 8 hours via an app, explained Evelyna Christina Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba, at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit.
“Our ambitions are not only geared towards bouncing back but bouncing forwards with accelerated innovation,” she said.
Globally, the pandemic has hit the travel and tourism industry hard. A worst-case scenario for 2020 predicts $5.5 trillion lost in GDP in 2020 along with almost 200 million job cuts as a result of COVID-19.
Helping the industry recover will mean focusing on safety, small group trips, access to nature and sustainability, participants in the session agreed.
This article was initially published at weforum