Tourism Corporation Bonaire organized its annual Cruise Town Hall Meeting in preparation for the 2023-2024 Cruise Season
October 26, 2023
On October 25th, 2023, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) organized its annual Cruise Town Hall Meeting in collaboration with the Bonaire Government and Harbor Office. This gathering brought together key stakeholders from the cruise sector, including taxi services, vendors, travel agents, tour operators, booking agents, and representatives from the local tourism industry, marking the beginning of the 2023-2024 cruise season in Bonaire.
During the meeting, participants engaged in in-depth discussions on various topics, including the performance of the previous cruise season (2022-2023), the “One Call Policy,” first calls, training opportunities, cruise trade shows participation, agreements with cruise partners, and more.
The stakeholders were also informed on the implementation of the “One Call Policy which was introduced by the government of Bonaire in 2021. An update was provided of the dates where there will be two cruise ships in port due to previously already confirmed bookings. Note that cruise lines confirm their cruise schedules up to 3 years in advance. Additionally, starting from January 2023, the new head tax was introduced with a change in fee (head tax) of 3.50$ to 10$ per cruise visitor.
In 2022, Bonaire welcomed 304,563 visitors from 165 ships, and by the end of September 2023, the island had received 341,070 visitors from 123 ships.
The meeting also highlighted initiatives introduced for the local population such as the “behind the scenes tours” for more than 100 MBO VMBO students on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships as part of the signed MOU of 2022. Furthermore, 100+ local children had the opportunity to discover the Carnival Celebration ship and experience a day on board.
The 2023-2024 season, Bonaire has scheduled a total of +/-186 cruise ships. New season first calls include Celebrity Beyond on November 19, 2023, Explora I on November 30, 2023, Norwegian Viva on January 9, 2024, and Emerald Azzurra on February 21, 2024. A new project, “Arts and Crafts Pop Up,” will allow locals to sell handmade products at a “pop-up” location in Wilhelminapark, promoting community participation and market growth.
TCB provided an update on the role of the task force, including the support of KPCN, HarborMaster, Dispatcher, Toezicht & handhaving, R&O and Stinapa. Furthermore, the gentleman’s agreement was discussed and the registration to work in the cruise area has now officially opened and participants can register now for their cruise badge via https://tinyurl.com/Bonairecruise23.
TCB would like to thank all those working in the industry. Visit www.bonaire.portcall.com for the latest cruise schedule. For more information you can contact Tourism Corporation Bonaire at firstname.lastname@example.org