Tourism Summit 2008

bron: CHATA

Sustainable Tourism Development:
Challenges and Opportunities for Curacao

CHATA and CTB organized Tourism Summit (Nov 21-22) to address the need for sustainable tourism development and the challenges and opportunities for Curacao.

Tourism Summit discussed the Environment, Transportation, Linkages and Health, Safety and Security. The topics were taken from the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework published by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in 2008.

The impact of environmental issues on tourism sustainability was introduced by Paul Kok (Avila Hotel) with panel contributions from Caroline Manual (DROV), Tim vd Brink (Ecovision) and Paul Hoetjes (Vomil).
Presenters stressed the importance of integrated planning for the Island Development Plan (EOP) and the Tourism Master Plan (TMP), the need for environmental and social impact assessments for tourism projects, public and private sector responsibility for sustainable consumption of energy and water, and questioned the political will to address the environment and enforce regulations.

Improving accessibility to our destination was introduced by Don Werdekker (CHATA) with panel contributions from Jean Francois Dictus (Transporte Publiko), Billy Jonckheer (CHATA) and Jan Sierhuis (Footprint Advisors). Presenters noted the antiquated transportation legislation and the need for a revision of public transportation (ABC and AC busses) and ground transportation (tour busses and taxis). Presenters confirmed the urgent need for a 2nd Mega Pier in order to accommodate the new generation of cruise ships and to remain a relevant port for the cruise industry. Presenters stressed the importance of adequate airlift for tourism development and the need for regional cooperation and coordination of airlift into and within the Caribbean.

Enhancing inter-sectoral linkages was addressed by Faisol Ayoubi (CTB) with panel contributions from Dino Daal (CTB), Cor Elshot (Mari Pampoen) and Dolfi Debrot (Carmabi).
Presenters brought to attention the need to involve the community as much as possible in the further development of tourism and to ensure that our community can enjoy the benefits of tourism development, thus creating long term community support for tourism. Several actual examples of community based tourism by the government and the private sector were brought forward and discussed.

Safety and security issues in tourism were introduced by Dino Daal (CTB) with panel contributions from Izzy Gerstenbluth (GGD), Ivan Wild (KPNA) and Herbert Djaoen (Curacao Fire Brigade).
Presenters elaborated on the need for adequate safety and security provisions for our visitors and to inform them of precautionary health measures. All tourism stakeholders need to actively prepare for disaster management. Crime against our visitors remains a matter of major concern and represents an unfavorable condition for the sustainable development of tourism in Curacao. Several concrete actions to address health, safety and security issues in tourism were discussed.

All sessions were well attended and there was active participation of the audience in the discussion. There is a clear interest to participate in the continued discussion for sustainable tourism development, provided the effort is aimed at practical solutions for ready implementation in the Curacao situation.

CTB and CHATA are to focus more on the sustainability of tourism development in the Tourism Master Plan (2010-2014) and the evaluation of and stricter adherence to the Island Development Plan (EOP) in view of new developments in tourism.

Tourism Summit was concluded with Tourism Lunch with welcome words by CHATA President Jeanette Bonet followed by remarks from CTB Product Director Dino Daal on behalf of Commissioner of Economic Affairs Mr. Eugene Rhuggenaath.

The keynote speech on “Tourism Sustainability: An Imperative for the Greater Caribbean Region” was given by Ms. Jasmin Garraway, Director Tourism Sector Development Project Anguilla W.I. who once more stressed the need for regional cooperation and coordination for the sustainable development of tourism in the Caribbean.