Engaging Bonaire’s Local Community In Tourism

Engaging Bonaire’s Local Community In Tourism

Kralendijk – As part of Bonaire’s recovery plan, an important point was highlighted, ‘Connecting tourists to the culture of the island’. In order to provide tourists with the full inclusive ‘Bonaire Experience’, connecting with the authentic culture of Bonaire’s people is key. Elements to think about are music, art, dance, food, spirituality and more. This needs to be organized via a ‘step-by-step approach’ to make sure both the residents and tourists feel comfortable.

Also, the strategic tourism masterplan 2017 argues that Bonaire’s development vision was grounded on a narrow vision of nature first for far too long. Over time it has now become necessary to broaden the vision for people and nature to live in harmony.

The vision for tourism is that it serves as a stepping stone for development and well-being for all Bonairians, enabling Bonairians to unleash their transformative and creative power to develop a thriving island while living in harmony with nature. This vision expands the frontiers of possibilities for Bonairians by centering its objectives and actions on improving the quality of life for all Bonairians.

A strategy to increase the local community involvement in the current tourism industry, to reach the main objective of the Strategic Tourism Master Plan is being considered as part of the Tourism Recovery plan. Community participation in tourism development and conservation of the local identity and culture, is essential for the creation of a sustainable tourism destination.

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