Published On: Tue, Oct 25th, 2016

Saba eyes prize money for most beautiful nature area

THE BOTTOM – Film crews of the German TV-show Terra X and the Discovery Channel were on the island to shoot some promotional material. Saba has been nominated in the Most Beautiful Nature Area of the Netherlands competition, Hazel Durand reports on Caribisch Netwerk.

The nomination has triggered international interest while the local tourism industry goes through difficult times. Saba Conservation Foundation, Saba Archeological Center and the island council have already made a plan in case Saba wins the prize money – which could be as much as €300,000. “We will seriously invest in improving the hiking routes and in better supplying the maritime area,” says director Kai Wulf of the conservation foundation.

It is the first time the BES-islands are able to take part in this competition.

The suggestions of visitors are the guideline for the plan, Wulf says. Boat owners have asked for water taxis, a small pantry, a stand-by mechanic and better access for taking in fuel. The foundation also wants to place larger and safe buoys for super yachts.

The hiking routes were already a source for concern and they are being improved step by step. There are also plans for a botanical garden.

Divers have asked for more diversified diving sites; the objective is to focus on niche markets for divers specialized in tech-diving and diving with sharks. The divers also want an internet connection at the harbor.

Saba has been nominated together with thirteen other Dutch nature areas, while twenty areas had shown interest in the competition. The foundation is now focusing on promoting Saba. “The nomination alone is generating a lot of publicity,” Wulf says. “We have also been invited by RTL to come over and promote the island.”

The public vote for this competition closes on October 31. State Secretary of Economic Affairs Martin van Dam will announce the three winners that obtained the most votes.

Voting is still possible on the website

Photo caption: The island of Saba. Photo