Bonaire is set to implement what the island’s officials are calling a “streamlined” new tourist entry tax.
The new tax, which goes into effect on July 1, aims to replace its current room tax and rental car taxes with a $75-per-visit tourist tax.
The tax will “continue to support the island’s infrastructure, tourism product, eco efforts and education,” according to Tourism Corporation Bonaire.
The tax will apply to all non-residents 13 and over entering Bonaire. Non-residenets 12 and under will be required to pay a $10-per-visit fee.
The tax will be paid digitally via an online platform; the platform will launch June 15. Travelers can also pay on arrival at the airport.
Bonaire also announced that a cruise ship passenger tourist entry tax of $10 per passenger would replace the former “head tax,” with plans to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023. Cruise lines will be responsible for collection and paying the fee on behalf of passengers.
Officials say the new tax shifts the tax responsibility from accommodation and car rental providers to travelers.
They say the new tax could increase revenues by more than $6 million per year.
“It’s important for our visitors to understand that our entry fee is not a new or an additional tax,” said Miles B. M. Mercera, Tourism Corporation Bonaire’s CEO. “We are simply combining our existing tourist taxes into a one-time destination fee, thus making it an easier and less expensive process for most visitors to Bonaire. It’s also a vital investment back into what makes our island so inviting, from our eco-efforts and cultural events to our thriving and friendly local community.”