Visitor Arrivals, Hotel Jobs Decline

January 27, 2011

Visitor air arrivals declined by one percent in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period the previous year, with the loss of some 144 hotel industry jobs during Bermuda’s peak tourism season.

New figures released by Government’s Statistics Department show 78,806 tourists arrived on island by air between July and September, some 1,141 less visitors than a year earlier.

“Arrivals were affected by the occurrence of tropical storms including Hurricane Igor, which resulted in many cancelled flights and the closure of the L.F. Wade International Airport for two days,” said a Statistics Department bulletin. “Total revenue for the hotel industry contracted 2 percent to $71 million in the third quarter of 2010.”

At the end of July 2010, a total of 2,565 workers were employed in the hotel industry, according to the Department.

“This was five percent below the level reached in the same period of 2009 and represented a decrease of 144 jobs,” said the bulletin. “During the peak tourism period, major resort hotels, and cottage colonies and housekeeping units experienced declines of 98 and 50 jobs, respectively.

“Conversely, guest houses and micro-units hired four additional workers during the quarter, corresponding to an increase in occupancy level during the period.”

The Department said seasonal tropical storms together with the visit of Hurricane Igor negatively affected hotel revenue for the quarter.

“Resort hotels and small hotels each recorded a $1 million decline in receipts. A greater impact was felt by small hotels as their sales revenue dipped 15 percent below the 2009 level,” said the bulletin. “Sales activity for resort hotels slipped only two percent year-over-year.

“Cottage colonies and other accommodation properties reported growth in revenue of 17 percent and 15 percent respectively, a combined increase of $656,000.”

Retail sales for the third quarter declined by more than six percent on a year-over-year basis, down to $262 million from $281 million in the same period last year.

“Retailers of motor vehicles and building materials registered the largest declines in sales this quarter, of 27.6 percent year over year,” said the department. “This represented the largest quarterly decline in sales activity for any sector since 2006. Motor vehicle sales have declined consistently since the second quarter of 2007, while the contraction in building material sales continued to reflect the slow down in the construction industry.

“The decline in retail sales for apparel stores was moderate at 4.6 percent while sales for all other store types stood at 3.9 percent. Food store sales and gross receipts for service stations remained relatively unchanged with growth of less than one percent.”

However, gross revenue receipts for liquor stores were up for the third quarter. Alcohol sales increased by 9.3 percent over the same period in 2009, the highest quarterly increase since 2006.

The full bulletin appears below:

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Comments (15)

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  1. Terry says:

    27.6%? I don’t believe that when it comes to care sale et al.

    Check out Harrington Sound Motors at Harry.Crash.Stole. Plus, IFyoosmashit.bm

    Or you can even pull up Govguttem@Hairport.CH.

  2. Justin says:

    Pure Platinum! hahahaha

  3. RobbieM says:

    The third quarter is supposed to be the best period for the year! What happened here GlobalHue? If you look at the chart (see attached bulletin) provided by the Statistics Department, Bermuda has lost over 30,000 air visitors in the last decade. Can you imagine how much money has been lost by this decline in air arrivals? No wonder retail is in a mess and we have lost many of our guest houses and hotels!

  4. Terry says:

    Robbie ..get real.

    You talking 30,000 pounds or passengers.

    Hell, last time I came through, 12 people had 10lbs Heroin. 14 had 460lbs of weed. Just depends on who’s………………………………

  5. Robert Bryce says:

    Good stats. At least 25% “Tourists” stay in private homes so they are visiting family and friends and are not tourists. Now take out business vistors which the Dept can do as there is another question on the form, and probably less than 30,000 of 78,000 are actually toursits. Why not dispand the DoT and pay each genuine tourist $500 and save about $25,000,000 a year?
    Going to employment split out the Bermudians and Non Bermudians so we can see the real benefit to Bermudians.
    Funny how quarterly statistics of “tourists” are available, yet numbers of unemployed Bermudians is “speculative” per the Minister as the last data is early 2009.
    Way to go Government.

  6. S Brown says:

    “Cottage colonies and other accommodation properties reported growth in revenue of 17 percent and 15 percent respectively, a combined increase of $656,000″

    Fact is that potential tourists would come to Bermuda if accomodations were not so expensive. I have met many people during my travels who love Bermuda but state that it has become too expensive for them to stay there. Most say they would or visit Bermuda via cruise.

    I blame hoteliers, who should be more creative in ways for tourists to get more value for money.

    Then there is the question of what do tourists do when they get here?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I used to provide an on Island activity. My price was similar to a similar service found in the US where overheads are far cheaper than here in Bermuda.

      Despite a steady slow decline though the 90s my best year was 1998. 2006 was my last year. That year did not even match my first year. There comes a point where you can’t keep the store open. There is no single reason for the business to fold.

      I catered to the upper end air visitor, the people who used to spend serious coin in Bermuda & return year after year.

      Those numbers fell dramatically. No point in going on about the DOT & Ministers. Their failures are well documented.

      The hotels are also part of the demise as the have the protectionist mentality trying to keep visitors ‘on property’ rather than experience the whole Island. If you don’t support businesses they will disappear. They don’t seem to understand that nobody goes anywhere in this world just to sleep in a hotel bed & eat at their restaurants.

      Insurance, Government fees etc are 12 month expenses for a business that only operates less than 5 months. Now, instead of getting a little, they get nothing.

      Want to see something scary? Get an old, say pre 1998 visitors map of Bermuda showing all of the accomodations. Pick up one for this year. Compare the two to see all of the small hotels, guest houses, cottage colonies, guest house which no longer exist.

      Platinum period, my @$$. We are well & truly in the corrosion & rust period care of guess who?

      • S Brown says:

        I blame our product. Regarding what we have to offer visitors has not changed much and costs have increased. Casinos are not the answer IMO Why pay $400 per night to gamble when you can go to Atlantic City, Atlantis or Vegas for much cheaper?

        The only way Bermuda can have a platinium period is to have some very creative minds to redevelop or create a tourism product. Something unique that would keep people coming back and saying for longer periods of time. Scooters, pink beaches and cute architecture is not cutting it… And our ‘friendliness’ seems to be disappearing by each generation.

        • Bermyman says:

          Try explaining that to Hotel developers / investors. They make too much money from Casino income. Alot of Babrbados hotel rooms are just as expensive but their hotel Gambling business is extremely viable. Our country is beautiful with beaches and golf courses, pair that with 2 hours travel from the east coast and you have a winner. But we failed to recognise that the competition is a big one in the tourism industry. People will come to Bermuda when you get the hotels involved, at the moment the Hotels are not interested becasue they cannot make $$$ here. High end tourism is not Atlantis or Atlantic city, it is and could be Bermuda.

  7. John Smith says:

    Well I agree 1000% with S Brown on all points.

    What I will like to add is that Bermuda needs to start building hotels now so that we have to beds to house the tourists that we need to help sustain our economy as it once did. These people are reaping the benefits of all those wonderful tourists that came and spent and in return there were friendly smiles and warm greetings.

    Bermuda lets grt creative with incentives to attract the tourists of all demographics and lets bring back the college weeks and the fun things to do on the island that made people remember there stays in Bermuda.

  8. Call as it is says:

    The General Managers are mostly ALL Non Bermudians and they dont care if Bermuda goes down the toilet as they will just get up and leave like so many others have done before!!

    The Hotels need BERMUDIAN General Managers and they need to advertise more…

    look at the TV adverts for Sandals…
    they are on the TV all the time.
    I NEVER see tv adverts for Bermuda!!

    • S Brown says:

      Perhaps more Bermudians should go to University and study hospitality, get experience around diff parts of the world and comeback and apply for the job. Or more Bermudians in general should get involved in the hotel industry and work their way up….

      Easier said than done… Most view the hospitality as a ‘servient’ type job.. not as prestigious as working in re-insurance.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        What Bermudians don’t realise is that no matter what job you do, you are performing a service.

        Nah, our competitors have beaten us at the game we created. We let them. Our attitude did us in. We thought that they would keep coming here no matter how we treated them, no matter how much we charged them.

        The day tourism died was one hot summer day back in 1981 when our visitors had to walk, bags in hand, across the causeway to the airport. The whole Island, for those too young to remember, was closed down by a strike. A strike which had nothing to do with the hotel division of the BIU. Since then most of the people who went on sympathy strike have lost their jobs. Those jobs no longer exist. Hotels are closed.

        To come back Bermuda would have to actually compete, starting with room rates. There is no way we can do that with overheads, yes wages too, as high as they are.

        Looming over the horizon is Cuba. Canadians are flocking there now. watch when the US allows travel there again. Coming soon.

  9. Choir Boy says:

    Bermuda has to decide once and for all if they are in the tourism business. Then decide to provide a product.

    Atlantis: Sounds so much fun with lots to do.
    Bermuda: We’re nice and we say good morning – read BORING.