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Tourism Corporation Bonaire looks back at a successful annual Bonaire Tourism Summit

September 29, 2023

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) organized its third annual Bonaire Tourism Summit on September 27 and 28, 2023, at Courtyard by Marriott. This year’s summit took place on two days.

During the first day of the summit, TCB shared its vision, actions, and strategy for tourism development with a presentation by Miles Mercera, CEO of TCB. TCB presented an overview of Bonaire’s state of the industry, results, and planning for 2024. TCB’s target for 2023 is to reach 170,000 stay-over visitors. YTD (Jan-Aug), Bonaire welcomed 113,000 stay-over visitors. The Repeat visitors rate of Bonaire is currently at 55%.

Dunn&Co, TCB’s advertising agency and branding partner, shared updates on the current work and a sneak peek at what’s to come in 2024. They kicked it off by showing a full recap of the Earthonauts activation, which took place in Q4 2022. They then rolled into the multi-city 2023 activation, Flash Flamboyance, where the fantastic beauty of Bonaire flamingos was brought to New York City, Toronto, and Miami to give key markets some Bonaire flavor and talk to them about the island’s beauty. They rounded out their presentation with a deeper look at the Global Citizen target audience, an update on campaign creative, advertising partnerships, marketing trends influencing tourism, and how the focus for the year of ‘Preserving Our Hidden Gem’ will be brought to life in 2024.

Diamond Public Relations presented an overview of media outreach and awareness efforts conducted on behalf of the destination for 2023. The team shared the results of initiatives, including press trips and individual media visits, pitching, media events, as well as the launch of the new six-episode Bonaire podcast and the recent TikTok Island Hop campaign. As a result of their PR efforts from January through August, they reached over 189 million media impressions in North America and 59 million in Europe. Diamond PR also touched on upcoming travel trends for 2024.

On the second day, the Commissioner of Economic Affairs and Tourism, Ms. Jolinda Craane emphasized the significance of collective effort and shared growth. Commissioner elaborated on OLB’s key priorities, including fostering local engagement, integrating corporate social responsibility into businesses, advancing our ‘Blue Destination’ initiative, implementing adjustments to the visitor entry tax, and securing structural funding for TCB. This reflects our commitment to a collaborative and sustainable future.

Bonaire’s Harbor Office representative, Kia-San, shared an overview of the performance of the cruise visitors. 187 cruise ships are projected in 2023, welcoming roughly 400,000 visitors. She also underlined the need for the proper management of our cruise tourism industry. She introduced exciting new additions like the Explora I while explaining our ‘One Ship Policy’ for responsible cruise industry management.

As part of the Bonaire Tourism Summit, TCB also hosted interactive breakout sessions in which the private sector participated and provided their input for marketing initiatives for Bonaire for 2024.

TCB would like to thank all partners who attended this year’s Annual Bonaire Tourism Summit.