Right now the number one factor for the economy in Eleuthera is tourism. However there are other things that I see that could also be added to the mix. The second most important aspect is construction. People come to Eleuthera as visitors and then decide that they too would like a home here. So first is tourism, second is construction.
But I see areas that could be advanced that would also help in job creation as well as enhancing the local and country’s economy as a whole. The first is agriculture. Eleuthera has vast amounts of land that could be used for agricultural activities. Just look at the thousands of acres up in Hatchet Bay alone and that is but a small section of the land on the island.
This increase in agriculture would not only go a long way to working with tourism but it could be an added benefit to the country as a whole as less food would have to be imported from other places. Also there could become a strong farmer’s market system as well as providing local produce for sale individually as well as for the local restaurants. With this everyone would benefit from the farmer’s to the additional workforce all the way to the consumer.
Yet farming is a tough business. I’ve done it. There are risks from pests as well as mother nature so there has to be a way developed that helps encourage the local farmer to take the gamble and put in the work with the hope of a return. How this would be accomplished I’m not sure. Would it come from private sponsorship, through some Government influence or incentives or maybe a combination of both.
What about aquaculture as a potential business? Now what I’m talking about is not going out to the sea and harvesting everything but producing an industry that is much like any other farming method. It’s been done elsewhere and we are surrounded by water. What about some type of fish, shrimp, shellfish, or conch that could be produced under optimal as well as environmental friendly conditions? It could provide another food source as well as a platform for tourists to visit and enjoy as well. Would it be easy? No and I’m not an expert but I do believe it’s possible.
Then of course we could combine the two with a fish based industry and agriculture such as fish farming that uses the waste of the fish for nutrients to grow plants in hydroponic conditions. Now we get fish and plants produced from one effort.
Eleuthera has many possibilities for growth and not only on the food side of things but things that would enhance the tourism industry. There are miles of backroads on this island. You’ve seen me driving them. So what about a mountain biking trail system that gets developed. I say mountain bike for lack of a better term but it would be an off road riding experience. It could be done and is a big draw for people from all over the world.
What about organized water tours for snorkeling or sailing trips? These would be at set times and more of a group affair to make them viable but I think there is potential here too.
The point is that we know what the main two economic industries are on Eleuthera but we need to expand and enhance those for the island to grow and provide more opportunities for local people to benefit and provide for their families.
How these things will come about I’m not sure. I just point out the possibilities and potential for Eleuthera in the years to come. The product line needs to be expanded but as usual it’s a case of the chicken and the egg. But it has to start somewhere in order to increase the viability of the island to the world’s tourist public. Why come to Eleuthera?
Great beaches, friendly people, great local foods and fish, ocean snorkeling, sailing,…….