Nelson's Dockyard National Park, Antigua, WI: a case study in economic diversification.
This paper considers the creation of Nelson's Dockyard National Park, Antigua, West Indies, which was conceived with two objectives in mind: protecting important natural and historic resources and creating an economic engine for new business opportunities for Antiguans in the tourism sector. Encompassing about ten 10% of the country's land mass, the Park includes extensive wilderness areas, historic fortresses, and a naval dockyard, a modern day yachting centre in English and Falmouth Harbours, and three local communities. The process of establishing a sound, self-financing agency, developing approaches to the provision of economic development opportunities, and balancing park development and interpretation with the need to finance the management and operation of these resources has resulted in a number of useful models which can be applied elsewhere. These include approaches to: design of the institutional structures and legislative authorities related to Park development control; private sector concessions; creation of a viable economic climate for private sector activity; and a partnership approach with the tourism industry. The paper concludes with a summary of the lessons learned in the Nelson's Dockyard experience and suggestions for achieving success in developing national parks which will enhance the value-added economic contribution of tourism to a country's economy.
Area of Interest: Antigua