Tourism Corporation Bonaire this month announced the appointment of Miles Mercera as director of tourism, along with the addition of Dr. Robertico R. Croes as its tourism strategist and advisor. The pair brings decades of experience in the global hospitality and tourism and foreign affairs industries to their roles.
“It is a privilege to work alongside industry partners to continue to not only build on Bonaire’s reputation as a pristine, eco-conscious and welcoming destination, but to also enhance that image by showcasing the great strides the island has made in recent years in providing diverse culinary offerings, upscale accommodation options and elevated experiences,” Mercera said.
Most recently, Mercera served as an independent tourism professional via his consultancy firm, having stepped down from the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association to pursue a political role. He spent nearly 10 years with the private sector organization, the last four leading the charge as its president and CEO. Throughout his career, Mercera has been involved in various projects for the Ministry of Economic Development for the island of Curaçao; a role with the transition committee of the Curaçao Tourism Board to develop a recommendations report and implement a program for the transition to a Curaçao Tourism Authority; and participating in the Curaçao Airlift committee, with the aim to increase air service to the destination.
Coincidentally, Mercera is not a stranger to Tourism Corporation Bonaire, as he spent two years with the organization early in his career as its online marketing and product development executive before joining the hotel association in Curaçao as marketing and product advocate.
Dr. Robertico R. Croes
On the heels of Bonaire appointing its new director of tourism, Dr. Croes was appointed to his position as tourism strategist and advisor. He is a professor and associate dean who also currently serves as the director of the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
“It’s an exciting time to contribute to the tourism strategy for Bonaire as the island looks to not only recover, but to also renew its positioning as a destination,” said Croes.
His background includes publishing four books about tourism management in warm-water island destinations, tourism and poverty reduction, the challenges facing small island destinations, and the application of demand models to a small economy. Croes will publish his fifth book, Small Island and Small Destination Tourism, in December 2021. Additionally, he has contributed to many more books, has issued over 130 published works, emitted more than 30 industry reports, and made presentations on these topics throughout the world, Croes has also consulted in numerous countries, including Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grenada, Italy and the United States.