More tourist arrivals by air in the Caribbean Netherlands than in 2021
In 2022, altogether 183.7 thousand tourists flew to the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. The number of tourist arrivals by air on Bonaire rose by 55.6 percent relative to the previous year and exceeded the level of 2019, the last year before the coronavirus crisis. Inbound tourism by air on Saba and St Eustatius recovered partially but was not yet back at its pre-pandemic level. This is evident from provisional figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
In 2022, 173.2 thousand tourists visited Bonaire by plane, against 111.3 thousand in the previous year. The number of tourist arrivals was even 9.8 percent higher than in 2019, when 157.8 thousand visitors flew to Bonaire.
In Q4 2022, there were 46.8 thousand tourist arrivals by air on Bonaire, 6.8 percent more than in the same quarter one year previously. Never before did so many tourists visit Bonaire by plane as in the final quarter of last year.
Tourist arrivals by air on St Eustatius up by half in 2022
The number of tourists travelling to St Eustatius by air in 2022 increased by 55.6 percent year on year, to 5.6 thousand. However, this is still 46.7 percent less than in 2019, when 10.5 thousand visitors flew to the island.
In Q4 2022, St Eustatius welcomed 1.7 thousand air visitors, i.e. 54.5 percent more than one year previously. During 2022, the number of air visitor arrivals increased every quarter.
Tourism by air on Saba not yet at pre-pandemic level
Saba also saw an increase in air visitor numbers last year: by 22.5 percent to 4.9 thousand. This is still 44.3 percent less than in 2019. In the last quarter of 2022, 1.4 thousand tourists flew to the island, the same number as one year previously.
Lower share of Dutch nationals visiting Bonaire
The share of tourists with Dutch nationality arriving on Bonaire by air declined by 71 percent in 2021 to 64 percent one year later. The number of Dutch nationals did increase, from around 79 thousand to 111 thousand. The lower share is related to an increase in the number of visitors from the United States. St Eustatius also saw a decline in the share of visitors with Dutch nationality, while Saba recorded a slight increase.
Some of the tourists holding Dutch nationality are residents of Aruba, St Maarten and Curaçao. In 2022, 10 percent of tourist arrivals by air on Bonaire originated from these islands. This share was 15 percent in the previous year. The number of visitors from Aruba, St Maarten or Curaçao did increase last year, by 3.7 percent to more than 17 thousand.