Minister of Business Development and Tourism Wayne Furbert hosted a media briefing today [Aug 24] to provide an update on the latest tourism figures.
“As we all know, in today’s fragile global economy, even the most high-end destinations must provide a perception to the traveler that they are getting value for their hard-earned money. I am happy to say that we are achieving this goal,” said the Minister.
“While we are heartened by the visitor perception of Bermuda, we know we have to continue to grow the number of visitors coming here in this increasingly competitive marketplace. Our team is working hard to do just that and I will share with you now, if I may, a glimpse into some of the highlights of our efforts.”
Minister Furbert’s full statement follows below:
I am pleased to now be able to share some of the highly targeted and aggressive activities that have taken place during the Second Quarter of 2012 to promote our island’s tourism product.
Our talented tourism team, both on island and overseas, continues to work night and day to engage influencers among consumers, the trade, and the media in order to showcase Bermuda as a must-visit destination.
Before I talk about what we have done to promote the destination, let me first report that the destination is doing a fantastic job in promoting itself in the best way possible – and that is to both satisfy, as well as exceed, the expectations of our guests. This fact is clearly evident in the results of our airport exit surveys conducted during the period covering April through June, 2012.
Our survey showed the percentage of consumers who said they were completely satisfied with their experience grew over the previous quarter in key areas such as our natural scenic environment, feeling of personal safety, and, most importantly, the hospitality of the Bermudian people.
I am happy to report the percentage in which our island exceeded the expectations of leisure visitors also grew across the board in the areas of our friendly and hospitable people (a 14% increase), beauty of the island (an 8% increase), clean beaches and ocean (a 9% increase), and overall cleanliness of the island (a 9% increase).
Visitors opinions with respect to the value of their Bermuda trip, compared with the cost, has also improved. This is extremely important.
As we all know, in today’s fragile global economy, even the most high-end destinations must provide a perception to the traveler that they are getting value for their hard-earned money. I am happy to say that we are achieving this goal.
While we are heartened by the visitor perception of Bermuda, we know we have to continue to grow the number of visitors coming here in this increasingly competitive marketplace. Our team is working hard to do just that and I will share with you now, if I may, a glimpse into some of the highlights of our efforts.
First, our overseas sales team in North America is extremely active in the marketplace. During the Second Quarter the team to Bermuda’s message directly to consumers, travel agents and the media during a high-profile, multi-city tour.
The effort kicked off in Boston in conjunction with many of our medium-sized hotel properties. While there, the team engaged in sales calls and held a reception for trade in which various aspects of our island’s tourism product were presented. The event was attended by partners such as Cambridge Beaches, The Reefs, Rosedon and Newstead Belmont Hills, and provided a great opportunity to sell our island to this key geographic market.
In addition, we hosted our annual Bermuda Night at Fenway Park where I had the extreme honour of being invited by the Red Sox to open the game by singing America’s National Anthem. Thankfully I was joined by two very talented local singers Tricray Astwood and Steve Easton who helped me render the song.
More importantly, however, was the fact that the game provided the opportunity to engage the high-end customers who utilize the stadium’s luxury suites — each of which had a strong Bermuda sales presence. Our relationship with The Red Sox continues to keep Bermuda on a very high profile in this crucial New England market.
In addition to Boston, our sales blitz hit key markets in the Northeast such as Toronto, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and, of course, New York. We had the opportunity to not only engage key consumer and trade influencers, but also to engage in some PR and meet with top regional journalists to provide them with story ideas and opportunities to experience the island first-hand.
Overall, our PR efforts in North America produced tremendous results, with stories valued at more than $10 million in The Boston Globe, Washington Post, Toronto Sun, Globe & Mail and Travel + Leisure Magazine to name just a few. Our most high profile success, of course, came in the form of two hours worth of prime-time network coverage on ABC-TV’s “The Bachelorette”.
The show reached millions of viewers as well as coverage in media outlets such as CNN and People magazine. We leveraged the popularity of the show through social marketing and a contest that reached more than 3 million consumers, generated 11,830 new Bermuda Facebook fans, and achieved more than 22 million advertising impressions
While The Bachelorette brought us into the homes of American viewers, our sales team works hard to be top-of-mind on a face-to-face basis with our key customers.
Thus far in 2012, the team has engaged in more than 770 sales calls amongst the trade, planners of meetings and events, as well as niche groups.
Our sales team was also very aggressive in attending more than 25 key industry trade shows and exhibitions that allowed us to sell Bermuda to a very targeted audience of active travelers and travel agents. In total, the team was able to engage with more than 10,000 potential travelers at these events.
Outreach to the lucrative groups and incentive market continues to be a priority as well.
I am happy to share that Bermuda’s outstanding work in this realm has led to our island once again being honored by the two leading U.S. trade publications – Successful Meetings and Meetings & Conventions magazines which awarded us with their Pinnacle and Gold Key awards respectively. This demonstrates to the world that our island is a premier location for meeting and incentive groups and we should be proud to know that we are considered among the world’s very best.
As you know, our sales efforts in North America include Canada as well where we recently participated in Toronto’s most exciting new business exchange. This vibrant and forward-thinking forum brought global Canadian planners and suppliers together, giving us the opportunity to be in front of over 1,000 buyers during the two- day show.
We were also very active in ensuring Bermuda had a high-profile presence at key trade shows in Canada and our team met one-on-one with more than 200 top travel agents and nearly 100 group prospects during the three-month period.
Across the pond, as they say, in Europe, our team continues to aggressively promote Bermuda as we seek to grow our visitation in our core U.K. market, as well as markets where we continue to see opportunity for growth, such as Italy.
First, in the U.K. our agency team there has secured tremendous media coverage for the destination in influential outlets such as The Independent and Sunday Telegraph, as well as niche outlets covering dive, weddings, golf and more. The team hosted two group press trips, working in partnership with British Airways, and set up nearly 70 meetings with journalists.
Special trade and media events were held attracting highly influential leaders and special golf and culinary promotions were visible to more than 65,000 consumers. All told the UK PR efforts produced coverage valued at more than 6.6 million pounds.
On the sales and marketing side, the UK Team supported our Compliments of Bermuda offer with advertorials in targeted outlets, and also continued with our eye catching bus and taxi wrapping which transformed these transportation modes to extremely eye-catching Bermuda pink – all the while promoting our proximity and beauty.
In Italy, we continue to raise consumer awareness and drive business through a multi-tactical approach that targets, families, honeymooners, and golfers. Like our efforts in North America and the U.K., we are also outreaching to the group and incentive market, travel trade and business travellers in Italy. We are hosting FAM trips, attending key industry trade shows, staging consumer events and actively outreaching to the media.
As Italy is still a growing destination for Bermuda, our team is also working hard to better familiarize travel agents and tour operator with our product through training sessions and webinars, while also creating co-op advertising programs with these groups.
Speaking of advertising, as you are aware, earlier this year we retained Fuseideas to be our agency of record in North America. They have helped us to create an amazing re-launch of our brand this month, however, there was a tremendous amount of work done even prior to the re-launch to prepare the campaign.
This included achieving a deeper understanding of the Bermuda visitor than ever before by conducting in-depth analysis based on 6 years of immigration card data, and a total of 1.3 million records. From this, Bermuda’s top target segments were defined confirming that our visitors are among the top most-affluent, most-well educated and top tier lifestyle segments in the U.S.
In addition to the new campaign planning, however, our advertising helped promote our Sizzling Summer offer in the U,S, and Canada, and then shifting to launch and support our Endless Summer programme. This advertising drove overall May site visits and page views on our website, GoToBermuda.com to increase by 113% and 156% versus May of 2011, and up 46% and 106% in June versus June 2011
Advertising activity highlights for the 2nd Quarter also include more than a dozen insertions in national or regional editions of major newspapers and magazines; more than 150 million impressions achieved through digital online advertising geo-targeted top-priority East-Coast Markets; television advertising in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami; ongoing radio advertising with the CBS radio network; highly visible out-of-home billboards and vehicle wraps, multiple email broadcasts reaching more than 1 million consumers, plus ongoing Search Engine Marketing.
I’m happy to say that record-breaking increases were achieved in the ever-important social marketing world , with the total number of engagements and fans on Facebook being increased by more than four times the levels of the previous quarter.
As mentioned earlier though, all the advertising, sales and marketing in the world is not going to help if we don’t provide a great product. Giving visitors something to see and do while they are here certainly provides a reason to come and our on-island team continues to help create, host and promote engaging events for our audience.
The high-profile Newport – Bermuda Race, in which more than 3,000 visitors helped pump more than $4 million into our national economy, leading to sold-out hotels and guest houses for the week is an excellent example.
Bermuda deserves so much more!
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- New Youth Tourism Board Formed
- Tourism Minister Promotes Bermuda In Germany
- Fuseideas Wins $13 Million BDOT Account
- 2012 Third Quarter Air Arrivals Increase By 2%
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Articles that link to this one:
- Bermuda Tourism Arrivals Decline By 1.4% | Bernews.com | August 24, 2012