The analysis of social media data has an enormous potential to reveal spatial behaviour of tourists and residents. It also allows us to assess the magnitude of the tourism activity in specific natural areas. A pilot study was conducted in Bonaire to analyze the usage of social media (Instagram, Panoramio and Flickr) and provide insights into the behaviour and characteristics of tourists. The study revealed that different types of users (e.g. marine vs. land-based users) have a different spatial distribution. By linking social media data to actual visitation rates, the data can be applied in the monitoring of human impact on the natural environment, e.g. visitation rates of tourists to natural areas. The findings of the study offer a valuable input to the work led by the Government of Bonaire and the Tourism Corporation Bonaire, who are currently preparing a Tourism Development Plan to support sustainable development of the tourism sector.