Kralendijk- Commissioner Tjin Asjoe this morning organized a press conference to give some insight in the progress made with the implementation of the Strategic Tourism Plan.
Lead consultant responsible for the compilation of the plan, Robertico Croes, in past days was present on the island to update both island council and other important stake holders of the progress made to implement the plan.
Key element of the plan is to ensure that tourism in Bonaire doesn’t only grow by bringing in more visitors, but by ensuring that a higher yield is generated from the whole tourism industry.
According to Croes, it is imperative that a more business-like approach to the whole tourism industry is realized. “Until now there is a certain ‘naive’ way of looking at tourism. Bonaire needs to see tourism as an industry which should be utilized in an optimal way, and which should ultimately lead to better life for the inhabitants”, said Croes.
Both Croes and Tjin Asjoe underscored the fact that a higher yield will not come without considerable investment. “You cannot just charge more for the same product. You will have to ensure that quality also improves in terms of for instance hotel rooms, but also the service provided”, said Tjin Asjoe.
Better Tax Collection
Tjin Asjoe is not worried about the costs to implement the plan. “Studies have shown that we have much to gain from better tax collection. There is a lot of money that Government currently does not receive. If we achieve a better collection, we can easily pay for the implementation of this plan”, according to Tjin-Asjoe.
Croes also said that UFC would continue to support Government for 1 year with the implementation of the plan, without extra costs to the island. “As part of this project we offered to support Government for 1 year after presentation of the plan”, said Croes. As not much has happened in the past year (under the previous Government, Editor), Croes said that UCF was willing to provide the promised support starting this month.