Johnny Cay Regional Park, Colombia

Developing a Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan for Colombia’s Johnny Cay Regional Park

  • Client: Providence Foundation
  • Partners: Corlina (Corporacion para el Desarollo Sostenible del Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia, y Santa Catalina)
  • Project Duration: April 2015

Project Overview

Solimar was contracted to develop a Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan for Johnny Cay Regional Park. The strategic plan was created to improve visitor experience and support biodiversity conservation on the island. Although Protected Areas (PAs) are a vital part of biodiversity conversation efforts worldwide, governments and PA managers often struggle to secure adequate funding.

Johnny Cay, off the Colombian island of San Andres, faces significant conservation threats due to inadequate tourism planning and unsustainable management. Tour operators from San Andres bring tourists to Johnny Cay to relax on the beach and frequent the few small bars and restaurants on the island. The unregulated use of Johnny Cay and the lack of business operating standards have resulted in habitat destruction and other biodiversity threats. Solimar created market-based solutions with proper management and guidelines to generate a sustainable form of financing to support conservation.

The goal of the project was to guide Coralina (Organization for the Sustainable Development of the San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina Archipelago) in the development and implementation of a sustainable tourism strategy to ensure the long-term vitality of the natural and business environment on the island.

Major Activities

  • Review all relevant documentation related to biodiversity conservation and management on Johnny Key Regional Park.
  • Meet with service providers of Johnny Key to understand their priorities, challenges and objectives.
  • Based on the findings from these interviews, draft a Strategic Plan for CORALINA and the service providers on how to manage the protected area in a sustainable way.


  • Creation of a Sustainable Tourism Department in Coralina that ensures compliance with legal regulations, codes of conduct, and best practices while taking responsibility for training and the implementation of a Sustainable Tourism Certification system.
  • Creation of a Johnny Cay Sustainable Tourism Certification Program in which businesses are categorized and differentiated based upon the degree to which their operation affects the environment and natural resources.
  • Design a business program to improve profitability and services of businesses already operating in Johnny Cay Regional Park.
  • Define a communication strategy to improve relations and increase cooperation between Coralina and businesses operating within Johnny Cay Regional Park.
  • Define a concession fee system, including regulations and taxes for businesses operating in Johnny Cay Regional Park.



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“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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