GDP in actual prices was approx 505 million US dollar biggest in 2020 on Bonaire, followed by St. Eustathius with 89 million American dollar. Saba’s GDP in real prices was 44 million US dollars in 2020.
Catering, culture and recreation in particular are hit hard by Bonaire due to an entry ban
The catering industry’s added value shrank by 53.5 percent due to the sharp drop in the number of incoming tourists. On Bonaire, the borders were closed to tourists from 14 March 2020. On 2 July 2020, the first flight from Europe landed on Bonaire again. For other countries, the borders were closed even longer. As a result, the number of visitors arriving by air fell by almost 60 percent in 2020. Cruise tourism also came to a standstill from mid-March. The number of cruise passengers fell by more than 60 percent in 2020. The catering industry was open to residents for a large part of the year.
The travel ban also caused a major contraction in the cultural, sports and recreation industries. Surplus value fell by 43.1 percent. The decline was greatest in the recreational sector in diving schools and casinos.
The picture is mixed in the transport, information and communication industry. Value added in taxis, boat hire and other transport companies fell significantly, while telecommunications companies and IT companies performed well. The added value of the transport, information and communication industry fell by 7.5 percent.
The image is also mixed in trade. Hardware stores and supermarkets did well, while for example jewelery and gift shops, which are more dependent on inbound tourism, registered a decline. The added value of trade fell by 5.5 percent.
|Property letting and trading||-2.3|
|Energy and water companies||-3.2|
|Agriculture and mineral extraction||-4.2|
|Transport, information and communication||-7.5|
|Culture, sport and recreation||-43.1|
|the restaurant industry||-53.5|
There are also industries on Bonaire whose value added increased in 2020. The added value in construction increased by 8.5 percent. In the field of education, there was an increase of 4.8 percent due to an increase in the number of students in primary and secondary schools. In public administration (3.2 percent) there was an increase because the number of jobs in this industry increased compared to 2019. The added value in healthcare increased by 2.1 percent due to the additional revenue obtained for COVID-related concern.
Significant contraction on Saint Eustatius
The sharp economic decline of 25.9 percent at St. Eustatius owed mainly to a few large companies on the island. These companies produce mainly for export and are dependent on regional developments in the oil sector. Due to the corona pandemic, there was less demand for oil and oil storage in the region.
There was also an entry ban on St. Eustatius in 2020. As a result, inbound tourism by air decreased by almost 70 percent, resulting in a decrease in the added value of the hospitality industry and the culture and recreation sector.
It is the third year in a row that GDP on Saint Eustatius has fallen. Compared to 2017, the volume of GDP in St. Eustatius with 40.1 percent in 2020, from 142 million ugly 85 million US dollar (in 2017 prices). This has a number of reasons. In 2018, Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage to the island. In 2019, a number of large companies were strongly affected by regional developments in the oil sector, which reduced the demand for oil storage. And in 2020, the corona pandemic hit.
While the companies heavily dependent on oil demand in the region have a large impact on GDP, their impact on national income is limited. The profits of these companies are not included in the national income because these companies are fully owned by foreign shareholders. They mainly contribute to the labor income on the island.
Strong decline in tourism contributes to decline on Saba
The added value in the catering industry and the culture and recreation sector fell due to the absence of tourists as a result of the corona pandemic. The number of passengers by plane or boat (including ferry) fell by 70 percent on Saba in 2020. Fewer rooms were also rented out to students. As a result, Saba’s GDP fell by 6.3 percent in volume terms, the largest decline since the start of the series in 2012.
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