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Let’s Talk Tourism – Joint Quarterly Press Conference
21 September 2021

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) together with its partners the Public Entity of Bonaire (OLB), BONHATA, Bonaire International Airport (BIA), and the Harbor Master held a press conference to provide an overview of tourism performance in 2021 and an outlook for tourism for winter 2021/2022. A noteworthy event which took place during the press conference is the announcement of Commissioner of Tourism, Mr. Hennyson Thielman that the government has proposed a significant increase to 3 million USD budget for Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the newly presented proposed Government budget for the year 2022.

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.

Mr. Hennyson Thielman, Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs, shared our island’s tourism vision focusing on Inclusive Tourism growth and the recovery efforts post COVID crisis. OLB has set forth a clear vision for when it comes to Air Service development, Cruise and the implementation of the Tourism Recovery plan. Furthermore, an update was given on the current developments such as the new to be introduced Tourism Entry Tax, additional funding for Tourism efforts and the investment in product development e.g., beach improvement projects.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire’s CEO, Mr. Miles Mercera addressed his experience on the first 100 days in office and TCB’s priorities in regard to the Tourism Recovery plan. Several initiatives and projects have been undertaken. Mr. Mercera also shared TCB’s vision and projects realized to achieve the definition of “Inclusive tourism’’ and our efforts to incorporate our heritage, people and culture in our tourism offering. Furthermore, TCB provided an explanation on the repositioning of Bonaire, the process and the planning. Stakeholder collaboration is an important focus for the Tourism Board which will commence with its first annual Bonaire Tourism Summit taking place on World Tourism Day on September 27th, 2021. TCB’s investment in the last couple of months has also been in DATA gathering and management hereof and TCB shared insights such as the average lead time of a visitor traveling to Bonaire from the Netherlands which is 69 days, or the average nights stayed on the island which is 20.4-nights of which over 50% stay 14 nights. The US market which is an important market for Bonaire has an average lead time of 130 days and an average night stay of 10.8 nights of which over 50% of our visitors from the US stay between 4-7 nights.

Veroesjka de Windt, CEO of BONHATA shared an update on the accommodation performance for the month of July and August of 2021 and the forecast for the upcoming months. In the month of July, the occupancy rate was 70% and August 75%. This is an increase compared to the same period in 2020 when the occupancy rate was 20-25%. BONHATA is seeing a strong recovery post-Covid and will continue to collaborate, invest with TCB and stakeholders.

Onno de Jong, COO of BIA gave an overview of the number of passengers arriving on the island from January – August 2021 with insights of where they are coming from. Bonaire welcomed a total of 191,163 visitors between January 2021 – August 2021 by air, with a total of 5,248 flights arriving at the Bonaire International Airport. Majority of the visitors arrived from Amsterdam (114,681 pax.), Curacao (40,990 pax.), Atlanta (6,614 pax.), Miami (5,814 pax.), and Aruba (4,129 pax.).

The Harbor Master, Mr. Gunther Flanegin shared on the number of cruise calls scheduled for the upcoming season and the COVID protocols that are in place. For the month of September, we currently have 2 cruise calls scheduled, for October 4 cruise calls, and for the month of November a total of 22 cruise calls are scheduled.

Full presentation of the joint press conference can be downloaded via the following link: https://we.tl/t-LjgZOE3Zb6 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.

Vacancy Security Officer (m/f)
04 September 2021

Bonaire International Airport N.V. is looking for a Security Officer. Click below to read more.

Vacancy Security Officer
BIA gives presentation to delegation of the Dutch Senate and the House of Representatives
27 August 2021

Yesterday Bonaire International Airport (BIA) gave a presentation to a delegation of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives (Eerste en Tweede Kamer). The delegation was informed by BIA about the challenges and plans for the airport. During the presentation, the master plan with future developments to accommodate the growth in the number of flights and passengers was explained. For example, platforms have to be moved and expanded to meet international safety standards. The airport is also faced with an increasing number of flights and the terminal’s capacity is too limited to handle the large number of passengers.

Camiel Eurlings appointed as member of the Supervisory Board of BIA
19 July 2021

As of 1 August 2021, Mr. Camiel Eurlings has been appointed as a member of the Supervisory Board of Bonaire International Airport N.V. Mr. Eurlings brings expertise in the field of aviation and governance and has an extensive track record; for example, he was Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management and CEO of KLM. Mr. Eurlings has held various supervisory positions.

In the private field, for example, he was a supervisor at American Express Global Business Travel and GOL Airlines. At the intersection of public and private, as a member of the government at the time, he was ultimately responsible for supervisory bodies at organizations such as Air Traffic Control of the Netherlands, the Central Bureau on Driving Skills (CBR) and the Rijksdienst Wegverkeer.

Mr. Eurlings was nominated by the Supervisory Board after an intensive procedure in which more than 60 interested persons took part. With the appointment of Mr. Eurlings, the Supervisory Board now consists of three members: besides Mr. Eurlings, these are Angel Bermudez and Marco van de Kreeke (chairman). BIA is very pleased with the appointment of Mr. Eurlings and looks forward to a pleasant and successful collaboration.

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen visits BIA
14 July 2021

Gisteren bracht Minister van Nieuwenhuizen van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (IenW) een bezoek aan Bonaire International Airport (BIA). De delegatie, bestaande uit o.a. de gezaghebber van Bonaire, de heer Rijna, DG Mobiliteit IenW, Kees van der Burg en Coördinerend Manager Cariben IenW Marjan van Giezen, liet zich door BIA informeren over de uitdagingen en de plannen die de luchthaven heeft. Zo moeten platformen worden verplaatst en uitgebreid om aan de internationaal gestelde normen te voldoen. Minister van Nieuwenhuizen gaf aan dat vanuit IenW de veiligheid van de luchtvaart voorop staat, daaraan kan IenW een financiële bijdrage leveren. De luchthaven heeft daarnaast te maken met een toenemend aantal vluchten en de capaciteit van de terminal is te beperkt om het grote aantal passagiers goed te kunnen verwerken. Een ander project van BIA is de vervanging van de baanverlichting omdat deze aan het einde van zijn levensduur is. In een presentatie werd het masterplan met de toekomstige ontwikkelingen om de groei van het aantal vluchten en passagiers op te kunnen vangen toegelicht.

Het bezoek werd afgesloten met een rondleiding op de luchthaven. Minister van Nieuwenhuizen bekeek hierbij de nieuwe uitbreiding van de vertrekhal en werd rondgeleid langs de beoogde uitbreidingslocaties uit het masterplan. De brandweer van Bonaire (BKCN) stond ook op het platform van BIA met twee crashtenders om een toelichting te geven over hun taak op de luchthaven. De taak van BKCN is bijzonder omdat zij zowel de brandweer voor het eiland zijn als ook voor de luchthaven. Daarna werd gekeken naar de tool die door NACO in opdracht van het Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat is ontwikkeld. Deze tool die o.a. uit akoestische regenmeters en een rekenprogramma bestaat is ontwikkeld om de hoeveelheid regen op de startbaan te kunnen berekenen. BIA is binnenkort verplicht de hoeveelheid water op de baan door regen te rapporteren aan piloten zodat zij daarmee rekening kunnen houden tijdens het starten of landen. 

Het bezoek werd afgesloten met de overhandiging van een baanlamp door de Minister aan de COO van BIA, Onno de Jong, als symbolische start van het project ter vervanging van de baanverlichting. Dit project wordt onder leiding van Rijkwaterstaat uitgevoerd.      

BIA joins #BAN BAKUNA campaign!
14 July 2021

Several employees of BIA participated in the vaccination campaign of the Public Entity Bonaire (OLB).

International assessment for the implementation of COVID-19 measures
30 September 2020

Bonaire International Airport has received the “Certificate of Accreditation” from the Airports Council International (ACI).

ACI is a partnership of international airports. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation Program provides airports with an assessment of how their Covid-19 health measures are aligned with internationally developed recommendations for civil aviation (ICAO).

With this recognition, BIA shows that it implements measures in a professional manner that guarantee the health and safety of employees and passengers as thoroughly as possible. It also shows that BIA is able to prioritize, evaluate and – if necessary – adapt the measures taken to changing circumstances in a timely manner.

Jos Hillen, CEO of Bonaire International Airport: “We are very proud of this recognition. My team has worked hard from the start of Covid-19 to implement all necessary procedures and measures. Our job is to continue this approach unabated and to implement further improvements where necessary ”.