Statistics Netherlands (CBS) announced today that incoming tourism accounted for a direct contribution to Bonaire’s gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately 16.4 percent in 2012. This is the first time that Statistics Netherlands has surveyed the contribution of tourism to the economy of Bonaire.
126 thousand tourists visited Bonaire by air in 2012
In 2012, 126 thousand tourists travelled to Bonaire by air. More than 60 percent were Dutch nationals; another 20 percent were Americans. Cruise ships also regularly called at Bonaire and tourists sailed to the island on their own boat.
Direct tourist spending amounts to 160 million dollars
Bonaire’s GDP totalled 372 million dollars in 2012. Direct tourist spending was estimated at about 160 million dollars. If the costs of the tourism sector are taken into account, the value added of direct foreign tourist spending was approximately 60 million dollars, i.e. 16.4 percent of Bonaire’s GDP. Other sectors essential to the island’s economy are ‘real estate’, ‘the government sector, education and care’.
Hotels and restaurants most important sector for tourism
Foreign tourists spend their money mainly on overnight stays, food and drinks. Hotels, holiday parks, restaurants and bars benefit most from the inflow of tourists. The sector hotels and restaurants generates nearly half of total value added of the tourism sector. Recreational activities also play an important part in the tourism sector on Bonaire, in particular scuba diving, snorkelling and water sports like wind and kite surfing.
Incoming tourism contributes 1 percent to Dutch economy
The direct contribution of incoming tourism to the Dutch economy is much smaller (less than 1 percent) than the contribution to Bonaire’s economy. Compared to the Dutch economy, Bonaire’s economy leans heavily on incoming tourism. The contribution of incoming tourism to Bonaire’s economy (16.4 percent) is about the same as on similar Caribbean islands.
Scope of the survey
The contribution of tourism to the economy on Bonaire has only taken into account so-called direct activities. Indirect effects, like the effects on suppliers and the so-called ‘induced effects’, e.g. wages earned in the tourism sector, which are spent in the rest of the island’s economy are beyond the scope of this survey. Investment-related activities like, for example, the construction of holiday cottages and hotels are not surveyed either.