My Wishful Thinking Combined with Carrying Capacity

Wishful thinking, or tying the horse in front of the carriage

Guilty as charged.

It does happen sometimes that I tie the carriage in front of the horse or jump to conclusion and express wishful thoughts.

This is after all a gossip column not the gospel.

And when it comes to my materials, they are designed to entertain, more than inform, so please take everything with a grain of salt and make sure your sense of humor is fully charged.

If I bestow a royal title, it is only for one day, not forever!

As I mentioned before I recently attended a Carrying Capacity encounter at the MFA Noord hosted by the Aruba Tourism Authority.

There were about three dozen locals in attendance, all concerned citizens, some representing environmental foundations, which proves that the majority of islanders are not really aware of the need for them to speak up and express their opinion, or come up with their mira pa futuro, their vision of the future. They are too busy to make ends meet and do not have the time to question anything.

Thus, it is the responsibility of those who can spare a minute, to speak up in the name of the silent majority.

The well-meaning gathering presented a series of multiple choice images of Aruba’s iconic landmarks. Alto Vista without people, some people and hordes. Eagle beach with three sun worshippers, a modest group, and bus loads. We were asked to pick the image we can live with.

Then the group split into a few work groups presented with talking points and assigned to discuss important issues.

Ask yourself:

What is the impact of tourism on our Economy/Community/Environment, from 1 to 10.

How does “Balanced Tourism” look to you in the future, taking our Economy, Community and Environment into consideration.

What does “Quality of Life,” mean to you?

Pick three: Employment opportunities, Income Possibilities, Less Traffic Congestion, Better Medical Services, Better Environmental Practices, Better Educational System, Protection of our Culture, Access to Affordable Housing, Neighborhood Security or More Leisure Time.

Do you feel tourism impacted our traffic, how much longer does it take you to commute to work or home when cruise ships are in.

Select two options you can take, to reduce road congestion: Car Pooling, Better Public Transportation, Leave Earlier, Car Pool subsidized by the workplace, Adjustment of Cruise Ship Schedule, or other suggestions.

The group was then asked to rate the impact of Tourism on Alto Vista – from my own experience that place is bursting at the seams every day.

The last part of the conversation solicited suggestions on how to raise the quality of life here by means of Economic Development.

There was a question regarding which part of the island should be developed next, with new small, medium and large hotel construction.

Suggestions for the protection of the environment were requested.

Finally, the last suggestion asked was on how to improve visitors’ experiences.

And to wrap it up, the pivotal question: How can we reach “Balanced Development,” through tourism in the areas of Economy, Community and Environment.

All very hard questions, I wish I had the education, experience and wisdom to answer them all correctly.

Share on:

April 04, 2018
Rona Coster