The welcome address by Island Governor Gerald Berkel at the official opening of Statia Sustainable Conference Thursday 24 September 2015 Mike van Putten Youth Centre St. Eustatius. - It is my honour to welcome you to the 4th Annual Statia Sustainable Conference hosted by the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation. A special welcome is extended to our guests that have travelled to Statia to participate in this important conference with us.  The focus of the conference this year is the Economic Value of Tourism. Besides the fact that St. Eustatius has a unique array of experiences to offer our guests, it is important that as a community, guest or potential investor we recognize the true value that tourism brings to our Island.

The strategic development plans of St. Eustatius envision a future through diverse economic development.  Tourism being a key pillar of this development we are now charged with taking a closer look at the economic potential of the key pillar.  We invite you, during the course of the conference to exchange ideas and experiences regarding the impact already experienced and potential opportunities yet to be discovered.

Besides financial benefits a properly developed tourism product enhances all aspects of the community life, social, educational and spiritual. During the conference many of these topics will be highlighted and we encourage your active participation.

I wish you all a successful conference and an enjoyable stay on our beautiful Island.

Mr. Gerald Berkel