Oranjestad, Aruba – September 19, 2006 – Aruba, known for its white-sand beaches, near perfect weather, warm hospitality, delectable dining and more, is proud to announce it has again combined forces with UtilmateBet.com to present the Fifth Annual Aruba Poker Classic. From September 23 through October 1, 2006 at Aruba’s gorgeous Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino, sun seekers and card-sharks from all over the world will raise the stakes and bring fierce competition to the Caribbean oasis for a week of fantastic parties, huge payouts and Royal Flushes galore! The island is also gearing up for the first-ever Ultimate Blackjack Tour sure to make the week’s festivities truly unforgettable! Travelers get the opportunity to leave Aruba a millionaire with prizes including millions of dollars, airline tickets, hotel stays and so much more!

Following are details of the week’s incredible events:

• Fifth Annual UltimateBet Poker Classic – The 2006 Aruba Poker Classic is a series of events including parties, freeroll tournaments and other fun-filled activities. Poker aficionados can enter an Aruban qualifier now to win a $10,000 Aruba prize package, which includes the $5,200 entry and airfare and hotel accommodations for two for up to eight nights by simply by trying their luck and playing online at www.ultimatebet.com. The week culminates in a No Limit Texas Hold’em, which is expected to draw over 800 players, 100 over last year’s event.

• First-ever Aruba Ultimate Blackjack Tour – The Ultimate Blackjack Tour is home to a new breed of tournament blackjack called “Elimination Blackjack.” Elimination Blackjack is an action-packed, adrenaline-pumping new game that combines the simplicity of blackjack with the excitement of poker sure to keep players and onlookers thrilled.

“We are delighted that UtimateBet.com is returning to the island for the fifth consecutive year and reinforcing Aruba as the gaming capital of the Caribbean” said Managing Director for the Aruba Tourism Authority, Myrna Jansen. “We are looking forward to the competition and the brand-new Ultimate Blackjack Tour. If past tournaments are any indication, the 2006 Aruba Poker Classic is sure to be immensely successful.”

For more information visit www.ARUBA.com.
This Columbus Day Weekend, Aruba heats up as the island kicks off the Fifth Annual Aruba Music Festival featuring rock legends STYX and Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, Lionel Richie on October 6 and 7 (respectively). To purchase tickets for the 2006 Aruba Music Festival ($60 for preferred seating and $40 for general admission) please visit www.aruba.com or call 1-800-TO-ARUBA. Tickets may also be purchased at www.ticketweb.com. Air-inclusive travel packages, inclusive of concert admission will also be available for purchase through tour operators and travel professionals.

Aruba, where happiness lives, is truly a vacationer’s paradise. Located only two-and-a-half hours by air from Miami and four hours from New York City, the island is ideally situated outside the hurricane belt and boasts year-round cooling trade winds and perfect weather with average annual temperatures of 82 Fahrenheit and less than 20 inches of rainfall per year. Aruba serves up 27 luxurious hotels/resorts, championship golf courses, sumptuous spas, vibrant casinos, extraordinary international cuisine, exclusive shops and boutiques, exciting land and water activities, unique cultural to-dos, world-famous music festivals and events and more. The backdrop of a pristine tropical escape coupled with the unforgettable hospitality of the islands people keep Aruba’s first-time guests delighted and its repeat visitor rate at 40%, the highest of any Caribbean destination. For more information on planning a trip to Aruba, contact the Aruba Tourism Authority at 1-800-TO-ARUBA or visit www.aruba.com.

The U.S. State Department and the Department Homeland Security recently announced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will require all U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, to carry a passport or other accepted secure documents to enter or re-enter the U.S. from vacations or business travel anywhere in the Caribbean effective January 8, 2007. This requirement is applied to all air and sea travel. The Aruba Tourism Authority, in an effort to assist its valued visitors, strongly encourages all travelers to apply for their passports and advises all travelers to allow six to eight weeks to process U.S. passport applications in anticipation of their vacations to Aruba, where happiness lives. For more information on the new U.S. passport initiative, please visit www.travel.state.gov.

For more on Aruba at ITKT