KRALENDIJK – Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) said farewell to Bas Noij as chairman during the annual general members meeting that was held on September 27 at Delfins Beach. Bas Noij resigns after four years and now officially passes the baton to Luite Berkenbosch.
Noij said during his farewell speech that he considered it a great privilege to be part of the board for nine years: “I have intensely enjoyed this time with all of you. The sector has been through a lot in the past nine years and it has been a great privilege for me to be involved in so many developments. I have done my best to guide BONHATA and our industry through a tumultuous period of staff changes, political changes and challenges and a global pandemic.”
The nominated candidates were also officially elected to the new board at the general members’ meeting. The board now consists of Luite Berkenbosch, Chairman (The Bellafonte), Paul Coolen, Vice-Chairman (Buddy Dive), Charles Vos, Secretary/Treasurer (Grand Windsock), Claire Sealy (Captain Don’s Habitat), Casper Naber (Van der Valk Plaza), Michiel van Heusden (Epic Tours Bonaire), Junny Janga (Budget Rent a Car), Tom Peeters (VanEps) and Celine van de Meer (Divi Flamingo). They will lead the association with ambition for the next two years.
Berkenbosch spoke about the mission of BONHATA, the future vision for tourism on Bonaire with sustainable growth and how we may best collaborate as a sector in the future. Recently, several large accommodations have become members (again) of BONHATA. With this, the ambition to be united as a sector is almost realized. With the motto: together we are strong, Berkenbosch also called on the last accommodations during the meeting to join as members in the near future.
We also looked back at the past year. For example, the path to recovery after COVID has led to a peak in visitor numbers, despite part of the world still not being able to travel without restrictions. The Average Daily Rate (ADR) at the accommodations increased as compared to previous years.
Bonaire Culinary Capital
Special guest Erik Wolf (founder of World Food Travel Association) gave an inspiring speech about culinary tourism. He spoke about the evolution of culinary destinations, how the consumer/traveler has changed and how we can give them the best experience in culinary tourism. CEO Veroesjka de Windt closed the evening with a summary of the association’s achievements over the past year in the areas of advocacy, the various collaborative projects with Tourism Corporation Bonaire, the Public Entity Bonaire and other strategic partners. She also highlighted upcoming events where BONHATA, in collaboration with TCB, will represent accommodations and activity providers.