KRALENDIJK- A delegation from Bonaire visited the Sea Trade Cruise Global from April 25 to April 28, which took place in Miami Beach, Florida. The purpose of the trip was to talk to the cruise lines about various topics that are important for Bonaire’s tourism.
The Bonaire delegation consisted of Deputy Hennyson Thielman, in charge of Economic Development, Miles Mercera as director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Elesiaanse Angel who is the “cruise coordinator” of Tourism Corporation Bonaire, Helvig Thode of the Economic Affairs department of the public body Bonaire and Gunther Flanegin who is harbor master of the public body Bonaire.
During the conference, the Bonairean delegation had fruitful meetings with the various cruise lines. An explanation was given about Bonaire’s vision for the future tourist development, where the focus will be more on the benefits for our population and a unique experience for the tourist.
An important theme was the new “head tax” that will come into effect for cruise tourists from 1 January 2023. The new $10 head tax is expected to generate an additional $3 to $4 million annually for the Bonairean government. This amount will be invested in improving the quality of life of the Bonairean people and certainly also in Bonaire’s infrastructure, such as our roads and public places.
Another important point for Bonaire is to receive only one cruise ship per day. This policy has been discussed again with the cruise lines. The Bonairean government has taken this decision since last year and informed the cruise lines about this at the time. Bonaire is now going to implement this: the schedule will be adjusted so that Bonaire can arrive at the “one call” per day as soon as possible.
In conclusion, the delegation had very good conversations with the cruise company Royal Caribbean, where it was agreed with them that cooperation will take place on certain points, such as improving the connection between Bonairean society and tourism, for example by investing in improving public places and education.