2009 Tourist Spending Declines by $75 Million

December 30, 2010

Tourist contributions to Bermuda’s economy declined by $75 million in 2009 compared to the previous year with visitors spending $350 million on the island according to figures released by the Statistics Department today [Dec. 30].

The year-over-year decline was reflected in all areas of the hospitality sector except for recreation and entertainment, which registered a small increase in spending. A drop-off in visitor arrivals last year also led to a contracting hospitality industry labour force reported the Statistics Department.

“A decline in visitors during the year resulted in job losses by workers in the industry,” said the department. “Lower demand for tourism services led employers to cut operational costs and scale back the number of industry workers. Employee attrition in the hotel and restaurant sector led to 77 fewer tourism-related jobs than in 2008. Bermudians and expatriate workers alike felt the impact of job cuts.”

“Despite this, the Bermudian share of total employment in the tourism industry was unchanged at 70 per cent in 2009. The tourism industry remained the number one private sector employer of Bermudians.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. person says:

    Utterly shocking, given the deterioration of our beautiful island and the apathy of locals towards providing tourists with a pleasant experience. How sad.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Nothing changes till Bermudians attitude towards working in tourism changes, startinng with the indifferent treatment too often recieved at the immigration counter. Next is the lecture by the taxi driver on the way to the hotel followed by an expensive dated hotel room & a staff that neither knows or cares much about what to do while on the Island.

    Wonder what the tourist spending decline has been under the Brown regime? Wonder what it has been in the last 12 years?

    Very sad reading I’m sure it would be.

  3. Terry says:

    Easy answer to your statement Triangle.

    Look around.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I guess you are right. Lantana…rubble, Sonesta…rubble, Mermaid Beach, Marley Beach, Horizons, plus quite a few others…rubble or residential use now, Elbow…drastically downsized, Loughlands…no more. Why go further east? More of the same, all monuments of the PLP goverments monumental failure in tourism. Lets not even begin to list some of the tourism related business which have collasped in the past 12 years.

      Bermuda used to be the standard all others yearned to be. Not any more.

  4. areUserious says:

    @ Triangle drifter since you seem to be in the know maybe you can fax, email, or drop of your suggestions on what to do on this overprised island? Outside of visiting Dockyard, The Town of St. George, visiting the Caves, jetsking, horseback riding, and the Aquarium what is left? Night life is limited, local entertainment is limited are just a few of the comments you hear our visitors say along with the high prices…. Why should they come here when they can get more bang for their buck elsewhere? Bermuda has long ago outpriced itself as a tourist destination.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Bernews would not allow the space & I don’t have the time to give the details to a Government that “Does not care what I think”.

      Long before 1998 there was the Competitivness Commission, early 90s. Hundreds of people devoted thousands of hours of time it turns out they should have used for themselves. It produced a document about the size of a phonebook with all manner of recomondations. Like so many such exercises that document got shoved to the back of a shelf somewhere, forgotten. A copy must be in the library somewhere.

      Yes, I took part.

      About mid 90s the Government brought in the Monitor Group, an organization with a successful record in helping failing tourist areas. Committees were formed. Much time was devoted. Reports & recomondations were compiled & an action report was given to Government. That report is also gathering dust somewhere.

      Yes, I devoted much time to that one too.

      There are some not too flattering assesments about Bermuda & Bermudians in those reports. Nobody likes the truth sometimes.

      Generally Bermudians in the hotel industry are lazy. It takes two locals to do the job of one elsewhere. Work ethic. See who shows up over Cup Match to work. On all levels Bermuda is an expensive place to do business. Thats why we are so overpriced.

      In 98/99 Bermuda bottomed out of a 14 year tourism slide, hovered then started the slide again until Brown took over as Minister. Since then it has been in virtual freefall.

      Until there is a change in attitude, both by the people & the Government, there will be no improvemment. Look around the Government benches. See any successful business people there? See any hotel people there? See any ideas? They said they had all the answers. I sure don’t see a Jim Woolridge, a Shorty Trimingham, even a David Dodwell as tourism Minister anywhere near the PLP Government

      No investor gambles money on a business when the prospects of a return are highly unlikely. I folded mine some years ago. No upscale tourists anymore. Just a bunch of cruiseship people on their way to Horseshoe Bay.

      When tourism is run by a non political Tourism Authority, as suggested in one of those dust collecting reports, when the PLP admits that they don’t have the answers, when the people really want to work again, when we start giving our customers what they really want. Only then might I consider getting back into tourism. I don’t have $1B to throw away & not be accountable for it. I certainly will not risk another dollar in the current climate.

      The US is climbing out of recession. Bermuda has not hit bottom & bottom is nowhere in sight. Maybe in 2011 Bermudians will wake up & see the mess they voted themselves into multiple times.

      I have way overused Bernews generousity of space.

  5. Sad Statement says:

    I agree the sentiments of Triangle Drifter but i think it goes even deeper. Look at the headlines – crime, drugs, gangs, hatred… Even if you can lure the first time tourist here, you have a hard time getting them to come back after they’ve dealt with rude customs and immigration officers, discourteous front line staff at stores, hotels and restaurants, purse snatchings, burglaries from their apartments, and then an empty pocket book when they are done! Sure, I’m exagerating a little, but not much! Why is it that the visitor from the 1970s comes back year after year, but the visitor from 5 years ago hasn’t come back? Because they know that we don’t want them! Bermudian’s are too proud to “serve” others in a service industry so we’ve drawn east asians and eastern europeans to do the work for us (while complaining that they’ve pushed wages down). We’ve had it too good Bermuda.. The way i see it, it has to get worse before it gets better. Triangle Drifter, i agree, the very people who are jobless and struggling the most, will go to the polls and demand more of the same when they tick the box after being fooled into believing that they are going to somehow be better off.

  6. BERMUDA DO YOU THINK TOURISM WILL COME BACK NO NO WAY IT WILL NEVER LIKE 60 70 80 IT WAS GREAT WE WORKED TOGETHER???