Falcón hopes to land tourists... but where?
Home to two large oil refineries and a petrochemical plant, the western Venezuelan state of Falcón has felt the sting of declining international oil prices. That’s why Falcón, like Venezuela generally, is turning to tourism to rekindle its economy.
Specifically, Falcón wants to build an international airport. The project’s chief proponent, Falcón Gov. José Curiel, believes that with an airport, the state will attract currency-toting international tourists eager to visit Morrocoy National Park, a nearby paradise of small islands, lagoons and coral reefs that has long drawn day trippers, campers and divers.
The plan, however, has raised environmental questions—mainly because the airport site is near the Cuare Wildlife Refuge, an area of woods and wetlands adjoining Morrocoy.
National park and wildlife officials, as well as the Audubon Conservationist Society of Venezuela and other NGOs, have questioned the project’s ecological impact study and site recommendation.