Tourism Workshop – Helvig Thode, Bonaire Representative
“Bonaire will position itself as a progressive island in terms of synergizing people and nature. This will result in a positive economic, cultural and nature stimulation for the island,” said Ms. Helvig Thode, Bonaire’s Representative.
In 2017, the tourism industry contributed 229 million US dollars to the local economy and 25 per cent of jobs are tourism related. The challenges include the competition from elsewhere, an underperforming mainstay tourism sector – diving – need a more diversified portfolio inadequate pricing of eco-tourism sector, need for improved accommodation, convert Bonaire into a high-end destination with 30 per cent of hotel inventory at four-star plus star.
The intention is to convert tourism industry into an engine that serves all of Bonaire, notably using its credentials as the First Blue Destination. It was the first Caribbean island to have a protected marine park and 40 per cent of the island uses clean energy. Becoming a blue destination is aligned to Bonaire’s culture history and the heritage of the people who have embraced and protected the ocean for their livelihood.