Minister of Tourism Development and Business Shawn Crockwell recently travelled to New York and the Bahamas to meet staff in the New York Office and attend the Caribbean Tourism Organization [CTO] Council of Ministers meeting.
On Thursday [Jan 17], Minister Crockwell met with some of the North American media at a luncheon in New York City to highlight Bermuda’s key selling points including the island’s close proximity to New York City and new air services from the east coast. He also took the opportunity to promote Bermuda’s upcoming calendar of tourism events.
The luncheon was attended by leading travel publications with a combined circulation of more than 4.3 million readers. Representatives from Brides Magazine, Departures, Food & Wine, Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, specialty travel agent publications and the Associated Press were in attendance.
According to Minister Crockwell, the event was a very positive introduction to the North American media and provided an important opportunity to highlight the new initiatives on the island.
“I was extremely pleased with the positive feedback from the media during the luncheon,” said Minister Crockwell.
“The media in attendance represented influential North American outlets and we need to continue to let them know that we are an island that offers so much more.”
The Minister also met with the Bermuda Department of Tourism New York Office staff as well as agencies Lou Hammond & Associates and Fuseideas.
On Saturday [Jan 19], the Minister travelled from New York to the Bahamas for the Caribbean Tourism Organization Council of Ministers Meeting and to also attend the Caribbean Hotel & Travel Association Marketplace.
Minister Crockwell said: “The annual CHTA Marketplace meeting is the largest and most important tourism trade show in the Caribbean and in attendance this year were 30 Ministers and heads of Tourism Departments and Authorities.
“We had the opportunity to arrange meetings with Ministers and CEOs of various Tourism Authorities from the Caribbean and our team learned a great deal during the conference.”
Accompanying Minister Crockwell was Policy Analyst and Special Advisor, Corey Butterfield, who has been hired on a $120,000 one-year contract. The Ministry said his “principal roles include carrying out a comparative analysis of the various Tourism Authorities and their enabling legislation in addition to fulfilling the Tourism Plan.”
Minister Crockwell said: “Our meetings were incredibly productive and our intention to create a Tourism Authority for Bermuda was widely embraced. We also met with airline service providers, travel booking websites and all indications are that we can expect a much improved season in 2013.”
Minister Crockwell said he noted the Shadow Tourism Minister’s criticism for attending the CTO meeting but said attendance had been arranged several months in advance and well before the 2012 General Election.