At an event hosted in New York, the Bermuda Tourism Authority spoke about how it aims to become a year-round destination—and how it’s already well on the way to doing so.
The event, which was titled Bermuda: Always in Season, was designed to show off all that Bermuda has to offer throughout the year. (We were told it’s around 70 degrees Fahrenheit right now—much nicer than the weather in the Northeast U.S.) For instance, it’s currently whale-watching season, which provides a great chance to get out on the water, if not in it.
Whether you’re looking to relax on one of its beaches or get out and explore the island, Minister of Tourism and Transport Hon. Zane De Silva tells Travel Agent that there is something for everyone. Although, he adds, the Cup Match, which falls on Emancipation Day (Thursday, August 1) and runs through the weekend, is the best time to visit. “The whole island is shut down,” he says, as it essentially becomes one big party.
In addition to its existing upscale/luxury properties (Hamilton Princess, Rosewood Tucker’s Point, Fairmont Southampton, Elbow Beach, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa and The Loren at Pink Beach), three others are on the way: The Cove, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence; The St. Regis Bermuda; and Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences. What’s better: All three will be located in different areas of the island. The new hotels will push the total room count (including Airbnb) to over 2,500. By 2022, the room count will be 20 to 25 percent higher than right now.
Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, told guests that in 2018, the island saw a record number of guests, with its highest air arrivals in 20 years. Most notably, he added, plenty of that growth came outside of the summer months, meaning the destination is already becoming more popular year-round. Dallas also spoke about how the island was originally a winter destination for the Northeast, as his family would split time between Bermuda in the winter and upstate New York in the summer. The idea being: Bermuda is ready to be a winter destination, it's just about getting the word out.
With the Northeast being the dominant source market for Bermuda, Dallas tells Travel Agent that they’re looking to three other U.S. cities to steadily increase their visitors. Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco have the changing demographics, which research has shown will produce the type of traveler that would typically visit Bermuda. While Canada and the U.K. also support small percentages of visitors, Dallas says that if Bermuda has yet to fully tap its top market, there isn’t yet reason to move on to others. While direct flights are not yet available from Dallas or San Francisco, connections through Atlanta and Miami work well.