Extra flights and holidays from additional tour operators are opening up new travel opportunities for visitors to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

In a major vote of confidence for the destination, a line-up of top companies, including Virgin Holidays and Hayes & Jarvis, have added the island to their portfolios.

Meanwhile, leading travel brands Thomson and First Choice have announced the introduction of weekly flights to Aruba from Manchester next summer, complementing its existing service to the island from Gatwick.

The major expansion of the UK market follows on from the island enjoying record business from Britain in 2014, when visitor figures reached an all-time high. UK numbers grew by more than 12% in 2014, topping the 10,000 mark for the first time. In addition to the 10,447 UK visitors, there was a 34% growth from Ireland.

The Aruba Tourism Authority’s UK manager, Joanna Walding, said: "Aruba’s popularity with the UK holidaymaker just seems to keep growing and growing. These latest developments are a clear sign that leading companies in the travel industry recognise the growing appeal of Aruba, particularly for the traveller wanting to experience an alternative Caribbean. We are thrilled that the additional flights and holidays coming onto the market will enable even more travellers to enjoy the unique Dutch Caribbean experience of Aruba."

Thomson and First Choice’s Manchester service will start on May 2, and will continue to operate weekly until October, 2016 on the company’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner. A mixture of all-inclusive and other board holidays will be available.

Additional tour operators who have announced the addition of Aruba to their Caribbean portfolios are Virgin Holidays, Hayes & Jarvis, Wexas and My America Holiday.

Virgin Holidays is basing its holidays on flights with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, meaning travellers may choose to fly on five days of the week from one of 16 UK airports via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The company is featuring four hotels and will offer ready-made or tailored packages.

Hayes & Jarvis offers further travel flexibility, as it offers flights on the Thomson Dreamliner flight, KLM or with American Airlines from Heathrow or Manchester via one of its US hubs.

For more information visit www.aruba.com

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