A self-financing marine park: the Saba case

Short case study prepared for the CANARI Workshop on Revenue Generation for Protected Areas, Saba, Netherlands Antilles, June 5-9, 1995. The Saba Marine Park (SMP) was created in 1987. Prior the establishment of SMP few divers visited Saba. Dive operators at the time estimated the number of divers at 500 in 1984 and 1,000 in 1986. Following the establishment of SMP the number of visiting divers and snorkellers increased rapidly: from 2,600 in 1988 to well over 5,000 in 1994. Despite the fact that Saba is not among the popular yachting destinations in the northeastern Caribbean, the increase of yachts visiting SMP proved to be even more dramatic. In order to become self-financing, SMP embarked on a three-pronged revenue generation strategy: visitor/user fees, souvenir sales, and donations. One may conclude from the 1994 and 1995 budgets that the Saba Marine Park has achieved its goal to become a self-financing entity within the Saba Conservation Foundation. A number of important lessons which will have applications elsewhere have been derived.

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