Second Tourism Stakeholders meeting on Bonaire

KRALENDIJK – The Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), in collaboration with its partners such as the Public Entity Bonaire (OLB), the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA), the Bonaire International Airport (BIA), and the Harbor Master, recently held its second stakeholders’ meeting for 2023.

During this meeting, Miles Mercera, the director of TCB, shared the performance overview for the second quarter of 2023. According to the Tourism Master Plan, the targeted number of visitors for 2023 is set at 170,000. As of May, approximately 76,552 visitors have visited the island. The origin data reveals that 48% of the visitors come from the Netherlands, 23.5% from the United States, 15% from the former Dutch Antilles, and the remainder from various countries.

TCB has ambitious plans for several cooperative campaigns with airlines such as KLM, TUI, and Corendon, targeting the European market. Additionally, various campaigns are also planned for the North American market, including collaborations with Expedia and the Flash Flamboyance campaign. There are also significant updates on flight connections, including the announcement of Winair flights to our island. TCB is currently in discussions with existing and new aviation partners. Furthermore, there are several exciting projects and upcoming events, such as the annual Bonaire Tourism Summit and the Bonaire Tourism International Conference.

Veroesjka de Windt, the director of BONHATA, also shared some updates on the performance of accommodations on the island. The average occupancy rate for this year so far is 71%. For comparison, it was 76% in 2022 and 77% in 2019. The average daily rate (ADR) for 2023 is $246, compared to $225 last year. The revenue per available room for 2023 is $176, whereas it was $163 in 2022.

Maarten van der Scheer, the director of BIA, informed attendees about the growth in the total number of passengers at Flamingo Airport in the first half of 2023, with an increase of over 8% compared to last year. Important facility improvements are already planned and under construction, including the renovation and expansion of the baggage belt and the arrival hall. The commencement of Winair flights to St. Maarten in July will enhance connectivity with the Windward Islands. BIA is currently working on the schedule for the upcoming winter season, aiming for new routes and frequencies, particularly to North America.

During the meeting, Harbor Master Gunther Flanegin presented the most recent data for the period from October 2022 to May 2023, revealing that a total of 171 cruise ships visited the island, carrying a total of 423,000 visitors. He also shared the news that five cruise ships made their inaugural calls to Bonaire in 2023, namely the Ritz-Carlton Evrima, Carnival Celebration, Norwegian Prima, Royal Rhapsody of the Seas, and Ponant Le Ballot.

As part of the Tourism Recovery Plan, stakeholders have initiated joint quarterly press conferences to promote collaboration and keep the local community informed about developments in the tourism sector. TCB, in collaboration with its partners, will continue to inform the community every quarter about developments, opportunities, and challenges in the tourism sector.

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