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Tourism Turnaround

PLP Delivers Fresh, New Tourism Marketing Campaign

Bermuda's tourism turnaround is already well underway with reports of full hotels and happy tourism operators being bolstered by increases in tourism arrivals. Now, a new marketing campaign is set to supercharge that effort.

Today, Minister Wayne Furbert announced the new marketing campaign: Bermuda is So Much More! Watch one of the ads:

Highlighted by a new logo featuring the slogan “Bermuda – So Much More”, the campaign is the culmination of months of research and, according to Minister of Business Development and Tourism, The Hon. Wayne L. Furbert, JP, MP, is a reflection of the direction laid out by the recently introduced National Tourism Master Plan.

Minister Furbert:

The “Bermuda - So Much More” campaign will communicate in a fresh and exciting way that Bermuda offers not only a breathtaking island with natural beauty, but also a nearby, culturally rich, history-infused escape with a variety of things to see, do and enjoy in all seasons, 12 months of the year.

The campaign will promote Bermuda’s key tourism segments as identified in the National Tourism Master Plan, including: Leisure & Entertainment, Beach, Eco & Nature, Cultural, Sports & Golf, Nautical, Cruise, Business Travel, and Meetings and Incentive groups.

Finally, the campaign will encourage visitation to all of the island, including the destination “hubs” identified in the National Tourism Master Plan, that include: St. George’s World Heritage Site & St. David’s Island, The City of Hamilton, South Shore Area, Royal Navy Dockyard and Offshore. Bermuda Tourism Board Chairman Maxwell Burgess:

This is an extremely well thought-out campaign based on consumer profiling that helped us gain a deeper understanding of the Bermuda customer than ever before. We were able to fully define target segments for Bermuda’s best customer prospects and develop a campaign that is based on research and concept testing with representative consumers in our core geographic markets.

The local Bermudian flavor extended throughout the creative process as well with Bermudian actors and models utilized for the majority of images in the campaign. Minister Furbert noted with excitement that “Bermuda is Another World”, one of the most iconic and beloved of all Bermudian songs, will be utilized to help tell the island’s story.

The tourism turnaround is underway. And, this new campaign will help to take it to the next level.

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Visitor Arrivals Up 9%

Air arrivals are up. Cruise arrivals are up. The first quarter of 2012 saw a 9% increase in the number of visitor arrivals to Bermuda.

We've seen several quarters of positive growth and it's clear that the tourism turnaround is alive as well. Bermudians are beginning to feel optimistic and get their swagger back. Consider:

Make no mistake, we have more work to do. But, it's clear that our policies of investing in Bermudians saw us through the worst of the global economic crisis and, now, things are beginning to come back.

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Under PLP, Tourism's Creative Marketing Continues

From guerrilla takeovers of Grand Central Station in New York City to taking over Fenway Park - the PLP continues to innovate when it comes to tourism marketing. On Monday, we'll take it to the next level.

On Monday, June 4th, the incredibly popular ABC reality show The Bachelorette will showcase Bermuda.

The episode will cover three uniquely Bermudian dates with the newest Bachelorette. Minister Wayne Furbert:

The Bachelorette is one of America’s most-watched primetime programmes and each season is highly anticipated. The exposure that Bermuda will receive to tens of millions of North American viewers is tremendous and will highlight why this is truly one of the world’s ultimate romantic destinations.

Viewers will join The Bachelorette and her prospective suitors as they enjoy Bermuda’s stunning natural scenery and cultural experiences. While on the island, the Bachelorette and company stayed at Rosewood Tucker’s Point. There she enjoyed the candlelit wine cellar at The Point, the resort’s fine dining restaurant, during a romantic one-on-one date. She also took part in a group date at the resort’s private beach club overlooking a stunning stretch of Bermuda’s signature pink sand beach capped off by a spectacular fireworks display.

A walk along the cobblestone streets of the Town of St. George helped the Bachelorette and her date understand where Bermuda’s distinctive culture began. While in the town they visited attractions such as the Bermuda Perfumery for a signature fragrance and St. Peter’s, Their Majesties Chappell. After enjoying a rum cake and a Gombey troupe performance, the Bachelorette and her date walked through a Moongate for luck.

The couple also saw Bermuda’s maritime activities on full display during a visit to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for a fun and very competitive sailing regatta amongst her gentlemen suitors. In addition, she sailed aboard The Venetian, one of the island’s most luxurious yachts, and witnessed thrilling cliff jumping into the Atlantic.

Bermuda’s awe-inspiring subterranean caves provided the setting for a memorable dinner date amidst crystal stalagmites and stalactites and cool reflecting waters. The show’s signature Rose Ceremony took place in one of Bermuda’s beautiful private homes before the Bachelorette and her suitors left the island for their next adventures.

This is an incredible showcase for Bermuda coming near the beginning of our tourism high season. We know that the tourism market is more competitive than ever and in the midst of the global economic crisis, it continues to be challenging. However, it's clear that with initiatives like this, tourism promotion under the PLP continues to innovate.

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New Delta Flight Signals Optimism About Bermuda's Economy

Airlines don't increase airlifts to destinations they don't see potential for growth. Delta's announcement of a new flight between New York's LaGuardia Airport and Bermuda signal that the airline is bullish on Bermuda's future.

Delta is announcing the new flight to begin next April because they are begging on Bermuda's business and tourism turnaround. They would not be introducing a new flight if they didn't think it would be profitable. That shows confidence in our tourism and business markets.

Minister Derrick Burgess has the news:

I am happy to confirm that Delta Airlines shall introduce daily, non-stop service to Bermuda from New York’s La Guardia Airport, beginning April 7th, 2013.

This comes on the heels of ongoing discussions between Delta and our Airport General Manager, Mr. Aaron Adderley to secure additional airlift from the New York metropolitan area, our largest gateway market.

The hotel industry and others in the Tourism sector had suggested that in order to accommodate growth in air arrivals, they would prefer that the Department of Airport Operations acquire an additional flight out of New York specifically, where awareness of Bermuda is at its highest.

The introduction of the La Guardia service means that Bermuda will have four daily, non-stop flights from the New York area during the 2013 peak season, up from the three that we have at present, thereby increasing the number of daily available seats from 450 to approximately 600.

This new flight adds to what has been an aggressive introduction of new airline services over the past two years, with both Westjet and AirTran entering the Bermuda market in 2010 and 2011 respectively, underscoring the fact that Bermuda continues to be well served with diverse and competitive air services.

For Delta, the new Bermuda service represents their commitment to expanding their presence in the very competitive New York market by offering its customer base a broader selection of leisure destinations from which to chose.

Concerning the details of the new flight, the service commences April 7, 2013 using a 160-seat Boeing 737 aircraft. It departs LaGuardia at 9:55am arrives in Bermuda at 1:05pm; then departs Bermuda at 2:05pm and arrives back in LaGuardia at 3:40pm.

This is big news. Under the PLP, over the last few years, we've seen a boom in air carriers serving the island. WestJet opened competition on the Toronto route and boosted travel from that key gateway market. Then we saw AirTran ad competition on the Atlanta route and also open up a new Baltimore gateway with competitive airfares.

These airlines are bullish on Bermuda. They know that Bermuda's tourism and business sectors are coming back and that's why they're increasing the airlift.

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Empowering Bermudians to Promote Our Island

Today, Minister Wayne Furbert announced a new video contest that harnesses the creative energy of Bermudians to promote our island.

We believe in Bermudians and their talent. We've seen ti recently in a slew of viral videos. And, we want to see more. Minister Furbert:

Following the enormous success of the cliff jumping video and the BDOT’s Spring Break video which featured such fantastic images of Bermuda, we wanted to open the market to all residents, with no age limit, to capture the best of Bermuda on film.

The idea is to show Bermuda and what we can offer a visitor from a resident’s perspective.

We are looking for creative, energetic and fun videos. We are encouraging producers to think outside the box and show us some really innovative new concepts for promoting Bermuda to diverse audiences.

Video content should target potential visitors to Bermuda and address the question, “Why should you visit Bermuda?”.

The content must feature positive images and scenes, ultimately inspiring visitors to want to travel to the Island.

Additional criteria for production:

Ø All videos must be of HD quality
Ø Proof of ownership or copyright release for music is required in writing
Ø Videos should not exceed two-minutes; and
Ø Submissions must not include any obscene content or language or nudity, and product marketing is prohibited.

The winning video will be posted on the BDOT’s website, YouTube channel and FaceBook page. The winner will also win $5,000.

First quarter deadline for submission is Monday, June 18, 2012.

Entries must be emailed to Tina Evans Caines, Manager, On-island Communications, Bermuda Department of Tourism at emevans-caines@gov.bm.

We believe in Bermudians and your talent. Let's see it shine.

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St. Regis Development to Create 600 New Jobs

The St. Regis is yet another step closer to breaking ground. Today, Minister Wayne Furbert announced the signing of an agreement between the St. Regis Hotel developers and the international financial group who will provide the initial capital for the resort's construction.

He also announced that the resort will create 600 new jobs!

Minister Furbert:

This agreement is another indication of the continuing success of the Government and my Ministry’s efforts to drive new investment in the hospitality sector. As we continue to build our economic recovery, we are doubly pleased that the new hotel will open up the prospect of an estimated 600 new jobs in its construction and subsequent management.

We have long felt the new hotel, incorporating so many modern features that are vital to today’s business community, will usher in a new age of investment in Bermuda’s hospitality sector. It sends a strong message to the international investment community that Bermuda is serious about reaching out to create global partnerships and that we are, in all areas, absolutely open for business.

I congratulate all those involved in bringing the St. Regis hotel to Bermuda and I am so very pleased to have been able to extend my support and encouragement throughout the long process of negotiations that have led to this agreement being signed.

Let me be clear, our efforts as a Government are firmly linked in our understanding that all in our community must be the benefactors of the revitalization of our economy. We will not mark full economic recovery until every Bermudian, from our ambitious and hopeful young people to our seasoned industry professionals have realised full employment opportunities.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Michael Weeks’, plans to create 100 new jobs for Bermudians with the reconstruction of the Victoria and Albert Row housing complex in the West End.

The hotel not only represents jobs and opportunities for our people, it also sends a message that international business and international investors are bullish on Bermuda's future. They're betting with their wallets that Bermuda's economy is set to rebound. But, it's not just the international developers and financiers that are betting on Bermuda with their wallets - even Opposition supporters are bullish on Bermuda!

Today's Royal Gazette reported that long time PLP critic Rick Olson has acquired the Silk Restaurant space and plans to turn it into a high end steakhouse and wine establishment. If Mr. Olson and his business partners were down on Bermuda's future, they wouldn't be investing their hard earned money in expanding their business and creating jobs. Even the opposition's supporters know that Bermuda's economy is on the way back and that it is wise to invest in Bermuda!

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Amending the Visa Policy to Encourage Tourism

Today, Minister Wayne Perinchief announced that we are relaxing the visa policy to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more here in Bermuda.

Minister Wayne Perinchief:

Mr. Speaker, Honourable members will be aware that the current policy for visitors to our shores is to permit an initial stay of 21 days. For longer stays, application must be made to the Department of Immigration. Mr. Speaker, true joined-up Government requires that each Ministry do its part to facilitate key economic goals of the country as a whole.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise Honourable Members that with effect from 1st May 2012 the initial visitor stay will be extended to 90 days. Mr. Speaker, this provision for initial longer stays will compliment efforts to promote Bermuda to European guests who traditionally spend more time in their destinations of choice. Additionally, this extended stay will support the fractional housing product and efforts by hospitality providers to promote Bermuda as a genuine second-home to those who can afford to make it such.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members will recall that we have already provided the 90 day stay to visiting yachtsmen and their crews and this extension to land-based visitors is a logical one.

He also announced a new policy to encourage tourism from the booming BRIC economies:

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the change in the length of the initial visitor stay, I am pleased to advise Honourable Members of a further change in support of the efforts of my colleague, the Honourable Member, the Minister of Business Development and Tourism’s efforts to strengthen links with the BRIC countries.

Mr. Speaker, also with effect from 1st May 2012, a waiver of the requirement for a Bermuda Entry Visa will be implemented for visitors from Brasil, Russia, India and China. Mr. Speaker, this will operate on the same basis as extended to other countries. The traveler in possession of a visa for entry or transit to the US, UK or Canada will be afforded this privilege.

Mr. Speaker, with the implementation of this policy, visitors from the BRIC countries will more readily consider Bermuda as a travel destination and a business-friendly jurisdiction. The elimination of the process requiring a Bermuda Entry Visa from the British Embassy in the visitor’s home country will make Bermuda more attractive and sets us apart from competitors who may still require such an entry visa prior to arrival.

Mr. Speaker, this Government continues to be responsive to the needs of visitors both for leisure and for business. We continue to preserve our competitive edge recognizing that in this global economy, every effort must be made to maintain and promote those conditions to spur growth and demonstrate flexibility in our approach to regulation.

We look forward to these policy changes bringing more and varied visitors to our shores and ensuring that visitors can stay longer and invest more in our economy.

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Live from Bermuda!

The summer tourism blitz continues this week with live broadcasts in our gateway Washington/Baltimore market.

This week, the Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT) and CBS Radio are partnering up to drive business from Bermuda’s core US markets.

LaVar Arrington, former linebacker for the Washington Redskins and host of “The LaVar Arrington show with Chad Dukes” completed today's broadcast live today from the island. The show aired on 106.7 FM The Fan in Washington, DC.

Additionally, host John-Paul Flaim is broadcasting his morning show “The Junkies” live from the island each morning from 7.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m., April 9-11. “The Junkies” airs on WJFK’s 106.7 FM in DC and WHFS’s 105.7 FM in Baltimore.

Minister Wayne Furbert:

Our ongoing partnership with CBS Radio enables us to showcase our Island to top talent throughout our most important markets Our goal is to have these influential voices deliver our message to their devoted listeners, encouraging them to plan to their own trip to Bermuda.

There is a new, direct low cost flight on AirTran from BWI airport to Bermuda.

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Competitive Tendering Process Selects Top Firm for US Tourism Marketing

A highly competitive bidding process yielded a high quality firm doing a great deal of work for a very competitive price.

The firm that emerged from the competitive process was Fuseideas, a Boston-based agency.

According to Minister Furbert, Fuseideas impressed the search committee with an in-depth marketing solution to drive tourism that included a mix of segmentation, media, technology, creative and social marketing, all seamlessly brought together.

In highlighting the process of how Fuseideas was chosen, Minister Furbert advised that that the BDOT issued an open Request For Proposal (RFP) November 2011, seeking suitable companies to submit bids for the account, and in response, 29 companies answered the RFP.

The process was an open one. And, the decision involved both Ministry officials and private sector tourism stakeholders.

The company was selected by a ten member panel that included members from the Tourism Board, the Bermuda Hotel Association (BHA), and BDOT technical officers. The contract term will be for one year in the first instance, and the company will be subject to a formal performance review at that time.

The marketing solution, along with Fuseideas’ overall experience in tourism marketing (including Maine Office of Tourism, Collette Vacations, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, and Visit Florida) made the agency stand out.

Minister Furbert:

We are very excited for Fuseideas to bring their energy, creativity and experience to Bermuda. They will work closely with our Tourism team to develop an eye-catching campaign that will differentiate Bermuda and put us top of mind with our target audience.

According to Dennis Franczak, Founder CEO of Fuseideas, campaign elements for the BDOT will include breakthrough creative across all channels, advanced mobile and web technology, in-depth analytics and campaign optimization and social marketing integration. Work is expected to break in May.

Fuseideas is a 50-person international agency with its main headquarters in Boston, with offices in Prague, Portland, Maine and Los Angeles. Their areas of expertise include tourism, economic development, higher education, retail and lifestyle, multicultural, youth and sports and entertainment marketing. Current clients include Adidas, Bermuda Department of Tourism, ESPN, Massachusetts State Lottery, HBO Latin America and Univision, Verizon Wireless and Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Brilliant! Bermuda Tourism Continues to Innovate

While the Opposition is peddling a cynical idea that amounts to little more than renaming the Tourism Department and letting the governor appoint an unelected and unaccountable Tourism boss, the PLP Government is continuing to innovate.

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to be joined by Mr. Rick Richardson, CEO of Bermuda Broadcasting Company Ltd. We have some very exciting news to share!

We are about to undertake what I believe is an unprecedented opportunity. Never before has the Department of Tourism engaged in a venture where Bermuda will receive the exposure I am about to share.

Ladies and gentlemen, our Ministry is currently looking to partner with Bermuda Broadcasting to receive international exposure through CBS Network by depicting the Bermuda weather conditions daily during the CBS Early Show.

CBS Network will display the name of Bermuda at the top of the National Weather map during the weather segments between 7a.m. and 9 a.m. Eastern time. The graphic will also display the temperature.
This latest promotional effort that the good people at Bermuda Tourism spearheaded is nothing short of genius. Minister Furbert:

We are about to undertake what I believe is an unprecedented opportunity. Never before has the Department of Tourism engaged in a venture where Bermuda will receive the exposure I am about to share.

Ladies and gentlemen, our Ministry is currently looking to partner with Bermuda Broadcasting to receive international exposure through CBS Network by depicting the Bermuda weather conditions daily during the CBS Early Show.

CBS Network will display the name of Bermuda at the top of the National Weather map during the weather segments between 7a.m. and 9 a.m. Eastern time. The graphic will also display the temperature.

The Bermuda weather graphic will be carried on the National Network transmission which is carried by affiliates across the United States and via satellite around the world. Bermuda’s weather stats will scroll across the screen each morning alternating during the three weather segments. The feed with graphics including the Bermuda weather will be carried in key Bermuda markets including New York and Boston.

CBS will receive a live shot from specified locations in Bermuda. The live shots will be aired during segment breaks. CBS presenters and crew will travel to Bermuda to conduct a segment for the Early Show.

Our weather and our proximity are two of our key selling points during our tourism high season. Including Bermuda's weather in weather reports will help send that subliminal message to our friends in our gateway tourism markets of our Bermudaful weather!

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