Tourism stays steady in Caribbean Netherlands

Tourism figures for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba remained stable in 2016, reported the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) on Thursday.
The number of visitors arriving by air in Saba decreased by four per cent from 9,600 in 2015 to 9,200 in 2016; however, more visitors arrived by ferry – 7,700 persons which is 10 per cent more than in 2015. The smaller recreational vessels brought another 4,000 visitors to the island.

In 2016, St. Eustatius attracted some 11,000 tourists who came in by plane. This is two per cent more than the 10,700 in 2015. Another 3,300 tourists arrived with smaller recreational vessels last year. Some 2,000 of the 11,000 visitors who arrived by air stayed on the island for one day; 7,200 tourists spent the night on St. Eustatius. In total, tourists spent 85,000 nights on the island.

In Saba, a quarter of the tourists arriving by air were so-called day-trippers. Of those visitors who did spend the night, 60 per cent stayed on the island for at least one night and a maximum of four nights. In total, tourists spent 48,000 nights on Saba.

Some 136,000 tourists flew to Bonaire in 2016, which is more or less the same as in the previous year. Cruise tourism decreased in Bonaire last year; in total 217,000 people visited the island on board a cruise ship, which was six per cent less than in 2015. A number of cruise calls were cancelled, while Hurricane Matthew played a role as well.

One in 10 tourists, who arrived in Bonaire by air, stayed only for the day and did not overnight. Most tourists who did overnight stayed for one to seven days with the majority staying for seven days. In total, tourists stayed about 1.1 million nights in Bonaire.

Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba drew tourists especially from the Netherlands, the US and from neighbouring Dutch Caribbean islands. On all three islands, the majority of the visitors were between 30 and 60 years old.

The Daily Herald.

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