Sports Tourism Strategy To Be Implemented

October 30, 2012

Sports Tourism has been identified as the best potential high yield niche segment to boost occupancy in the shoulder season in Bermuda, it was announced at a press conference yesterday.

A statement from the Ministry of Tourism said: “Sports Tourism is one of the ‘core’ tourism segments identified in the National Tourism Plan to 2022. A new Sports Tourism Strategy just completed for the Bermuda Department of Tourism and highlights the long-term potential of this sector stating that it has the potential to be the highest sustainable earning niche within the Leisure Tourism market.

“The study recommends continuing to focus on the rich natural sports tourism assets available in Bermuda such as Golf, Sailing, Beach Sports and Fishing in addition to growing the existing sports events into successful ‘sporting festivals’ like the World Rugby Classic in sports such as Hockey, Lacrosse, Beach Sports, Cricket, Soccer etc.

“It also identified the new emerging explosive trends in the Active Lifestyle Sports such as Adventure and Endurance racing that is ideally suited for Bermuda as ‘new’ events that need to be fostered and developed.

“Some interesting statistics support this trend:

• More than 48 million people now run in the USA, up 81% since 2000.

• More than 48 million people now participate in Road Cycling, up 31% since 2000

• More than 1.9 million people now participate in Triathlons up 304 % since 2000.

• In 2011 the number of female road race finishers was 7.68 million growing more than 71% since 2005.

“Sports Tourism in Bermuda increases individual visitor spending and visitor’s ‘complete satisfaction’ ratings significantly and positions Bermuda positively as an ‘active lifestyle’ destination matching with the countries new tourism slogan ‘so much more’.

“The budget for Sports Tourism will be increased to drive the goal of doubling the visitor attendance to existing events and growing new events to add an additional 14 weeks of Sports Festivals events over the next three to five years.”

Chairman of the Tourism Board Maxwell Burgess commented: ‘We want Sports Events and Festivals to fill our hotels primarily in the winter and shoulder seasons, and provide our visitors with an active positive experience of Bermuda so they will return and also talk about Bermuda when they go back home. This is a sustainable niche that along with Business Tourism will be the most profitable for Bermuda over the next 10 years’.

Randolph Horton, who sits on the Tourism Board and heads up the Sports Sub Committee, commented: ‘The Sports Tourism unit will be run like a business. We will set our goals for increasing bed nights and economic & media impact and then go about achieving them. As in sports we expect to be judged on results. The Board have committed to giving us the resources we need to get the job done and we will be starting immediately using the new Sports Tourism Strategy as our guideline’


Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, Sports

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. dburgessforpremieranothertermforpaula says:

    lets put the 15 million back into cricket.

    its a proven sound business decision that is not motivated by race.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh yeah, riight! Somebody else is looking to rack up some airmiles for later use at public expense.

    Not to belittle the roadracing but the event is over in a few hours, creates havoc on the roads for other users & needs all sorts of support people like the BPS to make it happen.

    Team sports such as rugby, hockey, lacross & sports which don’t even use the land such as sailing & take place over days of eliminations would be a much better ROR.

  3. Andrew Simons says:

    Let me make a few quick points:

    - In November 2011, Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said “[The Bermuda Corporate Games] is targeted to bring between 500 to 750 visitor participants.” (

    - In March, Wayne Furbert predicted that 1000 visitors would come to Bermuda for the Bermuda Corporate Games (see note 1). The true number seems to be under 100 visitors. It is certainly less than 300.

    - He used the estimate of 1000 visitors to justify the $150,000 sponsorship of the event.

    - Glenn Blakeney, Minister of Youth Affairs & Families, co-sponsored the event because some of the events took place in the National Stadium.

    A few questions:

    1. How did the Minister of Tourism reach his final estimate of 1,000 visitors?

    2. He says the Ministry uses a “performance-based model” (see note 3). In this model, what was the lowest number of visitors that could still justify this investment?

    3. Who should we hold accountable for the estimate?

    4. Did the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Families give a monetary grant to the Bermuda Corporate Games? If so, how much? I ask because Minister Blakeney cut $50,000 from the budget for Youth Grants. (see notes 2 and 4)

    5. Can we trust the judgment and competence of either minister?

    Many people travel to participate in and watch sports. I was in St. Georges two weeks ago and met a couple shopping in the Book Cellar who had come to the island for the “Round the Sound Swim”. That weekend, Grotto Bay sold lots of rooms and stores in the East saw more tourists. I have traveled to compete in sports events myself. Sports tourism is a good idea.

    Today I see that the Tourism Board plans to increase the sports marketing budget by $500,000, from $2.5M to $3M. __________

    That is a big increase (20%) to announce without providing further details of the Tourism Ministry’s full preliminary budget. The budget process requires trade-offs. Let me put these numbers in context. The Continuation School at Teen Services, which helped pregnant teens finish high school for generations, closed after government cut $140,000 in funding.

    Cabinet Ministers and other government MPs stand in front of camera to take credit for a “good idea” during election season. Ask the politician what he or she chose _not_ to support. Ask yourself if you trust that politician’s judgment.

    Here are some key sources that let the ministers speak for themselves:
    1. Tourism Minister, Wayne Furbert, in the House of Assembly on 18 Nov 2011:

    “I cannot tell you too much on the Corporate Games, but we are excited by what we are hearing about the Corporate Games. You will hear more about that. I am limited as to what I can say, but just say that we are working with someone to make that happen, and you can imagine what Corporate Games will mean. But you will hear more about that in due season. The sponsorship for something like that for the Government will be roughly $200,000. I can tell you that. I will at least tell you that part.” (144 18 November 2011 Official Hansard Report)

    2. Minister of Youth Affairs & Families, Glenn Blakeney, in the House of Assembly on 18 Nov 2011:

    “Another area, Mr. [Acting] Speaker, is within the Tourism Ministry a commitment to launch a new tourism brand and also the commitment to facilitate as a host country the Corporate Games which will be a cross-Ministry initiative driven by the Department of Tourism because the facility that is most conducive to hosting those games is the National Stadium.”
    (Official Hansard Report 18 November 2011 61)

    3. Tourism Minister, Wayne Furbert, in the House of Assembly on 14 March 2012 (Note that this is the budget debate where ministers must explain and justify their spending plans):

    “Let us look at 232, Sports Marketing. Sports tourism is a key factor in the promotion of Bermuda to our visitors. Sport is a uniting factor that brings people from all walks of life together, and the Department of Tourism strives to leverage all opportunities for Bermuda. Mr. Chairman, each sports tourism event sponsored by the Bermuda Department of Tourism is analysed on how it performs against the department’s goals and objectives. They have been assessed through a performance-based model to ensure that they stimulate our economy by bringing visitors to our shores, act as awareness, enhance our product via television, online, print and social media and provide value-added for visitors planning a Bermuda vacation.

    Some examples of sponsorships are the Bermuda Corporate Games 2012, which is October 25th to 28th. The department will invest $150,000 in sponsorship which will bring approximately 1,000 visitors. We estimate the economic impact to Bermuda will be $1.2 million. The Newport to Bermuda yacht race will be held in June. We estimate a sponsorship amount of $150,000 for the race. It will bring 3,000 visitors, and the economic impact to Bermuda will about $4.5 million.”
    (Official Hansard Report 14 March 2012 1486 14 March 2012)

    4. Minister of Youth Affairs & Families, Glenn Blakeney, in the House of Assembly on 14 March 2012:

    “Cost centre 3050 (sic), Youth Grants, supports youth services agencies, offering a strength-based approach to youth development with funds supporting programme development and operation.”
    (1334 9 March 2012 Official Hansard Report)
    Note that:
    - The correct cost centre for youth grants is 30350. Note that Minister Blakeney doesn’t point out that he is cutting that funding by $50,000, from $279,000 to $229,000.
    - These numbers are taken directly from the 2012 Budget Book, page B-238. (

    5. In December of 2011, Government released its “Pre Budget Report”. That report promised a “Mid-Term Review”. Where is it?

    “Mid-Year Review: The Government does not currently issue a Mid-Year Review. The Government commits to releasing a Mid-Year Review in the next fiscal year.…
    It is the aim of the Government to provide all of these reports during the coming budget cycle and 2012-13 fiscal year. In publishing this document and conforming to international standards of budget transparency, this Government reaffirms its unwavering commitment to good governance.”
    (page 30, Pre-Budget Report in advance of the Fiscal Year 2012-13)

    Andrew Simons
    One Bermuda Alliance candidate for Pembroke Central constituency # 17

  4. Family Man says:

    After reading that, its understandable why none of the government members have ever run a successful business.

    They really make a bag of rocks look smart.

  5. Speaking only for myself, I wouldn’t come to Bermuda for the “sports”, and I’ve been lots of times! I’m keeping away because of the crime in Bermuda, sad to say. I can get that here. Less of it, in fact.