Press Release TCB
Bonaire was recently represented by a delegation, consisting of the Harbor Master Mr. Gunther Flanegin, Tourism Corporation Bonaire Ms. Malinda Hassell and Ms. Mimi Zhen, which attended the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference at Miami Beach. This conference is held yearly and it’s the world's largest gathering for the cruise industry’s most significant players which is a great platform for networking and educational sessions.
For the first time Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire joined together and featured a joint booth in the exhibition hall. This created a positive impact in view that the ABC Island’s showed one force. Many of the Cruise Lines that have Southern Caribbean Itineraries make use of the ABC ports. Therefore having a joint booth shows that as islands we are collaborating in various areas. The ABC booth also met with St. Maarten to discuss possibilities for future itinerary collaborations. Discussions will continue throughout 2019.
Meetings were conducted with top executives; The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and its operational team consisting of top executives from Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and FCCA. Meetings were also held with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Global Ports Holding. The consensus among Cruise Line Executives is that they are pleased with the high satisfaction ratings given by their passengers after port calls to Bonaire. Bonaire is ranked as a top 3 destination among all the other Caribbean Islands and top 7 when it comes to meeting tourists expectations (Source: Exit Survey FCCA). In general Bonaire scores high concerning visitor satisfaction and maintaning the quality of its tours and overal product. Cruise Lines were also satisfied with the recent pier renovations and improvements. Tourism Corporation Bonaire also presented the Bonaire Blue Destination initiative, this was well received and they are looking forward to hear more about this initiative. TCB will work on marketing initiatives to communicate and raise awareness among the trade and cruise passengers about Bonaire Blue Destination.
There is room to raise the expenditures, we therefore would suggest all tour operators and related partners to further develop unique products and experiences. Focus also on the quality of the tours and services offered and continue to provide an exceptional shore experience to all cruise ship passengers.
Overall it was a successful conference, moving forward Bonaire needs to define its Cruise Strategy as Cruise Lines continue to show interest to deploy more ships in the Southern Caribbean area. Together with key stakeholders and the Island Government the strategy needs to be defined.
Tourism Corporation Bonaire would like to thank Mr. Sjoerd also known as Mr. Saltman for providing us with the “koi dushi” chocholate that was gifted to the cruise partners.