By Dana Niland
It’s always been known for its blue, but now Bonaire is making it official.
Bonaire, long one of the Caribbean’s top destinations for snorkeling and diving, is developing a multifaceted public private partnership program that will established the island as the first “Blue Destination,” officials announced this week.
The designation will denote Bonaire’s commitment to the sustainable use of ocean resources for growth, wellbeing, jobs and the ocean ecosystem’s health.
Bonaire is aiming to position itself as a progressive island toward synergizing people and nature, which it hopes will increase its competitive position and status as a leader in the preservation of its assets.
Bonaire was the first Caribbean island to have a protected marine park, with protection of nature always being a priority of its sustainable tourism policies.
The island’s economic development plan is built on sustainability and 40 percent of the island already uses clean energy.
Becoming a Blue Destination is aligned with Bonaire’s culture, history and the heritage of people who have embraced and protected the ocean for their livelihood, officials said in a statement to Caribbean Journal.
“Bonaire looks forward to adapt the Blue concept and share this with its stakeholders, community and visitors,” a representative said in a statement.
Throughout the upcoming months, Bonaire will have various events dedicated to orienting itself as a Blue Destination, including the launch of a national social campaign: “What is Blue to You?”
This campaign will serve as a promotional vehicle to get locals involved in the conservation and marketing efforts of the island.
There will also be a community event in correlation to the Bonaire International Sailing Regatta – which takes place October 10, 2018 – where Bonaire will officially declare itself a Blue Destination.
The launch comes as Bonaire welcomed American Airlines’ first-ever nonstop flights from Miami to Bonaire this weekend.