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4th Quarter 2022 Tourism Performance

December 7, 2022

Joint Quarterly Press Conference

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) together with its partners the Public Entity of Bonaire (OLB), Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA), Bonaire International Airport (BIA) and the Harbor Master held its joint quarterly press conference. A noteworthy analysis which was shared during the press conference is the fact that Bonaire welcomed 39,687 visitors (non residents) in September, October, and November 2022 of which 51% originated from The Netherlands, and 23% from USA. In comparison, the amount of visitors by air increased with 10% compared to 2019.

During the press conference, Commissioner of Economic Development and Tourism, Hennyson Thielman, shared about the moratorium on new tourist accommodation below 4 stars, gave an update on the visitor entry tax, and on the free training courses with FORMA for local employees. “It is good to see that the efforts made in the past years for the benefit of our vision, the strategic tourism master plan and the ‘Tourism Recovery Plan’ are now being translated into several steps in the right direction”, said Commissioner Thielman. “If this development continues like this, it will translate into better well-being for the people of Bonaire, our ultimate goal.”

CEO of TCB, Miles Mercera shared the performance overview for the months of September to November 2022. The demographics show that the dominating age group of all visitors ranges between 46 and 65 years, and the country of origin shows that 51% comes from the Netherlands, 23% from the USA, 11% from Curacao, and the rest from different countries. The average stay of the USA market remains at 7 nights, while the Netherlands is 14 nights. The average lead time for the Netherlands market is 82 days, while for the USA market it is 115 days.The celebration of 55 years of Bonaire’s cruise tourism and the branding of the cruise information booth were also point of discussion. The launch of the Bonaire tram in Amsterdam during the winter season, as part of the product development strategy of TCB was revealed. Details on upcoming marketing projects and events such as, The Earthonauts, the Scholarship Award, The Bonaire Bond, and Bario Festival were also shared with the press. At the end, TCB and, JC and Friends signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the upcoming Parada di Simadan and Doei Diaz in April and May of 2023.

Veroesjka de Windt, CEO of BONHATA shared updates on the accommodation performance, with an average occupancy of 66% similar to the second and third quarter. In comparison, 2019 had an average occupancy of 66% while in 2021 measured an average occupancy of 52%, in the last quarter. This means that we have reached our pre-pandemic occupancy rate. In addition, we have measured an improvement in terms of our Average Daily Rate (ADR). The ADR 2022 for the fourth quarter is $234. Compared to last year’s numbers, the ADR was $179. The Revenue per Available Room for 2022 is $146, compared to 2021 which was $95.

Maarten van der Scheer, CEO of BIA, showed that Flamingo Airport continued to see strong passenger numbers in the last months. The airport processed almost 10% more arriving and departing passengers than in the first 11 months of the pre-COVID year 2019. Load factors of the flights are high in all segments. Flamingo Airport is investing in its people and is strengthening the airport staff. The airport is prepared for the upcoming high season with 2 extra check-in counters and is realizing several improvements in the terminal, in order to upgrade the capacity and quality experience for the passengers. Together with OLB and the national government, BIA is finalizing an agreement on the improvement, expansion, and sustainability of the airport. The recently signed MoU on affordable and sustainable flights between the islands was also mentioned as a priority for the airport.

Gunther Flanegin, Harbor Master presented the most recent data for the months of October (10 cruise ships) and November (25 cruise ships), and also provided a view for the month of December (25 cruise ships). He also showed a short video of a new port app, this will provide all information about cruise ships visiting the island.

As part of the Tourism Recovery plan the stakeholders initiated the joint quarterly tourism press conferences with the aim to promote and foster collaboration and inform our local community on the developments within the tourism industry. TCB in collaboration with its stakeholders will continue to inform our community on a quarterly basis on the developments, opportunities and challenges in the Tourism Industry.

Partners: OLB, BONHATA, BIA, Haven Meester and TCB.