BONAIRE BECOMES THE FIRST BLUE DESTINATION

**Bonaire: The World’s Leader in Preservation by Synergizing People and Nature**

Kralendijk, Bonaire – (June 8, 2018). In celebration of World Ocean Day, Bonaire proudly announces the development of a multifaceted public private partnership program that will officially establish Bonaire as the first Blue Destination. In committing to and adapting the sustainable use of ocean resources for growth, well-being, jobs and the ocean ecosystem’s health, Bonaire will be the World’s First Blue Destination. Bonaire will position itself as a progressive island in terms of synergizing people and nature. This will increase Bonaire’s competitive position and secure its position as a leader in the preservation of its assets.

Bonaire has always been a worldwide leader in recognizing the important aspects and developments of sustainability as well as sustainable economic growth opportunities. Bonaire was the first Caribbean island to have a protected marine park, with protection of nature as a cornerstone of our sustainable tourism policies; the island’s economic development plan is built on sustainability and 40% of the island uses clean energy. Bonaire’s recognition of the importance of its water resources even extends to its flag, where the blue represents the pure waters. Becoming a Blue Destination is aligned with Bonaire’s culture, history and the heritage of people who have embraced and protected the ocean for their livelihood. Bonaire looks forward to adapt the Blue concept and share this with its stakeholders, community and visitors.

In one of the initial Blue initiatives, the island is working to become the first Caribbean island to ban oxybenzone and oxainoxate. Other commitments that have started and will include various stakeholders are for example; dive operators informing about the effects of oxybenzone on coral reefs, and only selling reef safe sunscreen. Having hotels put small bottles of oxybenzone free sunscreen and a container for water vs. bottled water in each guest room. Working with the Harbor Master to place water fountains around the island in order to reduce plastic bottle waste, and informing cruise ship passengers about the high quality and delicious taste of Bonaire’s drinking water. Cruise ship passengers will also be educated on the adverse effects of Oxybenzone. Other commitments are working with restaurants to come up with special dishes that will be coined the term, 3B: Blue Bonaire Bites concept. This concept will be represented by Blue cuisine (seafood and agricultural) products that are locally caught or grown.

Throughout the upcoming months, Bonaire will have continuous meetings with various stakeholders and organizations, organize town hall meetings, get schools involved and will launch numerous programs that support the Blue Island positioning. During 2018 there are various events and conferences planned in which they all synchronize with being a Blue Destination. A national social media campaign, “What is Blue to You?” will be launched. This campaign will serve as a promotional vehicle to get locals involved in the conservation and marketing efforts of the island. Everyone will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #BonaireBlueDestination, and sharing key words that are representative to each person for Bonaire becoming a Blue Destination. There will also be a community event in correlation with Bonaire International Sailing Regatta (October 10, 2018) where Bonaire will officially declare itself a Blue Destination. For more information on the Bonaire Blue Destination and the various upcoming events visit: www.BonaireBlueDestination.com

About Bonaire

Located outside the hurricane belt, eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean. World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers as it offers a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more. Accommodations range from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to intimate guesthouses and small inns. For those who prefer more luxurious accommodations, the Bonaire Villa Collection features the finest villas on Bonaire.

Bonaire is ranked #8 on the list of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards Top 10 Caribbean Islands, voted #1 in Islands magazine’s Editors’ Picks: Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean, one of the Best Places to Snorkel in the World by MSN.com and named one of the 10 Caribbean islands to visit in the spring by Caribbean Journal.

Bonaire placed in the Top 10 in two different categories for USA Today’s 10Best 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards: 1,000 Steps and the Hilma Hooker were ranked the 5th and 8th Best Caribbean Dive Sites; and the Cadushy Distillery was ranked the 8th Best Rum Distillery in the Caribbean. MSN.com named Bonaire one of the top Destinations to Escape the Cold This Winter, Travelocity named Bonaire one of the Top 6 Caribbean Islands to Visit Now, Trip Savvy recognized Bonaire’s National Marine Park as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, one of the 10 Must Dive Destinations for 2017 by Forbes, the 4th best island in the world for snorkeling by Islands.com and Conde Nast Traveler named Bonaire the #3 most beautiful Caribbean island to Visit.

For the 25th consecutive year Bonaire was recognized as the number one Shore Diving Destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. This year, it received 11 awards. It was also voted number one for Snorkeling, Macro Diving, Freediving, Marine Environment and Beginner Diving.

Bonaire has always been at the forefront of nature preservation and conservation and strives to be one of the top eco-friendly destinations in the Caribbean. The island accomplishes this by taking the environment and local culture into consideration when embarking on tourism initiatives. It’s no wonder that the Green Destinations Top 100 Team selected Bonaire as one of the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations for 2017 for the 2nd consecutive year.

Getting to Bonaire

American Airlines: Miami – Bonaire

Starting June 9, 2018: Weekly non-stop service from Miami International Airport (MIA) every Saturday.

Delta Airlines: Atlanta – Bonaire

Weekly non-stop service from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) to Bonaire every Saturday and Sunday.

United Airlines: Houston – Bonaire

Weekly non-stop service from George Bush International Airport (IAH) every Saturday. Return flight will depart Bonaire every Sunday.

United Airlines: Newark – Bonaire

Weekly non-stop service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) every Saturday.

 

For more information on Bonaire visit www.tourismbonaire.com