Kick off project “What is Bonaire’s Cruise Tourism Worth?”


On January 9, 2012 the kick-off of the project "What is Bonaire’s Cruise Tourism Worth?" was held. Mr. Hugo Gerharts, founder of the cruise tourism on Bonaire, kicked off the research into the value of cruise tourism for the economy of Bonaire. He took those present more than 40 years back in time, to the moment of the first cruise ship that visited Bonaire.


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Acting Governor Peter Silberie, together with Commissioners Burney el Hage and Silvana Serfilia and representatives of the Ministery of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and the tourism branch were present.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation/CN, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Universiteit van Wageningen, Marine Positive and consultancy office WKICS are all working together in this research. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation is funding this research, which is very important for Bonaire.


Bonaire’s economy depends on tourism. Both cruise and diving tourists provide employment and income for Bonaire. The activities of these tourists have an impact on our island, in a positive as well as a negative sense. The positive part is that in addition to the crucial aspects like employment and income, there is liveliness on the island and the possibilities for doing business that translates into an economic growth for Bonaire. The impact on nature and the noise in and around Kralendijk can be negative aspects of tourism. This research is done in order to have a good view of the positive and negative effects of tourism. The philosophy is ‘measuring is knowing.

Research amongst 1,200 tourists

The project starts with the kick-off by Bonaire’s tourism experts, such as: representatives of Bonhata, Bonaire Hospitality Group and CURO. Then an experience survey will be held amongst 1200 Bonaire visitors to evaluate how they are experiencing the island of Bonaire. Both cruise and airborne tourists leaving the island will be approached to participate in this study. Alongside the tourist experience the research will investigate the impact of tourism on the nature of Bonaire. Another research will also take place to find out the opinion of the entrepreneurs in the tourism industry.


The results of this project are used to provide policy makers with the correct information and analyses. Based on the gathered information Bonaire will be more able to manage the tourism development. This way the long-term contribution to the tourism and the prosperity of Bonaire will be optimized.