Survey Shows: Respondents Bonaire Divided Over Reopening to US Tourism

A Delta Airlines Boeing 757 at Flamingo Airport, pre-Covid. Photo: BES-Reporter.

Kralendijk- While islands all over the Caribbean are steadily preparing the return of flights out of the Unites States, residents on Bonaire seem divided over the question if the island should, on the short term, reopen to US tourism.

What is troubling is the fact that the island’s authorities are completely mum over the question, and do not seem to have even the slightest beginning of a plan on how to reopen back to US tourism.


A recent survey conducted by consultancy firm Linkels & Partners on the degree to which respondents agreed to the various Covid-19 measures taken by the Government of Bonaire, shows that the residents of Bonaire are quite divided over the question if the island should open back to US tourism or not.

Distribution of answers from the 890 respondents who are residents of the island. Illustration: Linkels & Partners

The online survey was filled out by a total of 1328 respondents, of which 890 residents of the island.

The survey asked respondents to indicate in how far they agreed with the statement that travelers out of the US should be admitted into the island, under similar conditions as those from The Netherlands. This includes, for instance, the condition to produce a negative PCR test result.

Of the 890 residents 228 respondents (25.6%) indicated they strongly agreed with the statement, 192 respondents (21.6%) indicated they agreed with the statement, 76 respondents considered themselves neutral (8.5%), 160 respondents (18%) disagreed with the statement and 234 respondents (26.3%) strongly disagreed with the statements.

There should be no distinction between travelers from Holland or from the USA, once they can produce a negative PCR-test -respondent


A total of 182 respondents motivated their answer on the question in how far they agreed to the statement that the island should let US travelers in, under similar conditions as those from The Netherlands.

The spontaneous answers show a wide divide over the issue, just as the chart above illustrates. Various respondents point to the fact that there is a big difference between the various States, when it comes to their control over the Covid situation. They are of the opinion that, based on this fact, it is illogical to bar travelers from the entire US to travel to the islands.

Other respondents seem to agree with that statement, but point to the fact that in practice it would be hard to control where travelers originate from.

Various respondents also point to the fact that the PCR-tests as a whole are not very reliable and should not be used as a criterion at all.

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