Bonaire Government wants to better direct Cruise Tourism Flow

The new norm could be just one cruise ship per day in the harbor during certain days of the week. Photo: BES-Reporter.

Kralendijk- The Government of Bonaire wants to better regulate the flow of cruise ships and cruise passengers arrival, as part of the Tourism Recovery Plan. According to the plan, the idea to better regulate cruise ship tourism fits within recommendations outlined in the Strategic Tourism Master Plan.

“The STMP assumes that managing cruise growth while maintaining the viability of natural ecosystems is possible. The plan recommends enhanced enforcement authority of the harbor master and structuring information flow through the harbor master”, according to the Recovery plan.

The plan also notes that the cruise tourism industry has been substantially changed due to the pandemic, and that therefor so the strategies outlined in the 2017 STMP need to be adapted. According to a study of Magna Global in the USA in 2020, 60.6% of the travelers will never travel on cruise ships again

Concrete ideas

According to the Recovery Plan, there are various concrete actions which can be considered when it comes to the way cruise tourism is managed in Bonaire. One of the ideas is to position Bonaire as a port for specialty cruises, such as large sailing ships or other specialty type of ships.

Another idea is to limit cruise ship calls to a few days per week, with a limit of one ship per day. Of a different nature is the idea to apply price strategies to decrease the amount of cruise ships or cruise ship passengers. This could be achieved by replacing the ‘head tax’ by an entry tourist tax, of about 10 dollars per person.

Other ideas mentioned are the better spreading of cruise tourists over the island, during cruise ship calls, controlling the number of visitors which are allowed into protected areas or on beaches during a cruise ship call. Aside from that, the nature fee of Stinapa could be applied to cruise passengers who want to make use of the Marina park, visit Klein Bonaire or WashingtonSlagbaai National Park.

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