Tourist arrivals on BES-islands more or less stable in 2016

On Saba, less visitors arrived by plane, but more by ferry. Photo: BES-Reporter

On Saba, less visitors arrived by plane, but more by ferry. Photo: BES-Reporter

Kralendijk/Oranjestad/The Bottom- Tourism has remained more or less stable in the year 2016, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Although gains were seen in some areas, in others there was a slight decrease in tourist arrvals.

Bonaire in 2016 received around 136 thousand tourists arriving by air. This number is more or less the same as in 2015. A total of 217 thousand cruise ship passengers visited Bonaire, which means a 6 percent drop compared to the previous year. The drop in cruise ship arrivals was partly related to the fact that several previously announced cruises to Bonaire were cancelled and to Hurricane Matthew, which swept through the Caribbean between late September and early October.

Saba and St Eustatius saw little year-on-year change in tourist arrivals.

On Saba, the number of tourist arrivals by air was down 4 percent in 2016 to 9.2 thousand. The island however saw 7.7 thousand arrivals by ferry, representing a 10 percent rise year-on-year. Not all ferry passengers were tourists. Around 4 thousand tourists arrived by pleasure craft.

Around 11 thousand tourists arrived on St Eustatius by air in 2016: 2 percent more than in 2015. Another 3.3 thousand tourists visited the island using small pleasure boats.

The islands of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius mainly attract tourists from the European Netherlands, the Caribbean Netherlands and the United States. Most visitors on the three islands are between 30 and 60 years old.

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