Revitilization of Paramaribo as the Atlantic Nodal Point to the World

Revitilization of Paramaribo as the Atlantic Nodal Point to the World

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

This proposal is a rehabilitation project which will ensure conservation of Suriname's natural, historical and cultural heritage through green economic development.

Far outside the Netherlands, but nevertheless of dominantly Dutch origin is the historic inner city of Paramaribo in South American Suriname. This UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 2002) is one of the most beautiful and well kept wooden cities in the world. However, its future sometimes seems unsure: some buildings are neglected, a few of them burned down and remaining as a ruin or are replaced by modern constructions.

Eighteenth century Paramaribo functioned as a bridgehead between local plantations and the Netherlands. An Atlantic nodal point, forming the center of a star shaped network connecting North America, the insular Caribbean, the Guianas, West-Africa and Europe.It is with proud sentiment that Surinamese and Dutch alike reminisce that the Republic of Suriname came into existence by it waterways. This national sense of pride for our waterfront in Paramaribo as well as others of our well know coastal areas, stir an instant protective instinct, a commonly shared sense within most in our community to preserve the history and culture portrayed by the unique wooden architecture.

The idea is to develop and implement a Tourism Master Plan for the Historical Coastal Areas and buffer zones of the greater Paramaribo area. The fact that tourism development in Suriname is still in its infancy stage provides the great advantage that we still have most of our natural, cultural and historical resources intact. There are not many large or obtrusive constructions works, there is still enough room to build and expand, and we now live in an age where there are many innovative and green construction technologies to choose from when implementing new strategies. We have the unique opportunity in Suriname to not just use the term geotourism as another buzz-word for promotion of travel to the country. The Master plan will give government and authorities a management- tool which ensures that future developments in our tourism industry sustains or enhances the geographical character of Historical Paramaribo; Suriname’s environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well-being of its residents will be protected through innovative strategies in sustainable(geo-) tourism development.

The aim of this project is to sustainably revitalize the Suriname shoreline and main waterways, taking with that the Paramaribo waterfront, the inner-city and its buffer zones, and all other coastal landmarks as the initial points of development. The expected ripple effect is environmentally sensitive economic development and growth in various industries; with the spin-off bringing green economic development, not only in tourism, but also in agriculture, water management and export, renewable energy and even the national oil industry.

This plan also considers building a cruise terminal in Paramaribo at the Suriname River, befitting of the waterfronts’ historical character in architecture, with shore facilities. Rehabilitating the Paramaribo waterfront and enhancing its functionality to once again become the Atlantic nodal point that it was in days of old, will give local entrepreneurs in different sectors access to entirely new markets; sailboats from all over the world as well as larger passenger vessels will be making use of the docking facilities. Joint destination marketing will enable the Surinamese tourism sector to derive income off of the existing multi-billion dollar North-American and Caribbean (cruise-) tourism market. Taking into account the carrying capacity of selected tourism zones, in order to ensure that all our natural and historical treasures remain intact, will be key.

Our heritage buildings, districts and landscapes create a unique sense of place and a rooted sense of local identity. Heritage conservation fueled by income from Sustainable Tourism Development (Geo-Tourism) , is a wise investment for Suriname, especially for the historic inner-city and its wider surroundings, of which some parts have been listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. Availability of funding, environmentally sound industry standards, public transportation regulation, zoning plans and a strong tourism and inner city management authority are a crucial key elements that are instrumental to the success of this proposed development.

In the past many of our architectural highlights and historical landmarks were lost. This plan focuses on rehabilitation and development of the entire area along the Suriname River, including the historical inner-city, for the sake of conserving Paramaribo’s remaining irreplaceable heritage resources, including our heritage landscapes and buildings and buried archaeological sites.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The idea is to upgrade the livelihood of local communities through rehabilitation and preservation of the historical character of the waterfront and shores of our waterways. Development of Suriname's shoreline draws a link and has a spin-off on every square inch of the entire country. If successfully implemented, people will be making a living off of the very thing that is protected and preserved. The spin-off earnings and awareness will only increase stakeholder sense of pride and willingness to protect their heritage, because it's value is shown in direct economic benefit through sustainable use.
About You
Suriname Tourism Foundation
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Suriname Tourism Foundation


, PM

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Suriname Tourism Foundation

Organization Phone

+597 47 11 63

Organization Address

Nassylaan 2 - Paramaribo

Organization Country

, PM

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, PM

Website URL
Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?


Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Planning targets need to be met in order for the project to be successful over the next three years:

Year 1;
1. Development of the Masterplan and development of sustainable industry standards; strategic plan of implementation to be outlined in phases

2. Start of implementation phase 1

3. Empowerment, continuous training and awareness building to targetgroups as well as the general public in order for private business to continue green economic development

Year 2;
1. Identification additional funds for the total national budget needed for implementation of the masterplan into final development stages
2. Implementation phase 2
3. Empowerment, continuous training and awareness building to targetgroups as well as the general public in order for private business to continue green economic development

Year 3 and onward;
1. Building of large infrastructures, like the Cruise Terminal
2. Final implementation phase on national government level
3. Empowerment, continuous training and awareness building to targetgroups as well as the general public in order for private business to continue green economic development

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Lack of industry standards
Lack of funds
Lack of government en community involvement

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$100 ‐ 1000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?


What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?

, PM

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Suriname Tourism Foundation

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

The Suriname Tourism Foundation is the bridge between public and private sector. Public private partnership is critical to successful and sustainable development of any green economies. Because tourism is such diverse sector, it takes collaboration on all levels of the value chain to realize true growth for the entire industry.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Installation of the Suriname Tourism Authority
2. Adaptation and implementation of Tourism Industry standards for all businesstypes in the value chain
3. Development and implementation of an integrated and ratified national tourism masterplan

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

From October 29 - 31 the Suriname Tourism Foundation hosted the Suriname Tourism Festival. During this trade and consumer fair, a seminar and networking program was held, during which various discussions with experts as well as representatives from different organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry shed light on the areas of developments that seem beneficial for the Suriname Tourism Sector. Things that just leaped out of the discussions;

1. Suriname is perfect for so many different niche markets, offering green economic development opportunities for a very large number of tour and travel operators, resorts and accommodation providers, like wellness tourism; developing a Caribbean Spa and Tourism Industry with Suriname positioning itself with our traditional healing heritage and medicinal plants. Product development for sports- and events-tourism is a great opportunity also

2. Conservation of our natural, cultural and historical heritage and resources, and funding these efforts through sustainable tourism is unanimously seen as the way of the future for Suriname

The defining moment that put the above into perspective, was when I was invited to attend a lunch meeting and brainstorm session on 'The Historical Inner-city of Paramaribo as a tourism product; prospects and obstacles' by Ir. H. Sijlbing - World Heritage Site Manager.

After again hearing so many different opinions, the commonalities of what needed to be developed first in order catalyze the ripple effect that would cause an entire industry boost became crystal clear; The Suriname shoreline and main waterways, taking with that the Paramaribo waterfront, the innercity and it's bufferzones, and all other coastal landmarks

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

There are more than one social innovators who inspired this idea;

mr. Stan Betterson - ministry TCT
mr. Steven Hofwijks - IDB consultant
Ir. Harrold Sijlbing - Chairman of SANTOUR and Historical Site Manager
Mr. Jerry Akum - Director of hotel Residence Inn
Mr. Steve Andrews - Caribbean Spa and Wellness Assiocation Barbados
Mr. Andrew Welch - Banwari Tours Trinidad
Ms. Annette Tjon Sie Fat - CI International

The organization I work for, the Suriname Tourism Foundation (STS) is the workarm for the Ministry of Transportation Communications and Tourism (TCT). In the board of STS representatives of the ministry of TCT as well as representatives of the private sector and the chamber of commerce have a chair, and therefore a say in the tourism development strategies presented to the government for ratification. As an institution that has been stimulating growth in the tourism industry for over 13 years, STS is also a social innovator of importance.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

IDB in Suriname

MIF Opportunity 2010
Has your organization been legally constituted or registered in your country or one of your target countries for at least three years?


Does the applicant organization have sufficient financial resources to guarantee the co-financing required by MIF during the execution period of the project? (This amounts to at least 50% of the project’s total budget with 25% in cash and 25% in-kind.)


Does the applicant organization have experience managing projects co-financed by international organizations? Please describe below

Caribbean Regional Environmental Program, financed by the European Union

Integrated Tourism Development Program for Suriname, financed by the European Union

and many more

Please classify the applicant organization according to the options below


What problem-area does your project address?

Access to knowledge and training, Access to markets, Access to financing.

How will your project address this problem?

By providing a masterplan that will address;
*identifying key stakeholders, beneficiaries and funders, niche markets of interest and key markets
*market analysis and marketing strategies
*carrying capacity and ecological footprints
*zoning and spatial planning
*public transport regulation
*joint destination marketing & managment
*development of training curricula for tourism workforce and upgrading of existing curricula used in our tourism training centre and education institutions
*matching funds will be sought within the Foundations' own budget as well as through Goverment funding and national and international partnerships

Who is benefited by the initiative? (Please highlight the type and number of beneficiaries, and their role in the tourism value-chain.)

The country as a whole, as the project specifically addresses having a positive impact on increase the GDP. Specifically;

Tourism and Hospitality industry providers
Port authorities and watertransport providers
Maroon and Indigenous Population
Water bottling companies
Food service industry
Wellness providers
Urban communities
Education & training institutions

How will the project's results assist the region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises?

This project aims at green economic development with spin-off to various industries; tourism, agriculture and livestock, mining, local communities, impoverished youth, education, healthcare, etc. The project will also address capacity building and human resource development, upgrading of staff qualifications and degrees, specialized workforce through training, environmental awareness and conservation, biodiversity conservation, ecological footprint assesment

A. Total Budget (100%)

US$ 750.000,-

B. MIF Contribution (up to 50% of total budget and US$. 500.000 max)


C. Cash co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)


D. In kind co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)