2011 Tourism Stats: Visitors Up 12%

February 13, 2012

Minister of Business Development and Tourism Wayne Furbert announced the 2011 year end visitor statistics. Some of the highlights included: total visitors up 12%; 655,236 visitors in 2011 – the second highest in history; air arrivals up by almost 2% with 236,038 tourists flying to the Island; cruise visitors up 19%; and convention incentive groups up by 116%.

A full report was released which started out saying, “Bermuda’s total visitor arrivals achieved for 2011 was the second highest in history, only surpassed by the performance of 2007.

“The Island saw 655,236 visitors arriving for the year, representing an increase of almost 12%. This can be directly attributed to a booming cruise season which saw record cruise visitors to Bermuda for the year 2011.

“Air arrivals were up by almost 2% with 236,038 tourists flying to the Island during this period. After four successive years of decline, and albeit a modest one, this was the first positive air arrival result since 2007. Visitors from the all important market of the United States and Europe increased in 2011 while all other regions (Canada, UK and the Rest of the World) saw decreases.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for being here today.

As you all know, at the beginning of November, just a little over three short months ago, I was asked by our esteemed Premier, the Hon. Paula A. Cox, to serve our country in the role of Minister of Business Development and Tourism. This was a role I gladly accepted as I understood that these two key pillars – the development of business and growth of tourism – were of vital importance to the well being of this great country.

At that time, many of you may remember me saying that I was excited and eager to get things moving and to push ahead. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that excitement has continued to grow over these past few months and they tell me my excitement and energy is being felt throughout our tourism industry. It is an excitement borne from hard work and an immersion into an industry of which I am confident is on the rise, and knowing that its best days are ahead of us.

Since taking on this new challenge, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the passion and love that people have for Bermuda. Just days into the job I traveled to London to join representatives of our industry at the WorldTravel market. That trip introduced me to many consumers and travel influencers alike who spoke so highly of our country. The trip even allowed me to sing Bermuda’s praises myself – literally.

I traveled to our number one market as well, the New York metropolitan area – where I again met members of the media, travel industry and consumers who so fervently love Bermuda.

Throughout these last three months, I have also been so gratified to hear so many positives about our destination and witness the hard work being done by the Department of Tourism and our partners throughout the tourism industry to help improve our fortunes.

This is a team effort and our public and private sector partnership is so vital to our success. There is so much effort that goes into selling and promoting this destination at a time when the competition has never been more intense.

There are still too many people overseas who do not know us as well as they should or feel the sense of urgency to pay us a visit. It is those individuals who present the challenge, and ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you, that there is nothing I like more, than a challenge.

So today, I am here to share with you the fruits of our labor over this past year, as well as to look ahead to the remainder of 2012 and what I believe will be a very successful year for Bermuda Tourism.

Summary:

  • We were up 12% in Total Visitors
  • 655,236 visitors came to our shores in 2011, the second highest in history
  • Air arrivals were up by almost 2% with 236,038 tourists flying to the Island
  • Cruise Visitors up 19%
  • Convention incentive groups soared a massive 116%
  • Vacation travelers increased by 1%,
  • Business travelers increased by 0.3%
  • Those visiting the island for other reason increased by 5%.
  • Visitors from the US and Europe increased in 2011 while (Canada, UK and the rest of the world) saw decreases.
  • Canada was down due to a four flight per week decrease in air service during the summer months out of Toronto. This contributed to the 4% decline in visitor arrivals from the Canadian market, compared to 2010. Nevertheless Canadian air arrivals of 29,217 were the second highest performance from this market for the past 10 years.
  • With AirTran coming out of Atlanta and Baltimore. Visitor arrivals from Georgia and Maryland increased by 53% and 36% respectively. The positive arrival results of 4% from the USA were the best performance from this market since 2008.
  • Private homes total average nights down slightly from 6.21 nights to 6.06 nights.
  • Visitors staying in commercial properties, however, remained constant at 4.94 nights.
  • There was a 3.6% increase in visitors staying in paid accommodations.
  • Yacht visitors dipped by 31% in 2011 due mainly to the bi-annual Newport to Bermuda race that took place in 2010. The race will be held again in 2012.
  • Performance results of the ten largest hotels that make up 75% of all room inventory on the island also mirrored the positive performance trends for 2011. Occupancy percentages for all four quarters of the year were positive with overall occupancy percentage increases of 3%, 3%, 9% and 5% respectively.
  • Visitors’ arrival for January 2012 is up.
  • Hotel occupancy for February is so far showing to be a positive month with possible gain of 5%.

As I said earlier, the amount of work and effort put into promoting our destination is tremendous and I would like to take some time to provide some highlights of those efforts and our successes in 2011.

Awards:

  • Bermuda was once again voted “Best Island in the Caribbean/Atlantic” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine.
  • The Reefs, was voted favorite resort in the Atlantic.
  • Other properties faring well among the Top 15 Resorts in The Atlantic were Rosewood Tucker’s Point, Pink Beach Club, Fairmont Southampton and Cambridge Beaches.
  • Bermuda was ranked sixth among the world’s top 20 honeymoon destinations by the readers of Brides magazine; the world’s most widely read bridal publication.
  • We were, in fact, ranked ahead of all Caribbean destinations and behind only exotic Pacific and Mediterranean destinations such as Hawaii, Fiji and Italy.
  • The Department of Tourism was awarded the 2011 Gold Service Award by the Subscribers of the Meeting & Convention magazine.
  • Similarly, Successful Meetings magazine once again awarded Bermuda with its coveted Pinnacle Award.
  • The Department of Tourism was also honoured for public relations excellence by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s Adrian Awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competition globally.
  • The CBS Bermuda Ambassadors campaign delivered a prestigious W3 Radio “Silver” Award for the Island in recognition of the innovative use of our local personalities now in its second year.
  • Trip Advisor readers and raters voted The Royal Palms, Pompano Beach Club and The Rosedon Hotel into the “Top 25 Hotels for Best Service in the Caribbean” poll. Pompano Beach Club was also ranked seventh overall in the “Top 25 Caribbean Hotels” category. All three hotels are owned and managed by Bermudians.
  • Most recently, Expedia recognized Bermuda as Destination of the year beating out many larger destinations because of our spirit and attitude in projecting the needs of the island.

So, as you can see, it is not just me and the Department of Tourism out there singing Bermuda’s praises. Our reputation is, in fact, outstanding.

We continue to look at the way our customers like to communicate with us and with each other. In today’s world, there is no doubt that social media has exploded and continues to grow.

In December we launched our new blog, used to spotlight local activities, events, testimonials and profiles in a personal, narrative fashion.

Facebook audience has grown to 12,000 fans a 90% year over year increase.

Twitter as a resource and have gained 1,304 followers during 2011, as a result of increased outreach and constant engagement, a 153 % year over year increase.

Recognizing that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, we have also increased the number of photos available on our Flickr channel to 347 in 2011, allowing us to display the natural beauty of our island and highlight local events and businesses.

As a result of increased activity and sharing of these photos across our social channels, we saw over 15,000 views in the month of December alone.

I mentioned video earlier as well in terms of our advertising, but we are also utilizing video in our social media outreach. In 2011, 13 videos created by our on-island communications team were published to Bermuda’s YouTube channel, all of which have also been distributed across the web via Bermuda’s multiple social channels

Ladies and gentlemen, as we look ahead to 2012, we do so with much optimism.

As announced recently, all is on track for the completion of the National Tourism Plan by May of this year. Several initiatives cited in the interim Strategic Imperatives Report are being actioned and I will be pleased to make some announcements in the near future.

In particular I plan to announce the new advertising agency of record for Bermuda, before the end of February. As you know this agency will be tasked to come up with new brand concepts and advertising creative that will take us forward.

We will once again offer outstanding returning events for our visitors such as the PGA Grand Slam of Golf returning for its sixth year from October 22 – 24.

We look forward to the Bermuda Corporate Games, which we anticipate will bring thousands of people to our shores.

Our overall sales and marketing efforts have already hit the ground running with aggressive initiatives such as our winter 50% Off Pink Sale which was supported with public relations, e-blasts, newspaper and radio advertising, and web support.

It generated an immediate spike to our web site traffic which increased more than 100% during the launch period and generated extensive publicity exposure.

We have just launched our Tee4Free golf programme which is being promoted through multiple channels as well.

Our destination broadcast advertising is in full swing with 277 TV spots running through the month of February and newspaper and magazine ads that are reaching more than 17 million consumers.

We’re capturing the eyes of commuters as well through creatively wrapped streetcars and trolleys in Boston and Toronto which will be hard to miss with their colorful designs. And we continue an emphasis on the digital world with efforts that will generate over 30 million impressions.

We are getting more creative with the introduction of streaming radio and dynamic video ads and we’re targeting our consumers even more precisely with our first-ever mobile ads that can be as focused as a five-mile radius for our upcoming NY Grand Central Terminal event.

On that topic, I will be leaving shortly to take part in our second annual guerrilla event at the iconic transit hub on Thursday, February 16, with the goal to entice winter-weary tri-state area commuters to warm up on our island’s pink sand beaches.

I will be hosting a dozen of the top American travel media outlets for an intimate roundtable luncheon while in Manhattan, with outlets including Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Departures, Worth, ABC News Now and Forbes Life.

We will continue to seek high profile publicity opportunities and we are currently working to finalize an extremely popular network television programme to shoot in Bermuda with the potential to reach more than 14 million viewers.

Our sales team will be very active again in 2012 and they already report 13 definite groups representing more than 1,200 visitors and 3,000 room nights on the books for 2012. An additional 38 groups are already in the consideration pipeline.

The team will be working closely with our airline partners supporting returning service such as AirTran from Baltimore, JetBlue from Boston, and US Airways from Washington. It is encouraging that Bermuda has managed to maintain its airlift from its key gateways for another year, our only loss being the AirTran’s Atlanta service.

From a product development standpoint, upcoming special test programmes such as Spring Break for current university students, and the inaugural College Weeks Reunion have been created to reach both a new and younger audience who may be experiencing Bermuda for the first time, as well as those with happy memories of the island who are being enticed to come back and rediscover the place of their own youth.

We will be modernizing the Hotel Concessions Act, as well as placing an emphasis on the promotion of local entertainment.

We are actively working with some developers to build some New Hotels, because of your disappointments in the past; I will not be announcing any until I am sure everything is in place.

We want to continue to engage and inform our partners in the industry on our efforts and learn how we can better serve them, both locally and abroad. As such, I am pleased to tell you that in the increased spirit of urgency and sharing of information I have pulled forward our annual Industry night to the 4th of April. This will allow us to share planned activity as well as introduce our new advertising agency to the stakeholder community.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to report that the outlook ahead for 2012 looks strong indeed. In fact we have been informed that several of our key partners are pacing upwards as we go into 2012.

For example, WestJet Vacations is up 113%, Expedia, our largest producer is up 31%, and Orbitz is up 7%. This is good news indeed for our destination and it is with renewed energy, spirit and optimism that we move forward into 2012.

There is much work to be done ahead, but I am confident that we have the spirit and, most importantly, the ability to achieve success and I call on all Bermudians to not limit your vision by negativity, for the extent of your vision will decide the extent of our success.

Standby for more exciting things that we are in the process of fine tuning, for I believe, the best is yet to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, I take this opportunity to introduce a new initiative that I have implemented called ‘Unsung Heroes’. The aim of this programme is to recognize individuals in our community that do not directly work within the tourism industry but carry out deeds that impact the industry directly or indirectly. ‘Unsung Hereos’ will be recognized on a quarterly basis.

Our first ‘Unsung Hero’ is Mr. Wilfred Llewellyn Furbert. Mr. Furbert is recognized for his efforts to create a welcoming environment for our visitors to learn about our history and culture. His contribution to clearing and cleaning the area overlooking the former limestone quarry at Cut Road in St. George’s has provided a scenic area for visitors and tour operators to share the rich traditions of Bermuda.

Thank you

-

The full 24-page report is below, click ‘Fullscreen’ for greater clarity:

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Comments (69)

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  1. Question? says:

    How many of these tourists are expats returning to Bermuda back form vacation, because we still fill in the pink forms?

    How many of the tourists going to private residences are actually expats returning(as above)

    and how many are families of expats visiting?

    figures, figures, figures.

    • star man says:

      A real PLP/BIU Party Dog & Pony Show; you can make numbers say anything. But the only accurate way to judge visitor numbers is to count hotel ‘bed-nights’. The PLP/BIU Party won’t do it because they like to spin the numbers to make themselves look good. As usual, it’s all about THEM, not our Country.

      • Legal Reasons? says:

        actually, the report does show bed-night statistics starting on page 17…

    • Doesn't Matter! says:

      It’s a false sense of achievement as the numbers will be down this year due to the cruise ships pulling out thanks to the PLP and their lack of leadership.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Cruise ships are a waste of effort because the passengers hardly spend in Bermuda. Its better to focus on boosting air arrivals. The cruises are trying to strong arm us when there are other destinations who don’t allow gambling once ships are docked either.

      • star man says:

        Actually, not really. You can check out this year’s full cruise ship schedule (pdf) at Marine and Ports:

        http://www.marineandports.bm/Img/downloads/BMOC/Cruiseship Schedule 2012.pdf

        Total cruise ship visits 2012: 163.

        Last year: 180. 2010: 154.

    • Rhonda says:

      @ question….why is there a question about the stats……The same Department that has prepared them for for the last 30 years are still preparing them…. have they suddenly become corrupt or incompetent, because the figures are somewhat positive.

      My grandmother a Bermudian had 6 children Bermuda in born, married and moved to USA and had 5 American born children…When my Aunts, Uncles and cousin come to Bermuda to visit they are tourist…they spend money in Bermuda that otherwise they would not have..so what difference does it make if families of ex-pat visit, they are still visitors…and should be counted as such…

  2. Watching! says:

    Yup, groups were a plenty in 2011 and not so plenty for 2012. Minister will be making excuses at the next quarter press conference. Having said that, he at least shows a genuine passion to succeed. After the next GE we will see another Minister and then what?

    • Hmmmm says:

      If true then let us start removing some of the tax benefits enjoyed by business in the tourism industry. Must be raking it in now. Are the cruise ship stats based on actual passengers plus crew or ship capacity?

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Its not just the business owners that the tax benefits are for its the employees also. Do you think an employee in retail is really “raking it in” at 15 an hour. The tax benefits are do to recession not just tourism decline & the recession will be here for at least a couple more years.

    • LTD says:

      I have to agree with you there. Scratching my head when I look at these graphs because they just dont seem to make sense based on what I experienced in 2011 but I will agree that the minister does seem to be trying.

  3. Really says:

    Who made the graphs above? Mickey Mousse? Lol talk about spin 232 and 236 look at the size of the pillars talk about exaggeration and bull crackers lol and the cruise ship one the larger pillar goes almost all the way up the graph past the highest marker ,people must think we are stupid or what?

  4. You Have Got To Be Kidding Me.. says:

    What a crock of sh*^!! Just ask any airport employee, restaurateur, hotel worker, market place cashier for that matter!!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      “Just ask any airport employee” Do tourist get stamped on the forehead now as they enter customs? The only ones that would know if the people entering are tourist are customs not “any airport employee”

      Which restaurateurs should I ask? The owners of BUZZ, Cafe 4, Tiny Bites, Coconut Rock, Delicious, Pickled Onion & many others are doing very well. Besides what tourist off a cruise with all you can eat buffet is going to pay for a $15 burger? Do you think they’ll pay for the burger if they get to crank a slot machine while eating it? I don’t think so.

      Then we have the hotels that charge $200 a night in the face of recession & thats enough said about them.

      If tourist see your business as a rip off they won’t spend a cent there. Just take Makin Waves for instance cheers to these dudes. They’ve been making loads recession or no recession & simply because they sell products hard to find on the west coast & sell them at a good price. Makin Waves does this great service while employing a FULLL Bermudian staff. So all the other rip off businesses can boo! hoo! all they want. They made their fancy beds so now they must lie in them because no one else will at $200 a night.

  5. TheFuture says:

    Even a dead cat dropped from a 4 storeys up will bounce. Doesn’t make it alive though.

  6. Kim Smith says:

    It looks like I’m not the only one questioning that 2011 had the second highest visitor number IN HISTORY. No… I just don’t believe that claim.

    • Soooooo says:

      Kim,

      Actually this is the truth, problem is that these arrivals were mostly on a cruise ship and spent no money in Bermuda… Numbers mean nothing air arrivals and room nights are what we’re important…

      If you want the numbers: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ST.INT.ARVL?page=3

      • LTD says:

        Where did all these tourist go while they were here? I work in Hamilton and I don’t remember seeing them there? Didnt we see shops, restaurants and cycle rental shop CLOSE last summer because of the decline is tourists?

        • Tommy Chong says:

          They went to the beaches but had a hard time going anywhere else because the transportation minister during the summer & even the present one plus BIU have no clue how to run public transportation. This is not Wayne Furbert’s fault he finds ways to bring tourist & the rest of his party are the real flip flops. Too bad Wayne can’t overthrow Paula because he’s got more of what it takes to be premier then she would ever have. Maybe when OBA win the next election as I’m sure they will they should replace Shawn Crockwell with Wayne Furbert as I don’t think Wayne is loyal to plp he just wants his ideas out there. At least he has ideas Shawn just stands there showing his pearly whites but nice smiles is only an eighth of what it takes to be a minister.

    • PEPPER says:

      Kim , Wayne Furbert has been a bull#$%^ artist all of his life…do not believe anything that comes out of his mouth…( can you imagine all of the negative things he said about the P.L.P. when he was the leader of the U.B.P.) this man can not be trusted…… Wayne Furbert is the worst tourism minister we have ever had….he stutters and has a hard time reading what is front of him ….

      • Watching! says:

        I have to agree. His passion is overshadowed by his inability to communicate properly. It is torture listening to him and any Minister for that matter, to talk!

        He was in the House of Assembly delivering a report from the top of his empty coconut last week resulting in delivering incorrect information. Goof Ball!

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Just because he stutters he is the worst tourism minister ever or is it because he spoke negatively about premier brown or both? Are you a psychoanalyst to state that what comes from Minister Furbert is false? Many great leaders have had a stutter but this impediment doesn’t mean their liars. Also just because he moved parties doesn’t mean he didn’t mean what he said about ewart or some other members of plp. Its obvious he moved from UBP because they were getting nowhere fast. How else would he make a difference with his ideas if he didn’t join the party in seat? You act like he’s some NBA player who left the losing team for the winning one. Politics goes deeper than team pride. If the team on in politics has no room for change even if a politician doesn’t like the whole of the winning teams practices its better to be on that team to try to make a change.

        At least Furbert is trying unlike Craig Cannonier who just keeps Winning & Winging & does nothing. Anyone in this day & age can start a Bermudian tourist campaign but instead many seem to want to ride on the tourism minister’s backs & then poke holes in him later. Don’t you realize you’ve already started a campaign from every negative post you type about tourism here. So how should anyone trust that its not you or the other negative naysayers here causing the decline in tourism?

        Hey Tourist who happen upon this blog please don’t mind the naysayers. Bermuda is still the safest & friendliest island in the western hemisphere. Bermuda is also a clean & beautiful paradise. The island may be a bit pricey but you can find good deals on lodging from some guest houses & coco reef hotel here. We also have great chefs here & if you shop around you can find a restaurant that has decent prices without diminishment of quality.

        Now there’s an example of a good & honest tourist campaign so all you naysayers need to take your over exaggerated negative ones & shove em.

  7. Cedar Beams (Original) says:

    Only the most brain dead of voters will believe this rubbish. This is hyping the mundane in the extreme. You cannot compare half a million cruise ship visitors who spent about a dollar each to real visitors who arrive by plane and spend an average of five bed nights in a hotel. Flip Flop, you are an embarrassment. At this point, I am glad you walked across the floor.

    • Family Man says:

      They didn’t spend anything. They were all stuck at Dockyard, lined up waiting for a bus and being yelled at by BIU workers until they got so fed up they went back on board the ship for lunch and a cold beer. But they still count as “visitor arrivals”.

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    3000 more air arrivals huh, how does that stack up with air arrivals in say 1995, 1990 oe even 1985?

    What is even MORE important is what was the bed-night total comparison?

    I swear, of the PLP spun any faster they would fling themselves into orbit.

  9. GEORGE MYKAL says:

    Does this mean that we did better in 2011 even without the ever so poplular FAITH BASED TOURISM and BEYONCE / UB40 concerts that cost us millions to put on!? Surely I would have thought that without these, the visitor arrivals would have been down by at least 30%. Oh well, what do I know.

  10. Cancer says:

    If anybody believes this load of crap they must be a blind loyalist. Well we know there’s a few of them out there.

  11. Cancer says:

    If the flipPLoP UBP leader is careful and plays his cards right he may be the next flipPLoP leader! He certainly has the spin down!

  12. James says:

    The problem with these figures is quite simple actually. over 60% were cruise ship visitors! We have moved down a very dangerous path playing a GROSS numbers game. We all know that a cruise ship visitor delivers (NET) 1/20th of what a land based /hotel visitor drops into our economy. Stop with the useless spin. Were are all of the hotels that this government promised? Club Med- remains closed; Sonesta-closed, Ariel Sands-closed, Lantanna-closed, Harmony-closed,Elbow Beach–300 rooms down to 75, Marriott-400 rooms-down to less than 100 traditional hotel rooms (stop the spin on fractionals), Willowbank-closed,Palmetto-closed, Belmont and Newstead in receivership, and there a number of others that have closed.

  13. How many of you work to promote tourism??
    How many of you actually meet and greet tourist on a regular day to day basis??
    If you’re not part of the solution you are part of the problem..!
    It’s easy to criticize but what are you doing to help?

    Be positive Bermuda, give the visitors that we do get the best experience they can possibly have. Send our guests home with wonderful stories tell their friends and family.

    And for those folks who didn’t see that many tourists shopping in Hamilton, there’s a reason for that.. They were at the Beach. That’s where I would be on such a beautiful island…!!!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      You might be surprised how many of us were on the front line of tourism. I was.

      Self employed but my business provided jobs for taxi drivers, restaurant staff at certain waterside places, fuel docks, marine services not to mention Government taxes through all the services. No more. The business was a victim of the PLP tourism failure.

      Inspite of the slow decline in tourism up to 1998 my business saw modest increases every year. 98 was the best year. After 98 it started to slide then went into freefall as air tourism fell year after year with all the hair brained PLP promotion ventures.

      I listened to the complaints of visitors starting with the attitude at the immigration counter followed by the moaning taxi driver & high priced accomodation for services delivered.

      Meanwhile our competition ran right over us while Bermudians squabbled. The worst is yet to come. Cuba will open up to Americans. They will flock there.

    • simon says:

      Have worked in this industry for over 20 years it’s almost impossible to be positive about these figures.

  14. your joking says:

    Page 17………bed count is down……length of stay is down….and that is from one of the worst years(2010)

    Though I like his attitude…please stop feeding us crap..the truth will get you a lot further.

  15. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Tourism’s all fixed! On last night’s news he said, “… Air arrivals were the second highest ever!” So the taxis must have had a great year, hotels, etc.. That’s some sweet concoction . .

  16. TonyB says:

    HELLO BERMUDA

    As you know I have been a very strong critic of Bermuda Tourism for many years. If Bermuda was compared to an Ocean Liner going at 15 knots…..it takes a good few miles to slow the ship down and turn it around in the opposite direction. Well, it is my belief that Minister Wayne Furbert has turned wheel…..Bermuda is heading for a turn around !

    Whilst many have VAILD POINTS about the way in which Bermuda Tourism has been managed under BOTH the former UBP Government and under the current Government, it is my belief that a lot of work has been done, and is being done, to change course.

    Whilst all politicians are open fodder for the critics, especially ones who have switched political parties, I will say that the current Minister has indeed changed course for Bermuda’s benefit. I see first hand the evidence of this. He is “rebuilding relationships” and for the first time in many years I can say “Tony Brannon” sees light at the end of the tunnel. So rather than seeing the glass half empty, why not see it as half full and lets all pull together, as BERMUDIANS, to make sure we ALL do our best to rebuild relationships.

    It is VALENTINES DAY and what better day to start making Bermuda the “OTHER WORLD” our visitors will love and rave about ?

    • What the??.. says:

      Whilst you are entitled to your opinion.. shut up.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Obviously your entitled to opinion also but have zero insight to add. So waddle along now. <(")

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Thank You Mr. TonyB for your intelligent & unbiased insight. Ever since your Hawkin’s Island party days you’ve become a legend in tourism. I hope to party once again with tourist doing the limbo & having a great barbeque.

  17. TonyB says:

    In my 2nd paragraph I posted before spell checking….VALID

    Whilst many have “VALID POINTS” about the way in which Bermuda Tourism has been managed under BOTH the former UBP Government and under the current Government, it is my belief that a lot of work has been done, and is being done, to change course.

    • What the??.. says:

      dope.

      • star man says:

        @ What the??; Thank you for your thoughtful contribution to the discussion.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        So is that what your on! It must be that powdery slap your vain chemical type because it isn’t the green sticky plant type. Trust me when I tell you that the later is the better. At least you’ll be able to string together a sentence on the wacky tabacky because at the moment chasing the dragon is doing nothing for you.

  18. Relieved says:

    This is excellent news indeed. All this time we’ve been told by the PLP that Bermuda is suffering from the Worldwide recession has been shown to be false. Just keeping quiet about the hidden increases, very clever. Conventions up 116%. From 3,064 to 6,619, that’s 3,555 more people! Just over the increase in total air arrivals of 3,776. Pity about the reduction of visiting friends and family but expected since so many expats have left.
    At least the Government can use this good news to reinstate payroll tax on the hospitality industry to make up some of the shortfall in revenue. After all one can’t say they are in trouble when the Minister is trumpeting the second best numbers of tourists.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Yes, it’s excellent news that the government is now admitting (actually, claiming credit for it) that proper government policies can in fact overcome challenges presented by the world economy. Perhaps Minister Furbert can point this out to his cabinet collegues, like the Premier, who are still using the ‘worldwide economy’ as an excuse for unemployment and recession in Bermuda’s economy.

  19. Cancer says:

    Tony it’s good to hear your point of view for the future. However I think the most criticism comes from the numbers presented and that they actually look inflated. However we wish the UBP leader much luck as he continues to work tirelessly or the PLP.

  20. Cancer says:

    As he continues to work for the PLP..

  21. see da roots says:

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    11 10

    fixed it

  22. head shaker says:

    What people fail to realise is that year on year the statistics are not measuring like for like. Most people dont know this.
    The measurements change at the discretion of the minister (or premier if they are one and the same) and the some has clearly happened here again.
    For example: If the numbers are low, simply add in the cruise ship crew and returnig expats to bump up the number. not saying that is exactly what happened but its the ype of thing they do.
    Arrivals are so sloppily tracked and monitored which also makes comparing YOY difficult. Ask the research companies that carry out the work and also ask the civil servants that compile the reports. they barely have any confidence in the figures themselves.

  23. Victor says:

    CORRECTION: Dockyard Arrivals Up 25% Plus. Rest of Bermuda, especially St. Georges, forget it.

    The gross failure is the impossibility with the present transport set-up to efficiently move these visitors around Bermuda to the places where they are likely to spend some serious bucks and possibly be impressed enough to come back for a hotel/guest house stay. Instead they are stuck in a cement jungle in the middle of nowhere with limited spending options – of course the cruise lines love this as it keeps the bars onboard busy. Welcome to the first First World country to slip back into the Third because of arrogance and stupidity. IB is not too far behind tourism; nobody puts up with being ripped off for too long.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Exactly Victor but you can’t knock the tourism minister for trying. This is always what has happened with plp. One minister may have good ideas but the others pull the other way to suite them. The blame is on the transportation ministers, BIU & greedy businesses. Wayne can lead the tourist to water but if the water businesses serve is at $5 a glass who will drink it. I predict if Wayne keeps pushing his DREAMS PLP will sack him & then we’ll get a minister of their liking with no DREAMS & what will the people knock then. At least Wayne is cutting deals with his Coco Reef buddy for lower room rates what do we think a minister who’s puppet to the rest of plp do.

  24. Kim Smith says:

    Like so many modern-day politicians, Mr. Furbert is being disingenuous in his presentation of these figures. A man of integrity would have pointed out that the majority of the ‘visitors’ being touted in these figures were simply passengers on a ship… but I think the average Bermudian is getting more comfortable with their own judgement of the so-called ‘facts’.

  25. Triangle Drifter says:

    Giving Wayne Furburt credit where due, he is far better than Ewart Brown who used his time as tourism Minister as a personal extended vacation around the world at Bermuda’s expense.

    Wayne is at least fishing where the fish are, on the US east coast. Unfortunately he is not a good salesman. He is a poor speaker. What is needed is a person with a passion for the position. There were none bette than Jim Woolridge & Shorty Trimingham. If only Ewart Brown were in it for Bermuda rather than enriching himself hes also would have been a great tourism minister instead of the worst. Ewart Brown would be a great used car salesman. He has all the attributes. He has the suits, the blab & you can’t trust him.

  26. Jim Bean says:

    This is not comapring apples to apples – it is comparing apples to oranges at page 3. wAYNE IS A FOOL
    Look what happened since plp came into power – steady declines from 1998 to 2004 with 2001 being the worst since 1980. Everyone says how wonderful David Allen was (may he rest in peace) but the truth is mucy different. There is no “recovery” until 2007 when crusies were at a real high – then more decline under E-wart – then more crusies. The best measure is the amount of spending in each year – I would bet that the 1980 to 1990 saw the best spending per visitor.
    We are also told that people visiting expats declined 5% – I know it is more than that! Look at all the people that are GONE because of failed PLP immigration policies – that is a knock on effect.
    Look at where most visitors come from – surprise surprise – US and Canada – meanwhile PLP went off to India and China!!
    Look at the age of vistors – vast majority are over 40! And we want college weeks!! Serve the market that comes here you clowns!

    Most telling chart is Page 17 – AVERAGE INTENDED NIGHTS FOR AIR VISITORS DOWN BY 2.5%
    BEDNIGHTS – DOWN BY .9%
    HOTEL ROOM COUNTS – WORST EVER
    MONTHLY HOTEL OCCUPANCY – SECOND WORST EVER
    ROOMS SOLD – SECOND WORST EVER
    HOTEL OCCUPANCY – SAYS UP BUT REMEMBER THERE ARE LESS ROOMS ON ISLAND AVAILABLE

    DO NOT BE FOOLED BY CRUISESHIP FIGURES – WHERE IS THE COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS????

  27. Lazy Fools says:

    Ok, maybe I missed something, but how much are tourism REVENUES up (or down for that matter)? And how many of those cruise ship tourists even got off the boat?

    Also, way to go PLP for taking credit for increasing our convention tourists. I thought that was the work of the Fairmont Southampton!?!

    This government consists of a bunch of dreamers, yet we’re all living a nightmare!

  28. Chart says:

    Ha ha nice manipulation of the scale on those two graphics.

  29. star man says:

    “Bermuda’s total visitor arrivals achieved for 2011 was the second highest in history, only surpassed by the performance of 2007.”

    So 2011 was the second best tourism year in history?… as a Taxi Driver you could have fooled me.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Hmmm interesting! I think I can help you out with this one.

      How much is it to take a taxi from town to john smiths bay? I’m estimating around $15 to $20 is the price. Now, how much is it to get a Phil Barnett burger? Answer as we know is $15.

      Now if I put my self in tourist shoes here I think I’ll take a belly full of the $15 burger before going to john smiths bay on an empty stomach. Now I may have an hour wait at the bus terminal but its enough time to digest the burger before my swim & I only have to pay $4 to get there on bus.

      So at the end of the day are you going to blame Phil Barnett for overpricing his burgers or you & your fellow taxi drivers for overpricing a taxi ride? If nobody wants to give on their prices the in Bermuda tourist will have to sacrifice convenience & go with what’s necessity. This is why restauranteurs will still make it in recession while taxis & other non necessities like retail & such will fail.

      • star man says:

        You’re cheap. Bermuda taxi fares are actually relatively low, we haven’t had a fare increase in 8 years. And we pay $7.30 gal for diesel. Go take a taxi in any U.S. city and see what you pay.

        • Tommy Chong says:

          Your right when I work it out its cheaper to taxi across Bermuda then to take a cab from JFK to Manhattan. Also right about me being cheap but so are many others who put food before there feet. Maybe you need to have the first deli taxi & offer inexpensive sandwiches with a tour.

          You’ve given me a new perspective on why so many gas stations go into the food business here. We must be the only place in the world where food price is equal to the petroleum price.

  30. Nonya says:

    Yeah, well, when you only let visitors stay for 3 weeks, and those visitors have family down here then air arrivals are going to be up? Don’t be fooled.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      This is a law for all British Overseas Territories not just Bermuda. Your family can apply for extra stay time while here & most likely get it.

  31. verbal kint says:

    I spoke to a member of the Fairmont Southampton staff who told me they were very busy over the summer with convention guests. This is a segment of the market which spends. This seemed to be the result of the efforts of the hotel to build the business, rather than the efforts of the ministry. This shows that the ministry is not very well in touch with what is working and that the hotels need to be proactive in drawing people here.
    If this was a positive year for tourism, I don’t know who benefitted from it. Hotels, taxis, and restaurants are all hurting.

  32. Cancer says:

    Wayne has proven himself as the PLP tourism MP
    He has the spin down
    Able Manipulates the figures
    Loves the photo ops

    I just have to wonder who his predecessor was that he’s learnt by?
    If he is as good and has learned from his predecessor don’t be surprised if the UBP Leader becomes the leader of the PLP

    • star man says:

      “don’t be surprised if the UBP Leader becomes the leader of the PLP”

      No… I believe Dr Brown and the haters on the Central Committee have settled on either Mr Derrick “son of a slave” Burgess, or Mr David “loose cannon” Burch.

      That’ll be FUN!! IF the PLP/BIU Party get voted back in, which is highly unlikely.

  33. @Work says:

    Guess the ‘hamburger & hotdog’ tourist are now the ‘bread and butter’ tourist.

    Sorry to the visitors who came to Bermuda last year or may come in the future, for bringing that back up. No disrespect intended.