Bonaire Tourism Sector sees 61% Turnover Drop

Many long back to happier days for Bonaire Tourism: Presentation of the island as the world’s first Blue Destination.

Kralendijk- A Survey executed by the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) among their members is showing an alarming loss of revenue compared to 2019.

The fact that Bonaire and the rest of the world are suffering from the corona pandemic, according to BONHATA, is beyond dispute. The Survey executed by the branch organization -in wich about one third of their members participated- show an average turnover loss of 61% in 2020, compared to 2019. There are several outliers, ranging from 20% to 90% loss of turnover.

That the revenue loss did not turn out even bigger than the mentioned 61%, according to BONHATA is caused by the fact that January, February and March 2020mwere relatively good months. The revenue loss from April 2020 onward, turned out to be higher on average.

European Market

The Survey also shows that those who suffered less loss in turnover, were those entrepreneurs focusing mostly on the European market. They were able to generate some turnover because of continued KLM and TUI flights.

The 90% loss of turnover is mainly seen in entrepreneurs who are dependent on the American market. Some of these entrepreneurs only opened their doors again in October/November, in the hope that the American tourists would be able to visit our island again in mid-December, the start of our high season. Unfortunately, both entrepreneurs and visitors had to push aside this hope, because it was only announced on January 15, 2021 that the flight ban was lifted. After this announcement, there was a slight increase in bookings from the US market.


When asked what the expected percentage of revenue loss will be in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2019, if Bonaire opens to direct flights from America and Canada, members hoped that this will be limited to approximately 43%.

After the announcement of the stricter travel conditions for the Americans and Canadians however, an immediate decrease in bookings could once again be seen.

8% of participating members said they would have to close their business or keep it closed, until visitors from the US and Canada are allowed back in. About 5% of respondents indicated they would go bankrupt if the visitors from America and Canada continue to stay away.

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