Category Archives: Tourism Announcements

Washington Slagbaai National Park Remains Closed After Heavy Rains

Washington Slagbaai National Park temporarily closed.

Unfortunately, Bonaire’s Washington Slagbaai National Park remains temporarily closed as the northern part of the island received torrential rains on Friday, April 14th, 2017.

Heavy rains caused flooding in Bonaire's Washington Slagbaai National ParkRainfall in the park totaled 65.3 mm/2.57 inches in three hours, causing flooding and damage to the roads.  Although the park staff has been working tirelessly to get the park ready for visitors once again, the park remains closed until another assessment can be made this weekend.  The earliest the park might be open for traffic is Monday, April 24th, 2017, but STINAPA will evaluate if that is possible this weekend.

In the meantime, the museum, Kasikunda Trail, and the Lagadishi Trail are open for visitors, and entrance to the park is free during this interim period.

For additional information, you may contact Washington Slagbaai National Park at telephone 788-9015.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


Free WiFi Hot-spot in Wilhelmina Park in Kralendijk

Visitors can pick up free WiFi via a hot-spot in Kralendijk’s Wilhelmina Park.

Last week, officials from Island Government, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, and Digicel launched a new service for Bonaire’s visitors and residents who are frequently in Wilhelmina Park, in downtown Kralendijk.  Effective immediately, a free WiFi hot-spot has been created.

Free wifi hotspot in Wilhelmina Park, BonaireInstructions to access the hot-spot.

To access the hot-spot, you will need a Facebook login to verify your identity. To find the connection on your wireless device, simply search for the signal “Welcome to Bonaire” and follow the login instructions.  You will receive 30 minutes of WiFi free, and, should additional time be needed, you will be prompted to purchase more minutes to continue on the high-speed Internet.

This service is provided thanks to a coordination of efforts between Bonaire’s tourism office, Digicel (one of the island’s mobile providers), and the Protestant Church, for assisting with installation locations.

(Source:  TCB)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


Washington-Slagbaai National Park Re-Opens After Heavy Rains

Washington Slagbaai National Park re-opens after Bonaire’s recent rains.

Washington Park is once again open to all traffic as of today, January 19th.  The park was recently forced to close after frequent rains, which affected the roads throughout the park.

Additionally, STINAPA has announced that the park will be closed on Sunday, January 22nd, 2017, for repair to the roads which suffered damage from the heavy rains.

If you have plans to visit the park in the coming days, give the park a call at 788-9015 to be sure they are open, especially if the rains continue, as the situation can be amended at any time due to the weather conditions.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 

 

 

 

The Silver Quality Coast Award is Bestowed Upon Bonaire

Bonaire has just been awarded another major accolade, the Silver Quality Coast Award.

Recently, The Netherlands Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Henk Kamp, awarded Bonaire with the Silver Quality Coast Award, presented to the island’s Director of Tourism, Mr. Maurice Adriaens, during a recent Bonaire Economic Conference.

About the Silver Quality Coast Award.

silver_medal_verticalThe Silver Quality Coast Award is an award developed by the Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC). This is a part of the “Green Deal” for sustainable tourism that was initiated in November, 2014 and runs through December, 2016. The aim of this initiative is to promote the sustainability of destinations, such as Bonaire.

This must be achieved by developing a joint vision on the manner in which the sustainability of the destination, along with the development of processes and resources, are considered. These criteria provide a measurement as to the sustainability of the destination.

How Did Bonaire Qualify for the Silver Quality Coast Award?

In recent weeks, Bonaire hosted  personnel who visited to make their initial assessment as to whether Bonaire is a green destination. Various Bonaire stakeholders were interviewed as well. After successfully completing the assessment, Bonaire was awarded the Silver Award.

Gold is the New Goal.

Having attained Silver status, Bonaire’s tourism entity, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, now has plans to jointly work together with the island’s private sector tourism providers to make improvements, which need to take place within one year in order to acquire a higher ranking for the next Bonaire Green Destination Assessment.

What is the Green Deal?

Green Deal is a collaboration between The Netherlands and the United Kingdom to support each other on individual efforts, especially in priority areas such as sustainable energy, nature management, sustainable tourism, and waste policy.

(Source:  TCB)

Austin & Lorrie Headland Honored as Gold Bonaire Ambassadors

20151029-Headland1Last evening on the pier table at Sebastian’s Restaurant, Austin and Lorrie Headland were honored by Rolando Marin, of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire, for their dedicated annual visits to Bonaire.

The couple has been visiting Bonaire each year for over 21 years, and in some years, visited twice.  They hail from Alabama in the United States, and even though they habitually travel to other dive locations, they admit that Bonaire is the destination that they continue to return to year after year.

20151029-Headland2Both Austin and Lorrie are divers, and underwater photographers as well.  Although they do spend long hours underwater (many dives reach almost two hours in length), they also enjoy just kicking back and enjoying the island.  Over the years, they have made many friends on Bonaire.

Chef Sebastian himself placed their honorary gold medals, when they were dining at his restaurant.

Congratulations, Austin and Lorrie, and continue to visit for many more years!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

 

Bonaire’s Tourism (Arriving by Air) Increases 5% in First Half 2015

As reported by Statistics Netherlands, Bonaire received 5% more air passengers as tourists in the first half of 2015 than in the same period in 2014.

In the first half of 2015, 68.8 thousand tourists landed on Bonaire, an increase of over 5% compared to the first six months in 2014. April 2015 was an especially high month, when Bonaire saw 1,300 more tourist than the year before for the same month.

20151027-Arrivals

More than half of the tourists flying to Bonaire were Dutch nationals. Of this group, 29%lived in the European part of the Netherlands, while the other 25% were Dutch nationals who lived outside of the Netherlands. Those from the United States formed the second largest group of tourists with 23%.

(Source:  RCN)

InfoBonaire, The Bonaire Information Site, Launches New Website

Since 1998, InfoBonaire has been providing the latest news and information about tourism to Bonaire.  The new website continues to include important information on planning a visit to Bonaire, including how to get to Bonaire, available accommodations, or activities for your vacation to the island.  However, the new site also has expanded sections which provide glimpses into a Bonaire that many visitors miss.

For example, the new cultural section includes information about Maskarada, Simadan, and other aspects of Bonaire’s culture where tourists are always welcome to join in with the festivities.

The Activities section has been also expanded and now includes information on hiking within Washington-Slagbaai National Park or taking unique tours which are off the beaten path.

The News & Events section includes a calendar of events for the next year, information about annual events on Bonaire, such as the upcoming Sailing Regatta, and even The Bonaire Insider shares its news via the InfoBonaire.com site.  Those wishing to subscribe to the free news alerts can do so easily on any page of the site.

And what would Bonaire be without its nature?  Bonaire’s underwater environment is well known around the world, but many visitors overlook the terrestrial habitat, which can be just as stunning.  This section on the island’s nature will keep you informed with the latest information–just like Bonaire’s new Yarari Shark & Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

The new web site has over 200 pages of information about Bonaire, and you are invited to spend a few minutes perusing the site.  Navigation is clear and it is easy to find just the information you seek, either through the main navigation or simply search at the top of any page.  The site is fully responsive, so it displays well on any device from phone to tablet or desktop system.

As always, best efforts are made to insure that information is updated as needed, but your comments are always welcome at questions@infobonaire.com.

(Source:  NetTech NV)

 

 

Explore the Countryside of Bara di Karta With Newly Opened Drive, Hike, and Bike Trails

Visitors to Bonaire habitually are always eager to find new areas of the island to explore, and now that is even easier with the newly opened driving, hiking, and cycling trails of the Bara di Karta area.

Covering a large swath of the eastern coast in the middle of the island, the marked trails offer highlights of nature, culture, and just some fun exploration.  The area is named after a hill named Bara di Karta.

The driving trail is about 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) long and, if driven non-stop with a slow speed (and a slow speed is mandatory), it will take approximately 1.5 hours.  Along the way, signs will point out many of the area’s attributes, as well as some of the attractions which are available (although advance reservations are suggested for visiting some of the local attractions).

After beginning the driving trail, one of the first locations one will encounter is Plantation Washikemba, one of the larger plantations on Bonaire and which was primarily used for the growing and production of aloe vera.  Rumors still persist today that the grand old home is haunted, but the ghost only appears to women.

Another interesting item to view is the longest tree on Bonaire which has a horizontal length of 28 meters (92 feet).  Along the trail, one will see Boka Washikemba (the bay of Washikemba), as well as boulders which were transported inland during past tsunamis, local kunukus, and, of course, lots of cactus!  The trail wends its way along Bonaire’s eastern coastline, offering great photo opportunities of the waves crashing in on the island’s wet ‘n’ wild coast.

 

To find the beginning of the trails, follow the signs from Kaya Korona and turn east on Kaminda Lagun.  Before you reach the eastern coast, watch for a turn-off on the right side onto a dirt road.  There is a large sign there outlining the trails, and then simply follow the signs for your desired trail:  Yellow for the driving trail, blue for the bike trail, and pinkish red for the hiking trails.

On the next Bonaire vacation, get out and see a new part of the island!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Tourism to Bonaire Was Stable in 2014

The RCN has just completed compiling tourism statistics for the island of Bonaire, and all aspects of the island’s tourism were stable in 2014.

In 2014, an average of 11,000 tourists per month traveled to Bonaire by air; for the entire year of 2014, the number was approximately 130,000, around the same number as in 2013. Fewer tourists arrived by plane in June and July than in the same period in previous years, but this was compensated by more tourists arriving in other months of 2014. In 2014, most tourists arriving by air had the Dutch or American (including Puerto Rican) nationality. The share of Dutch tourists has decreased over the last three years.

Day trippers accounted for 13,400 of the approximately 130,000 tourists who flew to Bonaire in 2014 with more than half of the remainder staying for at least one night, the remainder spent seven nights or less on the island, with the highest peak for seven nights. The average number of nights spent by this group of tourists was 9.1. This is similar to the 9.2 nights in 2013. The average length of stay for all tourists arriving by air, including day trippers, was 8.2 nights, both in 2013 and in 2014.

Just as in previous years, in 2014 more tourists arrived on Bonaire by ship than by air. Most–156,000–were cruise passengers. In 2012 and 2013, 158,000 and 142,000 cruise passengers respectively visited the island. In 2014 the average number of passengers per cruise ship was 1,200. Due to small changes in the composition of the cruise ships docking at Bonaire, this average is lower than the 1,500 per ship in 2013. If only comparable cruise ships are taken into account, the average number of passengers per ship in 2014 was similar to that in 2013. More cruise passengers arrived in November and fewer in December than in the same months in 2013. It is not known how many cruise passengers went ashore. The graph below clearly shows that the cruise industry is very seasonal: hardly any cruise ships come to Bonaire in the summer months because of hurricanes. The economic significance of the cruise industry is clearly smaller for Bonaire than that of tourists staying on the island. For example, most cruise ships only stay in Bonaire for one day. In addition, cruise passengers do not use accommodations on the island.

The number of non-cruise ships–motor boats, yachts and other small vessels–that called at Bonaire in 2014 was relatively small: 850, with an average of 3.1 passengers per boat. These boats stayed for 12.7 nights on average. This relatively long length of stay is partly due to the fact that Bonaire has two well-protected harbors: the Harbour Village Marina and the smaller harbor at Plaza Resort. About 50 percent of these smaller vessels stayed in Bonaire for 10 days at the most. (Source:  RCN)