Page 7 - HOH
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                                                                                                           LOCAL Tuesday 27 december 2022

            Removal of palapas at the beach causing commotion

            ORANJESTAD – Recently on  it  used  to  be  on  previous  ment  the  hotel  became
            social media, debate is on-  years.  The  only  thing  we  Barceló demonstrates it.”
            going  regarding  the  pala-  have tried to do is improve
            pas  that  are  slowly  being  the   appearance    and  On  social  media,  tourists
            removed  from  the  beach  make the pool area and its  have been expressing their
            in  front  of  Barcelo  hotel.  surrounding  gardens  more  frustration  on  this  subject.
            The  idea  seems  to  be  to  pleasant, as is easy to ap-  One  person  in  particular
            replace  these  with  coco-  preciate after the takeover  pointed  out  that  they  are
            nut trees, something that is  by  Barceló  Group.  How-   canceling their reservation
            causing  confusion  and  re-  ever, to place more chairs  for  Aruba,  because  a  co-
            actions  both  amongst  our  or loungers would be going  conut  tree  does  not  offer
            locals and our visitors.     against  the  safety  guide-  enough shade and protec-
                                         lines  established  by  local  tion  from  the  heat  of  the
            It is known that beaches in  authorities.                 sun.
            Aruba  are  all  public  and  In  case  of  an  emergency
            are not the property of any  there  are  two  meeting  Another  one  mentioned
            hotel. For this reason, pala-  points:  one  of  them  be-  that as a time share owner
            pas on the beach are also  ing the beach. So, to keep  and  member  of  the  Royal
            considered public property  the area safe for an even-    Club  Barcelo,  they  pay  a
            and can be used by who-      tual evacuation we cannot  sum  for  maintenance  that
            ever arrives first.          place  more  furniture,”  ac-  includes  use  of  a  palapa.
                                         cording to the statement.    Tourists who pay for the all-
            There  are  exceptions,  for                              inclusive  are  also  paying
            example,  if  the  property  “It  has  always  been  the  for the use of a palapa; but
            line  for  the  hotel  extends  aim of the management to  seeing now as they will not
            to  a  certain  point  on  the  keep the beach as natural  be  able  to  use  a  palapa,
            beach,  or  if  the  hotel  has  as possible and to maintain  they  are  asking  what  the
            reached  an  agreement  the natural look of the sur-      hotel  is  doing  to  compen-
            with  the  government  to  roundings  taking  into  con-  sate for this cost.
            privatize  the  use  of  the  sideration the environment.
            palapas,  leaving  the  hotel  Barceló  Group  has  always  For the palapas that are still
            to build the palapas itself.   respected  the  nature  and  remaining  on  the  beach,
                                         has vowed to not only keep  there  is  a  system  of  reser-
            Lack  of  clarity  on  this  sub-  the grounds clean but also  vation,  and  the  palapas
            ject  has  led  to  confusion  to  do  limited  damage  to  get  reserved  very  quickly.
            and displeasure among lo-    the beach, because for us  Another  tourist  comment-
            cals and tourists who make  sustainability  is  one  of  our  ed: “There is a reason why
            use of the palapas to pro-   great purposes.              people  wake  up  at  4am
            tect  themselves  from  the                               to  reserve  a  palapa.  They
            scolding sun in Aruba while  “The palapas have been a  want and need shade. The
            they enjoy a beach day.      point of discussion for many  coconut trees do not give
            Seeing the reactions on so-  years  and  to  avoid  this  to  enough shade.”
            cial media, Barcelo Group  continue it has been decid-
            published  a  statement  on  ed  to  eliminate  them  and  However,  there  are  others
            their official Facebook ac-  to replant coconut trees in  who support the hotel’s de-
            count addressing the com-    their places. Barceló Aruba  cision to remove the dete-
            motion around this topic.    is  the  only  property  of  the  riorated palapas instead of
                                         Barceló  Group  that  has  fixing  them,  and  replacing
            “It has been brought to our  palapas on the beach and  them  with  coconut  trees,
            attention  that  there  have  this is against our standard.  and  they  point  out  that

            been  discussions  going  on  Therefore we will be taking  coconut  trees  do  provide
            regarding  the  chair  sav-  down  the  palapas  gradu-   enough shade and protec-
            ing  and  palapas  situation  ally  as  they  deteriorate  tion from the sun.
            following  a  post  on  social  and replant coconut trees  However, lack of clarity on
            media.    Barceló  Aruba  to  provide  the  necessary  the legality of the situation
            Management would like to  shades.                         leaves  unanswered  ques-
            clarify  that  the  number  of  We have always been clear  tions:  if  the  beach  is  pub-
            chairs  or  loungers  that  are  and  consistent  with  this  lic,  does  a  hotel  have  the
            around the Pool Area cur-    policy and this sign posted  power  to  remove  palapas
            rently are more than what  on the beach from the mo-      and plant coconut trees?q
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