How many people visit Bonaire by cruise ship?
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, in 2021 significantly fewer people visited the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. For instance, cruise tourism to Bonaire only restarted in earnest towards the end of 2021. In total, 56.6 thousand people arrived on the island by cruise ship that year. Most visitors (111.3 thousand) arrived by air. The number of cruise ship and air passenger arrivals was still considerably lower in 2021 than in the pre-pandemic year 2019.
|* Provisional figures|
Return of cruise ships as of September 2021
The number of cruise ship arrivals on Bonaire started increasing gradually as of September 2021. In the last few months of the year, Bonaire received 56.6 thousand cruise ship passengers. Cruise traffic came to a complete standstill when the COVID-19 restrictions for Bonaire came into effect in mid-March 2020.
In November and December 2019, the number of cruise ship passenger arrivals on Bonaire stood at around 52 thousand and 68 thousand respectively; this was only 18 thousand and 35 thousand during the same months in 2021. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most cruise ship passengers visited Bonaire during the months of November, December, January and February.
Bonaire flight tourism partially recovered
In 2021, 111 thousand people visited Bonaire by airplane. This was 30 percent less than in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 crisis. During the second half of 2021, airline traffic recovered so quickly that more people visited Bonaire in Q4 2021 than in Q4 2019 (40 thousand).
Recovery of inbound tourism by air continues on Saba
4.1 thousand people visited Saba by air in 2021. This was more than in the previous year, when only 2.7 thousand people visited. However, it was still 56 percent less than in 2019, the pre-pandemic year.
3.6 thousand visitors flew to St Eustatius in 2021, while this was almost 11 thousand two years earlier. It was somewhat higher in 2021 than in 2020, when there were 3.2 thousand visitors.
Just as Saba, St Eustatius saw an upturn in incoming visitors by air in 2021, but the total was still below the pre-pandemic level.