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Caribbean Small Technical Grant

Improving tourism and visitor management at Lucayan National Park

Terrestrial protected area Key biodiversity area Marine protected and conserved area
Management effectiveness Livelihoods
Local communities Private sector Subnational government
Enforcement Sustainable financing Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME)
48,960.79 EUR The Bahamas, Caribbean September 15, 2020 - April 14, 2021

Protected and conserved area(s) concerned

Lucayan National Park, 11841.

Diagnostic tools used

The Bahamas Protected Area Network Management Effectiveness Assessment, 2014, the Bahamas Management Effectiveness 2009 report and the Bahamas National Trust 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

The BIOPAMA AC Objectives addressed

  • Enhance the management and governance of priority protected areas by addressing existing limitations.

Priority need addressed

Lucayan National Park (LNP) experienced severe damage from Hurricane Dorian in 2019, mainly from extensive coastal erosion restricting access to Gold Rock Beach, resulting in the Park’s closure in September 2019. The park’s closure was a detriment to the tourism industry on Grand Bahama as LNP is a high touristic attraction with Gold Rock Beach receiving the #1 best beach award for the island in 2018. LNP has reopened in January 2020, however, with the loss of the visitor pavilion, a small visitor center is essential to park operations, visitor management, and increasing revenue to expand park infrastructure.

Staff and visitor facilities are an important issue for between half and two-thirds of protected areas, and this issue is particularly important in areas where tourism is a threat, as is Lucayan National Park. This project seeks to enhance the management and governance of priority areas by addressing existing limitations through strengthening on-site infrastructure and equipment for managing visitation and improving park operations.

Project activities

Construct a small wooden structured gift shop/ visitor center powered by solar energy directly on the foundation of a former pavilion structure. The building will encompass a total size of 25ft x 25ft inclusive of a wrap-around veranda. The building will be strategically located in close proximity to the parking area, cave trail entrance and restrooms to allow for quick and easy access by visitors. The design of the building is based on similar gift shop buildings found at various parks, historical and recreational areas around The Bahamas. An open floor plan will be utilized and the building will be designed for practicality.

Acquisition of a vehicle (truck) to support the transport of building materials, supplies for park maintenance, and support park surveillance and enforcement. This will be be a 4×4 truck capable of transporting heavy and sometimes long loads and be able to handle rough terrain and driving on sand.

The change the project implementation will bring for the protected area(s)

The construction of a new visitor facility would provide improved management for park visitation and overall park operations; increase park revenue through merchandise sales; and improve the visitor experience by having a dedicated space where guests can learn about the Park’s importance prior to exploring the features of Lucayan National Park. The construction of this building will allow for the sales of Bahamas National Trust souvenirs and light food items. The construction of this building will also create possible job opportunities and livelihoods for East Grand Bahama residents to either be hired or contracted to manage the gift shop.

The acquisition of a truck for Lucayan National Park would improve park operations considering the remote distance of the park from the city center, not only for transporting materials and supplies, but also to improve surveillance and enforcement patrols for the management of the expanded park boundaries.

Download the project infofiche.

Implementing organisations

Bahamas National Trust

Photo credits: Elijah Sands, Bahamas National Trust

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