Tourism Authority Update On Gonzalo Prep

October 16, 2014

Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Bill Hanbury has provided an update on the measures the BTA is taking under its Emergency Management Plan in light of the impending arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo..

The full statement from Mr. Hanbury is below:

The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] Bermuda office will close Thursday, October 16 at 1:00 p.m. in anticipation of Hurricane Gonzalo and remain closed on Friday; however it will continue operations through the storm under its Emergency Management Plan.

The BTA Emergency Management Plan was activated Monday at its lowest level and elevated to its most severe level on Tuesday. Since the activation of the Emergency Management Plan the BTA completed a list of tasks to reach a heightened level of preparedness. Here is a condensed list of those tasks:

  • A BTA representative has attended all meetings of the Emergency Measures Organization
  • Hurricane Gonzalo advisories to visitors have been published to BTA websites, shared on social media and emailed to industry stakeholders and partners. Advisories will continue as new information becomes available
  • While the BTA Bermuda office is closed calls will be auto-routed to the New York office, which will remain open Thursday and Friday
  • A daily conference call began Tuesday to organize the BTA’s global communications under the Emergency Management Plan
  • To facilitate global communication on storm recovery, the BTA Bermuda office has secured an alternative meeting place if its Washington Mall Properties location is seriously damaged
  • CEO Bill Hanbury cancelled a sales mission to the U.K. to manage the emergency management plan from Bermuda. The mission will not be cancelled, a senior official from the BTA New York office will take his place
  • BTA team members are being pre-organized to make foot call damage assessments at tourism-industry properties following the storm. This process is only necessary if there are serious communication problems following the storm. Team members will only be dispatched when the EMO advises it is safe to do so
  • An internal voice recording hotline will be updated every four hours with status updates and action items for BTA team members during and following the storm
  • The BTA New York office is establishing a dedicated customer service line to facilitate heavy call volumes should they occur
  • Worked with the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport on affected cruise ship calls and increased airlift ahead of the storm

In addition to these action items and developments over the past four days, the BTA has been working with groups and events on-island to ensure smooth logistics in preparation for the storm:

  • Senior BTA officials worked with Saltus Grammar School and the Canadian Consulate Office in New York City to facilitate the departure of 22 soccer teams in Bermuda for the Canadian Association of Independent Schools Soccer Tournament. To successfully depart the high volume of students ahead of the storm required hastily arranged seats on charter and commercial flights and the quick action of many agencies, including the PGA of America which offered some of its empty seats to students trying to get home. According to Saltus, all students have seats to depart ahead of Hurricane Gonzalo
  • Seniors BTA officials worked with the PGA of America and Turner Sports to ensure the early departure of its staffs and families following the PGA Grand Slam of Golf this week.
  • The BTA Products and Experiences team is working proactively with groups and events scheduled in the coming weeks to ensure they have the most reliable information on the country’s recovery from the storm

Like the rest of the country, the BTA is at a heightened state of readiness for Hurricane Gonzalo. At the same time we are preparing meticulously for the recovery from the storm.

We know from experience, and the accolades heard on U.S. cable news this week, Bermuda recovers quickly and strongly in the wake of a storm. We will redouble our efforts to let the world know when destination Bermuda is open for business following the storm.

In the meantime, you can rely on the BTA New York team which will coordinate updates to the BTA’s websites and social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.


Bill Hanbury

For all our coverage of Tropical Storm Fay click here, for all our coverage of Hurricane Gonzalo click here, and for our live blog covering both Gonzalo and Fay click here.

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Comments (3)

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  1. more than enough says:

    So dowell is going. Iwonder if dunkley cacelled too.

  2. Kindley says:

    Praying for safety for all.