WIT Press

Sustainable Tourism Development On Curaçao – The Implementation Challenge


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V. Dinica


In 1997, a comprehensive policy program for sustainable tourism was adopted by the Netherlands Antilles government. This paper is empirically-oriented and analyses the implementation of two measures of this policy on one of the five islands, Curaçao, for the period 1998-2005. It investigates the implementation initiatives by various stakeholders, and the factors that affected the attitudes of the actors expected to implement the measures. Environmental NGOs have been key drivers for the voluntary implementation initiatives, together with the federal environmental agency. However, their success in stimulating environmentallyresponsible operations by tourism companies was limited. The paper underpins several lessons for the design and implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives that are especially relevant for developing countries. Keywords: Curaçao, policy implementation, sustainable tourism. 1 Introduction Curaçao is an island of the federation of Netherlands Antilles (NL-Antilles), situated in the Caribbean Sea. It covers only 444 km2, with a population of approximately 130.000 inhabitants. Although part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao does not have a developed economy. But with a GDP per capita of around 12.400 US$ and low inflation rate, it enjoys a better economic situation than many developing countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. The tourism sector has developed on Curaçao since the 1960s. After an initial growth through both cruise and stay-over tourism, development stagnated during the 1980s. To reinvigorate it, the government adopted a revised package of highly attractive fiscal incentives for foreign investors at the end of 1980s. An


Curaçao, policy implementation, sustainable tourism.