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TCB and Government of Bonaire attend the FCCA cruise summit in Miami

Last week representatives of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) and the Government of Bonaire (OLB) attended a cruise summit in Miami hosted by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). The Bonaire delegation consisted of TCB Marketing Coordinator Derchlien Vrolijk, TCB Cruise & Project Coordinator Elesiër Angel, the government’s Commissioner of Economic Affairs & Tourism Hennyson Thielman, Harbor Master Gunther Flanegin and Policy Advisor Debby Rauwers.

This was the first post-pandemic event, where representatives of all cruise lines could meet with executives from various destinations and tour operators. Cruise lines shared their pandemic experiences and their plans for moving forward and renewing the industry. Attendees were able to reconnect, build relationships, discuss ongoing developments and topics related to the restart of the cruise sailing. For Bonaire, this was an opportunity to re-establish connections and communicate the new vision in line with the Tourism Recovery Plan.

Cruise lines presented their new protocols, such as sailing with up to 95% vaccinated guests with a majority of the 5% unvaccinated being children under the age of 12. The cruise executives showed interest in local (cultural) experiences in an effort to “Go local”. Furthermore, cruise lines informed how they are redefining their environmental and social initiatives and are building new ships that are more sustainable.

The Bonaire delegation also attended one-on-one meetings with several cruise lines and organizations separately. During these meetings Bonaire presented its vision for future cruise visits as stated in the Tourism Recovery Plan. These are aligned with the efforts to create a well-balanced, long-term sustainable tourism sector for Bonaire.

The first cruise visit to Bonaire is expected in early September 2021. Cruise executives indicate that Bonaire is one of the most popular islands, with a guest-service and experience with an average score above 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, up from a score of 7 in 2016. This is a direct compliment to Bonaire’s local operators as well as everyone who is directly and indirectly connected to the cruise service industry.

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