Kralendijk– Bonaire was recently present at the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference at Miami Beach. For the first year the 3 ABC islands had a booth together.
The Bonaire delegation was formed by Harbor Master Gunther Flanegin, Malinda Hassel from the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) Mimi Zhen.
According to information from TCB the conference is held yearly and is the world’s largest gathering for the cruise industry’s most significant players which is a great platform for networking and educational sessions.
The joined booth with Aruba and Curaçao, according to TCB, had a positive impact in the sense that the ABC Island’s showed one force. Many of the Cruise Lines that have Southern Caribbean Itineraries make use of the ABC ports. The ABC booth also met with St. Maarten to discuss possibilities for future itinerary collaborations. Discussions will continue throughout 2019.
Meetings were conducted with top executives; The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and its operational team consisting of top executives from Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and FCCA. Meetings were also held with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Global Ports Holding. The consensus among Cruise Line Executives is that they are pleased with the high satisfaction ratings given by their passengers after port calls to Bonaire. Bonaire is ranked as a top 3 destination among all the other Caribbean Islands and top 7 when it comes to meeting tourists expectations (Source: Exit Survey FCCA). In general Bonaire scores high concerning visitor satisfaction and maintaning the quality of its tours and overal product. Cruise Lines were also satisfied with the recent pier renovations and improvements. Tourism Corporation Bonaire also presented the Bonaire Blue Destination initiative, this was well received and they are looking forward to hear more about this initiative. TCB will work on marketing initiatives to communicate and raise awareness among the trade and cruise passengers about Bonaire Blue Destination.
According to TCB there is still room to raise the expenditures by the visotors. TCB therefore suggests for all tour operators and related partners to further develop unique products and experiences. TCB also stresses that it is important to focus also on the quality of the tours and services offered and continue to provide an exceptional shore experience to all cruise ship passengers.
TCB says in a statement that, overall, the conference was a sccuess. The Tourism organizations also stresses that Bonaire needs to define its Cruise Strategy as Cruise Lines continue to show interest to deploy more ships in the Southern Caribbean area. This strategy needs to be defined together with key stakeholders and the Island Government.