Funding sought to develop Saba Tourism Master Plan

The Saba Tourist Office in Windwardside was recently renovated.


SABA / THE HAGUE — The Saba delegation that recently visited The Hague discussed a proposal to draft the Tourism Master Plan 2022-2027. This long-term plan of action will provide a cohesive vision for tourism, to be developed with all stakeholders in the tourism sector.

Commissioner of Finance and Tourism Bruce Zagers, Island Secretary Tim Muller and senior policy advisor Nicole Johnson met with representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). During the meeting, a proposal for a tourism marketing plan was submitted and discussed. Funding is needed to draft this plan.

The tourism industry is of vital importance for Saba’s economy, providing direct and indirect activities and jobs. As the island continues to have positive developments both in room inventory and future harbor expansions, it is deemed crucial that Saba, its stakeholders and the tourism industry partners have a Tourism Master Plan for the next five years with a clear direction, action plan and budget alignment for the implementation.

The Tourism Master plan would provide a cohesive vision for tourism that is developed in collaboration with all tourism stakeholders and indicates how to transition to a new tourism platform in the future. The plan will also address prominent challenges that Saba’s tourism industry faces as it converts the tourism industry into an economic engine that serves all of Saba.

Saba has the opportunity to become a boutique destination that is founded on its core attributes by focusing on targeting low-impact, high-spend and high-yield visitors. The methodology of the Tourism Master Plan will be divided in three phases:

  • Where are now?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How do we get there?

The Tourism Master Plan was not the only plan that was discussed with the different ministries in The Hague. In a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK) it was agreed that this ministry will assist with capacity to put together a Strategic Development Plan for Saba, as well as a Spatial Development Plan. Both these plans are important as Saba continues to develop.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) has committed to assist with the drafting of an Agricultural Plan. The Island Council has specifically asked for a long-term agricultural vision as Saba continues to work on sustainability and improving its self-reliance. The RVO will also assist with a Mobility Plan that will address traffic and parking.

The Saba delegation further met with the Dutch Cadaster. It was agreed that the Netherlands Cadaster will assist with the drafting of a plan of action, together with the Public Entity Saba, on how to further professionalize the Saba Cadaster.

During a meeting at the Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV), the continuation of funding for the Saba Legal Desk was discussed. Saba is seeking to secure a structural, three-year funding for the successful Legal Desk which is in high demand among residents.