Bonaire Cruise Tourism Association(BCTA) disappointed in government

KRALENDIJK- The Bonaire Cruise Tourism Association (BCTA) says it is disappointed and concerned about the decisions of the Public Entity Bonaire (OLB) when it comes to cruise tourism and communication about it.

BCTA points out that the organization has frequently participated in working groups with Government about the adjustment of the Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP), which was presented by Bonaire Government in 2021. According to the association, the organization was insufficiently involved in drawing up the TRP, but talks with Commissioner Thielman did offer some hope.

“Commisioner Thielman has not kept his promises to the sector and has once again cut the economy and, in doing so, also cut the entrepreneurs associated with cruise tourism by informing cruise lines at the end of April 2022 during the Seatrade conference in Miami about the planned course that has been described. is in the TRP,” writes BCTA. BCTA says it considers the plan more a “liquidation pan” than a recovery plan.

BCTA also says it has a strong impression that incentives and benefits will be available for the hotel sector, but that none of that applies to the cruise sector. “In other words, the recovery plan is a recovery plan for the hotel sector, but a liquidation plan for the cruise sector,” BCTA now says.

Tax discrepancy

The cruise association also says that the difference in the increase in the tourist tax is not balanced. “Where the cruise guests have to deal with an increase in headtax of 300% per day, this does not apply to a visitor who visits Bonaire by plane. “The visitor who arrives by plane pays a flat rate for the entire stay and this is on average less tax per visitor per day than the current situation, especially if the car rental tax that will be cancelled is also included. Why give the guests who arrive by plane a “tax discount” and increase the tax for cruise guests by 300%?”, BCTA wonders.

BCTA says it fears that the cruise sector will cease to exist if the plans of the OLB are implemented. 

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