Skip to Content

Bonaire News

Back to News & Media

TCB organized End of the Year Joint Press Conference

December 7, 2023

On December 6th, 2023, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB), in collaboration with Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire (OLB), Bonaire International Airport (BIA), Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA), and the Harbor Office, coordinated the end of the year joint press conference aboard the cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas.

The Vice President of Royal Caribbean Latin America and Caribbean, Alberto Muñoz gave a welcome speech and expressed his gratitude to Bonaire.

Commissioner Clark Abraham welcomed all partners and shared his vision and priorities for 2024. OLB will be re-evaluating several tourism matters, such as the one-call-a-day cruise policy, the entry tax, and the nature fee, aiming to introduce a “one destination fee” for the management of the destination. Product management and product development will be an integral part of the tourism vision. OLB will be working with all stakeholders to have an open dialogue on the many challenges and opportunities ahead.

Veroesjka de Windt, CEO of BONHATA, reported that in 2023, BONHATA has seen a return to pre-pandemic norms, with performance slightly below 2019 levels. The average occupancy rate until November 2023 was 61%, down 5% and 6% from 2022 and 2019, respectively. The latter half of 2021 marked Bonaire’s best-performing quarters, which can be attributed to limited destination choices. Despite stable occupancy in 2022 and a slight decrease in 2023, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) was $210, a 9% increase from 2019 but a 1% decrease from 2022. The RevPar until November 2023 was $129, up 3% from 2019 but down 4% from 2022. Challenges include increased business costs, limited airlift, and low investment in the tourism product. BONHATA remains committed to addressing these challenges collaboratively to ensure the sustainable growth of Bonaire’s tourism sector.

Maarten van der Scheer, CEO of BIA said: “Flamingo Airport has seen a modest growth in 2023, with some large shifts between segments. After a big rise in numbers in 2022, the Dutch market rationalized in 2023 with less capacity. The North American market was stable and is about to grow in winter 2023-2024 due to WestJet’s upcoming start of the new Toronto service, the tripling of frequencies on Newark by United Airlines, and a strong performance by Delta on Atlanta. Inter-island traffic saw a big rise due to extra frequencies by Divi Divi and EZAir and the initiation of service by Winair to Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Flamingo Airport anticipates concluding the year with 435.000 to 440.000 passengers. Meanwhile, we continue to upgrade our facilities by, for example, finishing the new arrival belt and constructing a canopy for arriving passengers.”

The Harbor Office released the most recent cruise statistics, indicating the arrival of four cruise ships in October, bringing 13,062 visitors. November saw an increase with 17 cruise ships and 34,003 visitors, while December is projected to welcome 32 cruise ships, bringing in an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 visitors. From January to November 2023, the island welcomed 143 cruise ships, attracting 388,185 visitors. Projections for the entire year suggest that 175 cruise ships will have visited the island, with an anticipated total of approximately 470,000 visitors.

Miles Mercera, CEO of TCB, shared the preliminary results that indicated that Bonaire welcomed 13,910 stayover visitors during November 2023. Year-to-date (Jan-Nov), Bonaire welcomed a total of 153,501 stayover visitors in 2023, outpacing the figures for the same period in 2019 (142,900) and 2022 (152,100). Throughout 2023, TCB actively participated and organized various events, including the Annual Tourism Summit, Bonaire International Tourism Conference, DEMA Show, Travel Awards in Brussels, and TUI anniversary event. Additionally, TCB successfully executed several projects, such as the Tourism Innovation Project, Signage Project, Tourism Information Office, and Public Toilets. Looking ahead to 2024, there is a projected increase in the first quarter, attributed to expanded services from various airlines originating from the United States and additional seat offerings from inter-island carriers.

For additional information, send an email to

Partners: OLB, BONHATA, BIA, Harbor Office, and TCB.