Inclusiveness in the Caribbean-Locals’ Perceptions about Nature, Tourism and Recreation in Bonaire

Abstract: The economies of small tropical islands often benefit from large-scale tourism, attracted by
the guarantee of beach facilities, sun and warmth, landscape beauty, and cultural and underwater
life. While these are highly valued assets, it is unclear how local communities benefit from tourism,
or how they perceive their natural environment, which has been the basis for their rich cultural
history. Against this background, the main aim of this article is to investigate inhabitants’ perceptions
about locals’ inclusiveness in tourism and recreation on a small island called Bonaire. A total of
400 households were interviewed during the period November 2021–February 2022. Inclusiveness in
tourism and the welfare it brings are judged as low, based on the findings in this study. With a share
of around 40% of the population of Dutch Caribbean islanders living in poverty, the challenge of
inequality is urgent. While environmental degradation contributes to inequality, inequality can also
contribute to environmental degradation. To reduce inequalities, while ensuring life below water and
life on land, the handling of poverty is one of the most critical bottlenecks in this society.

Back to search results