Opportunity in Curaçao’s maritime and yachting industry
Throughout history Curaçao has been well-known for its beautiful natural harbors. With the famous Anna Bay on top, the island counts on the presence of several other wharfs and bays, such as the Piscadera Bay, Caracas Bay, and the Fuik Bay. These are now at the center of a strategic 10-year plan to develop the harbors of Curaçao for maritime and yachting services. The Minister of Economic Development Dr. I. Steven Martina recently announced this project during a press conference.
The strategy implies the promotion of the yachting sector through a sustainable economic exploitation of five yachting facilities. Potential harbors for this purpose are Spanish water, Piscadera Bay, Kaba Kuchi, Santa Martha, and Zakitó. The master plan was developed by a collective effort of a task force consisting of five related organizations. The Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA), the Curaçao Tourism Board, the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) and the Department of Urban Planning (ROP) joined forces and came up with an interesting scheme. The process was financed by the foundation for the development of logistics projects SLS. The proposal has been approved by the ministerial council.
To start with the implementation, two potential harbor sites have been selected, Zakitó and Santa Martha. The execution is now in the start-up phase, while the development of the other aforementioned harbors will start in the new year. The development of Zakitó and Sta Martha requires a considerable investment of 26.3 million guilders (NAF) and will birth 300 jobs. In addition to the employment opportunities, it will cause an annual GDP growth of 0.4%, give an added value to touristic products, and increase consumption for tourists. The success of the strategy, as phrased by the minister, hinges on various critical factors among which astute husbandry of the harbors is of utmost importance.
A new bespoke managerial department will be created within the CPA. There will be a one-stop-shop to facilitate and streamline the process and help develop the yachting infrastructure for reparation and replacements. The island will be promoted as a “safe haven” located outside the hurricane belt.
The most interesting news according to the minister; “We do not have to start from scratch. Most of these potential yachting sites have already undergone a certain degree of development”. The improvement of these two harbors alone will lead to an increase of about 300 jobs and a significant macroeconomic impact. The sustainable impact of the other yachting potential facilities will be substantial.
The yachting sector is surely an emerging economic pillar for Curaçao which will be maximized in the coming years.
“With this, we have a concrete initiative to continue developing our economy”, said the minister.