Skip to content

Caribbean Island to Enforce One Ship Policy

Bonaire, an island that is part of the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean, is looking to enforce its “one ship policy” in an effort to make a better experience  for tourists and residents alike. 

Bonaire is a popular tourist destination that has seen significant increase in cruise ship and passenger visits. According to Tourism Analytics, Bonaire saw nearly 458,000 cruise tourists in 2019 which is an increase of nearly 300,000 tourists as compared to 2012. 

Bonaire already has a “one ship policy” that went into effect last year with its Tourism Recovery Plan. However, contractually, there are some days this year that must be honored until mid-April. The policy does allow for small ships of less than 700 passengers as a second ship. 

The hope of enforcing the “one ship policy” is to spread out the number of visitors and improve the island’s service and experience for cruise tourists. Bonaire will also be able to better serve the increased number of cargo ships that are necessary due to the growth of the inhabitants on the island. This will allow the entrepreneurs to offer more service to tourists which also will relieve the pressure on Bonaire’s infrastructure. 

Revising the criteria and requirements for port bookings was also discussed during the press conference. Incentives are being looked at in order to motivate cruise lines, especially those with larger ships, to visit during the off-season as well. 

“With this course, the added value for cruise tourism on Bonaire is improved, which contributes to repeat visits and more money spent per tourist. There is also more space for freight transport for the necessary delivery of goods for Bonaire. This results in a more pleasant and safer environment in and around the port of Bonaire, a better touristic image of Bonaire and availability of goods for companies and residents of Bonaire,” says Commissioner Hennyson Thielman.