Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- Koos Sneek of the List Sneek is of the opinion that the island needs a new Economic Development plan to guide development on the island in the right direction.
“In 2010 a strategic development plan was drafted and adopted by the island council. Since then this plan is collecting dust” according to Sneek.
Sneek is of the opinion that the Economic Development plan needs to be reintroduced. “We need to establish what, if any, of this plan has been executed. Most likely the plan needs to be updated. Most importantly the plan needs to be used as a guideline with clear and smart indicators to measure the progress of the development”.
Sneek feels that the island should aim for diversification of the economy. “The dependence of Statia on one major (foreign) company makes our economy very vulnerable. The fact that it also concerns the oil industry increases our risk, since there is a growing awareness of people worldwide about global warming and climate change as well as the need to move away from fossil fuel and to alternative energy resources”.
Sneek sees in tourism a viable alternative, but warns that the island should stay away from Mass tourism and will have to explore certain niches in the travel market, like history and nature.
Koos in his action plan also points out that airlift remains a challenge for the island. “Affordable and increased airlift is a prerequisite for development in tourism”, writes Sneek.
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