New Tourism Board Members Appointed

March 29, 2012

[Updated] This morning [Mar.29] the Minister of Business Development and Tourism Wayne Furbert unveiled the members of the new Bermuda Tourism Board, saying with the “experience that is on the Board, and the desire to see a change in the growth of the Tourism Industry in Bermuda, we are about to see the dawning of a new age.”

Minister Furbert advised that the new Board will have its own Act and the Legislation will be tabled in Parliament in the next session.

Pictured below from L to R: Isabelle Ramsey, George Terpilowski, Daniel Reece, Edward Shapard, Selena Lambert, Minister Furbert, Maxwell Burgess, Joanne McPhee, Chris Furbert, John Jefferis and John Harvey.

Members absent include Randy Horton, Vincent Ingham, Michelle Cox, Kevin Bean, Muriel Richardson, Michael Winfield and David Dodwell.

“In order to fulfill the mission, we have to make one more major change, and that is to appoint a Board that has Statutory Powers to carry out its duty without fair or favor,” said Minister Furbert.

“The Board currently is an advisory Board to the Minister. By giving the Board Statutory Powers it gives the ability to make decision with limited Ministerial input.

“The current Tourism Board made the recommendation that the role of the Board should be more than an advisory; this was one of the hot button points. This recommendation was accepted and action has been taken.”

“This Board will be set to work immediately,” Minister Furbert continued. “Their total responsibility will become clearer once the legislation is laid before Parliament, but in the meantime they will be charged with the responsibility of the Sales, Marketing and Promotion of Bermuda as a Tourism Destination.”

“They will in addition be responsible for the implementation of the 5 -10 year National Tourism Plan. I have no doubt, with the experience that is on the Board, and the desire to see a change in the growth of the Tourism Industry in Bermuda, we are about to see the dawning of a new age!”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Over the past months, I have been saying that we are on a Mission. A Mission to grow tourism numbers, particularly in air arrivals. Our goal is to increase the GDP and grow jobs in the industry. In order to accomplish this task, the Ministry of Business Development and Tourism has been working tirelessly around the clock.

Recently, we signed an agreement with T&L Europraxis, the Travel & Leisure Group to produce a 5–10 year National Tourism Plan. The production of the Plan is in process and the final plan will be presented at the end of May.

Last week we announced our new Advertising Agent, Fuseideas; they will be making a presentation to our stakeholders in early April. The vision and the plan for the Ministry is beginning to materialize, new ideas are being created and the Ministry of Business Development and Tourism is ready to capture the imagination of a new day and Bermuda is about to explode once again, onto the Tourism front.

In order to fulfill the mission, we have to make one more major change, and that is to appoint a Board that has Statutory Powers to carry out its duty without fair or favor.

The Board currently is an advisory Board to the Minister. By giving the Board Statutory Powers it gives the ability to make decision with limited Ministerial input.

The current Tourism Board made the recommendation that the role of the Board should be more than an advisory; this was one of the hot button points. This recommendation was accepted and action has been taken.

Under the Board Chair, Mr. Malcolm Butterfield and Deputy Chair, Mr. Vincent Ingham, the outgoing Board worked tirelessly on the project f developing the Strategic Imperative Report and in the process of securing a vendor to develop the National Tourism Plan.

They have been working constantly up until this day. I take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts, and commend them for their dedication and commitment to the Tourism Plan, and the tourism industry as a whole. With the recommendation, came a new Board structure. Because of this, they all agreed to resign to allow the process to take place. They all still remain committed to assist wherever needed.

For continuity some of the members will serve under the new structure.

This Board will be called the “Bermuda Tourism Board”. It will have its own Act. The Legislation will be laid down in Parliament in the next session. However, I thought it was critical that the Board start working effective, April 1st.

I am pleased to have here with me today some of the Board Members. The entire Board will consist of the following:

  • Chairman – Appointed by the Minister responsible for Tourism
  • 5 Members – Appointed by the Bermuda Hotel Association
  • 8 Members – Appointed by the Minister responsible for Tourism
  • Executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce
  • President of the Bermuda Industrial Union
  • Ex Officio Officers: Director of Tourism, Director of Global Operations, Airport General
  • Manager and the Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Hotel Association.

The Board Members are:

  • Chairman: Maxwell Burgess
  • Randy Horton
  • Vincent Ingham
  • Michelle Cox
  • Isabelle Ramsey
  • Selena Lambert
  • John Jefferis
  • Kevin Bean
  • Daniel Reece
  • Muriel Richardson
  • George Terpilowski
  • Michael Winfield
  • David Dodwell
  • Edward Shapard

Ladies and Gentlemen, this Board will be set to work immediately. Their total responsibility will become clearer once the legislation is laid before Parliament, but in the meantime they will be charged with the responsibility of the Sales, Marketing and Promotion of Bermuda as a Tourism Destination.

They will in addition be responsible for the implementation of the 5 -10 year National Tourism Plan. I have no doubt, with the experience that is on the Board, and the desire to see a change in the growth of the Tourism Industry in Bermuda, we are about to see the dawning of a new age!

It is time to look forward; negativity must be a thing of the past, we have become the change, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Thank you!


Update 5.39pm: Shawn Crockwell, Shadow Minister for Tourism, said, “The One Bermuda Alliance welcomes any action to improve the performance of Bermuda’s tourism industry.

“The drift and inaction that has characterized this Government’s ‘involvement’ in the tourism industry has been tantamount to a dereliction of duty. They have been in the driver’s seat for more than 13 years and the state of Bermuda tourism today says they have failed this all-important job-creating arm of the economy.

“The formation of a new Tourism Board appears to be a step in the right direction. But until its statutory powers are made clear – that is, what powers it will have to actually direct the activities of Bermuda tourism – we cannot comment in any conclusive way.

“We support the inclusion of members of the Bermuda Hotel Association who will be on the board to represent the views of the hotel industry. It will help close a unnecessary gap between government and the industry that over the years tragically weakened the marketing of the Bermuda tourism product abroad.

“But we must stress that the new Board, with new but not-yet clear authority, does not go far enough.

“The One Bermuda Alliance remains firm in its belief that a Tourism Authority is the best way to rebuild Bermuda tourism and grow visitor numbers to create more jobs for our people, both within the industry and in the many businesses that serve its customers.

“Mr. Furbert tries hard to disparage our call for a Tourism Authority. We only note that he once unreservedly supported the formation of one, not just in his specific call for one as Leader of the United Bermuda Party but also when he was a UBP Government minister. He can twist that history all he wants today, but the history is the history.

“For the record, our call for a Tourism Authority was echoed by the very Tourism Board Mr. Furbert disbanded earlier today. His Cabinet colleagues clearly do not support the formation of one so this is a major point of distinction between the OBA and the PLP.

“The fundamental reason we want an Authority is to put in place professional leadership of this once-great industry – top flight executives who can be held accountable (ultimately by the Government) for driving up visitor numbers.

“While the new board includes five representatives from the BHA, nine others are appointed directly by the Minister, meaning its work will still be tied to political oversight that has so completely failed the business needs of Bermuda Tourism and all the job opportunities that that entails.

The PLP like to say an Authority will lead to job losses in the civil service. But this is absolutely not true. We will still need a Tourism Ministry to regulate the industry – cruise ship and hotel licensing, property inspections, etc. And you can have executives working within the system, just like the current government has with their Director of Global Operations.”

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Comments (65)

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  1. Voice of Reason says:

    Congrats to all.

    I wonder what the OBA people will find to criticise in this announcement.

    • Axxperts.... says:

      much ado about nothing – tourism is dead.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Chris Furbert. He’s a pr!ck.

    • Um Um Like says:

      Here my two cents for you, Voice of Reason:

      “…we are about to see the dawning of a new age.”

      The dawning of a new age huh!? I hope it isn’t like the once highly touted “Platinum Period”!

    • reality is reality says:

      Congratulations! closest we will see to a Tourism Authority. David Dodwell? He’s a past tourism minister failure – remember “let yourself go” flop?

      • walla walla says:

        I@reality is reality…f you call his campaign a flop and numbers were ahead of those of the current government …way way ahead then what exactly would you call the current governments tourism camopaigns over the last 13 years?

    • The nitty gritty says:

      Dawning of a new age?
      The dark ages are not new.

  2. pebblebeach says:


  3. Cancer says:

    Congrats to you Wayne – it’s just funny how the UBP leader is the hardest working man within the PLP . He’s probably the only one that’s held his keep!

  4. Rummy says:

    Where is Tony.

  5. Cancer says:

    Wonder if Wayne will come over to the OBA once we become government!

  6. Joonya says:

    Chris (De Workahs) Furbert….. Really? REALLY!?!?
    You mean the same guy who he (and his membership) makes it diffcult for tourists to travel freely throughout our country. Who makes them waste half their limited days waiting for his lazy-@ssed ‘workahs’ to do what they are paid for? This must be a joke! Alright, I’ll wait for the real tourism board to come up…..

    • Tommy Chong says:

      The public transportation system here is difficult for tourist period Chris Furbert’s strikes make it impossible for tourist. Our busses run every half hour if not cancelled & on sundays every hour. Last time I was in a physics class I learned that the quickest way to a point is a straight line but our buses all go from one side of the island to town. Then once you get of the bus in town you’ve got to wait an half hour to for the one you want to transfer on to if you want to get to the other end of the island. If a tourist is planning to visit St. Georges by bus they have to get out of dodge before sundown because there are only infrequent ones that run after that & they only run on north shore. To top it off all our busses have a roach problem because even though it has a no eating sign at the front of the bus most of the drivers NOW are too scared of our kids to tell them not to eat on the bus. Once a world leader I can’t remember who at the moment said, “You can always tell the decline of a civilization by the decline of its transportation system.” The minister of Bermuda transport needs to fix our transportation system soon or else tourist will not want to come here because its too inconvenient to travel, kids will not be able to get to school on time & will miss lessons & workers will be late to work.

  7. Wandering says:

    Chris Furbert???? Paleeze

  8. mixitup says:

    Same “Ol Guard” I was looking for younger professionals.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      I noticed the same thing. The only one who would have a fresh take on bringing in the crowds is Daniel Reece. The rest will probably be looking at our same ol tourist target of wealthy seniors even though the billionaires of today keep getting younger & younger & have little interest in putting around a golf course. We need to make Bermuda fun for young people also because even wealthy seniors have kids who have kids & when they bring them here the reaction is usually YAWN.

      • Chin Chin says:

        Experience is needed! Look at all the OBA candidates who are young? No experience, they can’t even speak without it written down but that’s what you get when your leader is a colt, according to Bob Richards eh?

      • Wandering says:

        I could be wrong but I do remember a Tourist Ministry one time encouraging Bermuda to target those wealthy seniors which were at one time wealthy youngsters. The Billionaires are over in the Mediterranean, Spain, South America.

        They have all the fun they want at home, come to Bermuda for rest, relaxtion and SUN!!!

        What was the name of the hotel on Southshore that had the Water World – see, it didn’t last long because I can’t remember the name.

        • Tommy Chong says:

          One can hardly consider the slides where part of the Sonesta Hotel a water world. The slides there were poorly designed & a lot smaller than the ones on the Royal Caribbean Cruises. This is why they didn’t last long. A decent water park can be built using little land because the structures are taller than wide. There is a very successful chain of water park hotels in North America called Great Wolf Lodge. Most of these water park hotels are built on an area of land less than the size of land our old St. Georges hotel sat on but their scenic views are nowhere close to matching ours. This would be a great selling point for families to have a place fun for the young & young at heart that is also has a historical & scenic side for parents & grandparents. If our tourism minister is not thinking of including something like this in the new hotel he talks about he has missed the boat by a few decades. Yes we have wealthy seniors which were at one time wealthy youngsters who may come here but to neglect their children & grandchildren in the tourism plan would be absolutely ludicrous.

          You mentioned rest, relaxation & sun but those all exist in Mediterranean, Spain & South America in more ways than Bermuda & the wealthy seniors know & take advantage of this also. What we have to our advantage is proximity but that means little to a wealthy person offered up with ONLY a side of beaches, golf courses & local entertainment which comes with the other destinations mentioned along with the family fun aspect minus proximity. Atlantis Bahamas brings in millions per year for Bahamas & our ministers try to convince us this is because of their casino GIVE ME A BREAK if the casino made so much it would get more than a one second spot in all the one minute long commercials that are full of family fun activities. Most of the Atlantis commercials don’t even show the casino in them.

  9. Union Member says:

    Furbert gets on my nerves most times too, but you need to keep the naysayers or your frienemies close and that is how I’m viewing his appointment. This is a good balance but once again, the young traverlor and the family with children are not represented.

  10. rick olson says:

    Would of been nice to see some new and younger blood on the board …I expect our approach and results will remain the same so sad

  11. Puzzled says:

    Why isn’t anyone under the age of 30 on this Board? smh

  12. Just the Facts says:

    Sounds like a Tourism Authority to me, with statutory powers (TBA). But this government would never admit that they’ve finally taken the advice of the Opposition. It’s a start, but probably doesn’t go far enough. It needs to be as independent of the Ministry as possible.

  13. Curious George says:

    Not impressed with anyone on this new board. FAIL.

  14. cocoa says:

    Chris Furbert on Tourism Board!!!!! LOL! This must be a pre-April Fool’s joke!

  15. LOL (original TM*) says:

    Isabelle Ramsey, George Terpilowski, Daniel Reece (ex policeman), Edward Shapard, Selena Lambert (an American insurance sales person), Minister Furbert (UBP/PLP), Maxwell Burgess (UBP/PLP), Joanne McPhee, Chris Furbert (Union Boss with political aspirations), John Jefferis and John Harvey .

    How many have real tourism experience? I’ve heard Mr. Harvey’s name before and John Jefferis. Can anyone fill me in on the rest?


  16. Pastor Syl says:

    “By giving the Board Statutory Powers it gives the ability to make decision with limited Ministerial input.” I can think of a few more boards/quangos/commissions that could do with a bit more teeth and a lot less Ministerial input – most notably the Human Rights Commission, where the minister has the final say in which complaints to pursue.

    I suspend comment on the Tourism Board until I see what they are actually going to do. I don’t know all the players, those I do know have some experience of tourism have been around a long time, so it will be interesting to see if they have any ideas that are fresh. Would have been nice to see some younger faces but some of these people must have grandchildren to consult with, so its not all bad

    • Maddog says:


      • Pastor Syl says:

        @ Maddog: My brother has no tourism experience. He is also as old or older than most of these guys, so why would I be bitter? Go back and re-read my post. Your reply is irrelevant.

  17. Gvt Mechanic says:

    How long will it take them to make a decision with 15+ members?? A Board should be a small number of highly qualified decision makers, not 6 decision makers and 12 hangers-on!

    • Wandering says:

      Chris will always ask for a secret ballot and if there is no agreement – he will ask for the matter to be taken to arbitration and he will always be sure that the camera is on him.

  18. Bewildered says:

    Ironic that the Minister of Tourism is an elected UBP MP, and now the Chairman of the new Board is also ex UBP. What will the PLP do now as they can’t continue to critize the UBP for tourism’s downturn? Perhaps fast forward and critize the “Platinum Period” for failing?

    • Chin Chin says:

      No but be Bewildered no more – all your OBA MPs were elected UBP except Craig. Did you hear his 10 minute speech on finance. Pathetic is the best word to describe his lack of knowledge along with cocky attitude of Mr. know it all and can’t deliver. This is one time I have to Agree with Mr. Richard, he would of been a better leader. Not to worry, once they win its bye bye Craig and the Milkman will turn us all into milking cows. lmao.

      • White Bermudian says:

        Point taken, that is so true. Craig will be kick from being leader. History will repeat!

      • Shaking the Head says:

        Interesting comments. I haven’t heard anything said or done by the current Minister of Finance to indicate she has any grasp on finance, except borrow more. If the PLP win, she will be gone next day just like Jennifer Smith. With the economy in a hole for at least the next 5 years, you may be milking cows, or working the plantation, even if the PLP wins.

  19. Cancer says:

    One needs to wonder though – how come the UBP leader has not brought in new fresh young people with new fresh innovative ideas. The people on this board should be ready for their retirement and should be about to use what’s left of their pension that Paula took!

  20. Wade says:

    IS there someone on that board who is under 40 years of age?

    Are we still going to continue using this old tourism model with golf courses and afternoon tea?

  21. Juat a thought says:

    Just loer the cost of rooms and things then we will have more people visit. Its really simple I think.

  22. Wayne Furbert says:

    Younger members will play a key role. We have not laid out how everything will work. Daniel Reece will chair a subcommittee of younger Bermudians that will feed into the over all Board. The plan is working Jan, Feb and March is up for arrivals. June is basically sold out. We will be encourgaing Bermudians to rent out their Units to get more Beds. We are close to getting a signed deal for a New Hotel with delivery dates.

    We are working to grow GDP and create job opportunities. Judge me by my performance not by the nay sayers who have no idea what is going on, but trying to score political points.

    • Um Um Like says:

      Close to getting a signed deal for a new hotel????


  23. WOW!! says:

    Question.. Why is Chirs Furbert and Kevin Bean on this board????????

    • Just saying!! says:

      must be free trips involved. Take the entourage with you as you travel (that includes your family and friends)

  24. Bad choice. says:

    Wayne means well but Chris Furbert is a bad choice. I see a conflict of interest here. Has Wayne forgotten all the anxiety Chris has been causing the tourists? If you paint a skunk brown. It is still a skunk..?

  25. Just sayin says:

    Furbert, this is the old, you scratch my back (BIU getting members to take a cut) and I will scratch yours ( getting placed on PLP boards) TAKE A PAY CUT FURBERT, you are despicable.

  26. Curious George. says:

    Hey LaVerne. are you related to Wayne and Chris?

  27. LaVerne Furbert says:

    I’m now convinced that the OBA is ruling the roost when it comes to this site. Not negative comment about the new Chair, but all negativity about Mr. Chris Furbert.

    Curious George, remember one thing, you can choose your friends, but not your family.

    • fatman in Toronto says:

      Imagine being able to choose your family?

      I’d choose an obese failed plagiarist/stalker/screenwriter for my son.

    • Poppin says:


  28. Mike Auxard says:

    Joanne McPhee is perfect for this board, she knows how the world works.

  29. progress in BDA says:

    Welcoe to Waynes World

    Popcorn and Kool Aid All around

  30. The nitty gritty says:

    …and if I have to hear how one of the 40 new hotels will be breaking ground any day now, again for the 50th time…I will sue the tourism minister for human rights violations. This is water boarding Bermuda style.

  31. Rockfish#1 says:

    It is shocking and appalling that Wayne Furbert could not see fit to appoint the absolutely charming Defender/8 votes to this board. Surely he must know that she is an expert on all matters, has superb public relations skills, and is therefore well qualified to provide him with sound advice. Bermuda needs her at this time!

  32. Cancer says:

    Wayne everytime you or your party say there will be an announcement for a new hotel that phase has become the biggest laughing stock or punch line in Bermuda. That phrase and punch line of a joke first originated with Ewart and now your carrying it with you. We were told Hamilton Princess was about to do some majar work with your picuture as a photo op in the RG. To this day we have heard or seen nothing since so when that phase is used no one takes it serious anymore. No one wants to hear an announcement – we actually want to see the ground being broken with holes being dug by the excavation teams. Not until then will the people of Bermuda beleive these broken promises about hotels being built which the PLP have repeatedly said and lied to us over the past ten years….. I’m sure as the date election comes closer more of these announcements will be made.

  33. rumandcoke says:

    Seems the outgoing Board produced an excellent report which was tabled in Cabinet at the end of last year after many public meetings and input from the community. One of the hottest of their hot button issues was to move to a Tourism Authority without political interference. Looks like they have been thrown under the bus as their Chairman and many of those Board members will not be around to implement the strategies that were put forward. Too bad for Bermuda.

    • Gvt Mechanic says:

      They did indeed rumandcoke, but the Cabinet did not want to lose the power!

  34. Crazy says:

    This has to be an April fools day joke come on ,who’s on what?

  35. Somerset Girl says:

    Chris Furbert on the board? Really? Mr. We will strike! Really?

  36. Awake says:

    Laverne, how is it that you ALWAYS seem to think you know, from comments made on this site and any others, who is OBA, PLP, or UBP? And to the first poster, you’re just as ignorant! As for the members of the new Board, Chris Furbert is a very poor choice as is Mr. Jeffries! I honestly thought Wayne was smarter than this! He hasn’t chosen one young person but yet the PLP are interested in the youth!

  37. navin johnson says:

    Brother Chris on the board..”keep your friends close and your enemies closer”…Wayne can tell everyone to use his hundreds of travel agents and Mr. Jeffries can have them stay at his hotel……brilliant selections…….

  38. Can't Believe says:

    Honestly I really can’t believe what I am witnessing here with this Tourism Board. From the looks of it, it is just a bunch of over paid windbags that will do nothing to revive a destroyed industry that used to thrive not long ago.
    The sad part about it is that all any visitor wants is value for money, the very same way when you or I go on any vacation or excursion. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen because of transportation disputes, poor customer service, and a host of other issues to long to list.
    My suggestion to get the Tourism Industry back on track is start it in the schools where the kids learn the trade and show them the correct way in doing things. Otherwise this is just another Government appointed board collecting taxpayers money doing nothing.

  39. Poppin says:

    PLP only use the ELITE GROUP They are a click that dont even consider given the Youth of Bermuda a Chance Like OBA Has.Just Look at this PLP have rolled out the young gentlemen in #24 That works for Jetblue as Manager I do belive he should be on the Tourisum Board.Again Mr M Dickinson another great gentlmen PlP Has and many more the list goes on Ive put my name forward to be on many Boards with the PLP and Im Young And Ready to work for the people of Our Country Many of us call Home,PlP just puts alot of there young people on the back burner until they get burnt out.If your not in with The Elite Of PLP or The Head Of The Board You sign up for Your not choosen.SO THATS WHY OBA GETS MY VOTE BECAUSE THEY STAND FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN OUR ISLAND WE ALL CALL HOME BERMUDA:)