Kralendijk -Just before the COVID crisis, the Bonaire hotel sector averaged an occupancy rate of 68%. The breakeven benchmark in the Caribbean is 65%, which leaves Bonaire’s hotel sector barely surviving.
According to the Tourism Recovery plan, the Government incentives to hotels may include reduction on taxes, tax benefits for renovations and upgrading, expedited terrain assignment and expedited building and hotel permits. Other incentives might include a marketing support budget for hotels that are making the switch to upgrade their tourism product to at least a 4-star hotel.
By providing incentives to the hotel sector, the Government will not only help the industry survive the current crisis but will also give a positive injection to the sector after the crisis. According to the Strategic Tourism Masterplan (STMP), hotels deserve preferential treatment because of the extra income they generate for the economy and the employment that they create. To achieve a premium destination suitable for the more affluent tourist Bonaire should focus on to developing high quality, high service hotels (4 and 5 stars) according to international standards as well as eco-lodges and authentic accommodations.