Eco-development coming to Aruba (image National Park)
New developments keep coming to Aruba. And it’s hard for officials to deny them. Which government in their right mind would deny money into the economy, right? The problem specifically in Aruba is the carrying capacity. How much more can this island handle in terms of new development? Where are the – qualified – workers going to come from? How about infrastructure, health care and education to mention a few?
Perhaps the answer lies in niche tourism. Small scale and “green” projects which use less resources. Other countries and islands have been focusing on this market for quite some time now and are very experienced in this area. The one country that everyone associates with eco-tourism is Costa Rica. Obviously Aruba is nowhere near Costa Rica in terms of ec0-development. As a matter of fact this island’s nature cannot be compared with Costa Rica’s by any stretch of the imagination. Still there many things we can learn.
Locally rules have become a bit more stringent for new developments, however the last word on whether a project gets approved or not lies with politicians. One thing’s for sure, critics have become more vocal against massive new developments. The term over-development is used more frequently now. However, the trend I’m noticing now is of smaller project. There are still a few permits out there for relatively big developments but approval for the newest projects seem to benefit the smaller developments.
Expect new projects in 2010 and 2011. I’ve received several rumored information about new developments for the coming years. For example, on the main road leading towards Natural Bridge there is a private property area that’s being sold right now in pieces of 10,800 square feet. It’s an awesome piece of land with exceptional view. The flip side, however, the broad area has no development, making this one the very first, thus taking away some awesome land. I’m not sure how the reaction’s going to be.
Another rumored project is the development of former Rio Restaurant – east of The Mill Resort at Palm Beach – into a eco-paradise. The predominant material to be used there is wood (from Indonesia). It’s going to feature a eco time share resort with health care services. This project is scheduled to start momentarily. Apparently the permits are approved and the financing is complete.
The world economy seems to be climbing out of the hole, making investment loans more available. This will undoubtedly lead to more development requests to this island. This story will have a follow-up as a consequence.