Kralendijk- The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (Bonhata) has sent out a strong letter to the Executive Council protesting the way budget cuts which were implemented and which will, according to Bonhata, will not only have a negative impact on tourism as such, but on the whole economy of the island.
“In our opinion, with this cut in the budget for tourism, you put our economy and thus the prosperity on Bonaire at risk, this in the very short term and with long-lasting consequences”, writes Bonhata in a letter signed by Irene Dingjan, CEO of the tourism organization.
“A reduction in the budget for tourism causes a deterioration of the economy. In doing so, you do short to your island and your people and you do not work on the objectives as mentioned in the long-term plan”, the letter by Bonahata continues.
According to Bonhata, tourism creates jobs, can increase people’s income, offers people better lives and will also reduce poverty. Bonhata also feels that the fight against poverty on the island can best be done by realizing economic development, to which tourism is key.
Bonhata says that especially with the delivery of the strategic tourism plan (STP) drafted by expert R. Croes it is of great importance to the island to make informed decisions on how to further develop our tourism. An urgent implementation of this plan should, Bonhata’s opinion, be Bonaire’s # 1 priority.
“We urge you to review the budget plans for 2018” writes Bonhata’s CEO in her letter to the Executive Council. In addition, Bonhata urges once again that the Council continue to collect overdue tourism-related taxes (tourist tax and car rental tax) and earmark at least 50% of that amount for tourism.