Our Journey Celebrating 60 Years Serving Aruba’s Tourism Industry
Founded as a tour and transfer company in 1960 by Mr. Luis C. De Palm with three mini-busses and a staff of ten, the company has grown to approximately four hundred employees working in seven different divisions of the De Palm Group of Companies.
The growth and diversification of the company flourished under the leadership of Mr. Harold D. Malmberg who along with his business partner Mr. Ramon Richardson acquired the company in 1971. The bus company grew to 30 luxury motor coaches and 8 minivans providing a variety of transportation services and island sightseeing tours.
Up until 1975, water sport tours were exclusively for hotel guests, but De Palm changed that by developing a water sport division offering sailing, snorkeling and scuba excursions, to both visitors and residents.
Harold Malmberg bought his partner ‘s shares to become the sole owner of the company in 1982, and together with his son Ricky and daughter Lisette, who had recently graduated University, set about to transform the company for the new decade.
In 1988 De Palm Island was developed, an all-inclusive offshore attraction featuring water parks as well as a wide variety of recreational and entertainment activities for guests. In 1991 with customer demand skewing towards off-road adventures, the company launched a fleet of off-road vehicles designed to take guests off the beaten path to places busses could not access.
Over the years the company evolved its sales and marketing channels to include operating concierge desks in most of the major resorts in Aruba. It also started its own Destination Management Services division to cater exclusively to the groups and incentive market, and in the early two thousand launched a retail division which today includes five retail outlets and its own retail lines called “Biba Dushi” and “Aruba Rescue”.
In 2011 De Palm acquired Atlantis Submarines, further diversifying its underwater tour product-line. In 2016 the company acquired the retail concession at the Natural Bridge which welcomes approximately four hundred thousand visitors per year. In 2018 the Malmberg family started transitioning their roles from managing the daily operations of the company to serving on its Board of Directors.
Today the company is managed by a professional management team, which is overseen by a Supervisory Board of Directors composed of family members and independent directors.