The surge of illegal vacation homes on Aruba

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(Oranjestad)—While the surge of vacations on the island has brought with it new economic opportunities, it also brought a flourishing illegal market. Illegal vacation homes began to surge around the island. These are properties rented out to tourists without appropriate registration, local permit of adherence to health and security regulations.

What’s attraction of quick-earned money, along with risks perceived as under detected, has tempted many home owners to partake in this illegal business. The lack of regulation and supervision in the early stages of this industry has nurtured the proliferation of illegal rentals on the island.

The surge of illegal vacation homes on Aruba has significant negative effects on the island.

Economic Impact

Illegal vacation homes evade local taxes and regulation fees, which cause significant damage to the economy of Aruba. This lost entry could be used to improve local infrastructure, improve touristic services and finance other public projects.

Competition and distortion within the market

Illegal rental homes that do not adhere to regulations and that do not pay license fees, could permit lower prices compared to the legal market. This unfair competition can cause damage to legitimate vacation rentals and hotels, causing distortion within the market.

Impact on local community

A surge of tourists within residential neighborhoods, fueled by the illegal vacation rentals, could disrupt local living. Noises, traffic and potential damage to community resources and facilities is a common problem, creating a fragile relationship between locals and tourists.

Safety and experience of tourists
Often time, illegal renting does not follow standard security regulations, which could put the safety of tourists at risks. Additionally, service quality could not meet expectations, negatively affecting the experiences of tourists and the reputation of Aruba as a tourist destination.

This is why it is important for the government of Aruba to start attending to this illegal phenomenon that is circling around the island, to prevent the further growth of an illegitimate industry and the negative effects that this brings with it.

Pictures are illustrative.