BTA: ‘Tourism Is Moving In The Right Direction’

January 21, 2015

The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] is holding their first-ever Bermuda Tourism Summit today [Jan 21], where a range of industry topics are being discussed at the Fairmont Southampton.

“This is the first of what we anticipate will be an annual summit of tourism sector leaders and stakeholders,” BTA Chairman David Dodwell said in his opening remarks.

“For a first-ever event, what a great demonstration of support. In attendance throughout today, we have over 200 hoteliers, restaurateurs, vacation rental owners, transportation professionals, plus managers from retail, attractions, events and cultural organizations.”

BTA CEO Bill Hanbury also addressed those gathered, saying: “We trust everyone in this room will do their best to build on Bermuda’s recent accomplishments. From America’s Cup and the bipartisan agreement about the need for a new airport facility, to the recent announcements concerning hotel development that will create jobs and family-sustaining opportunities for Bermudians…tourism is moving in the right direction.

“What we need now is collaboration to ensure these opportunities reach their full potential. Collaboration is key to maximizing the significant prospects that lies in front of us. Dissention is the enemy of success.”

BTA Chairman David Dodwell’s full statement follows below:

Good morning everyone. I want to welcome Honorable Minister Shawn Crockwell, the honorable members of Parliament who are with us today, BTA Board members, presenters who are joining us from off-island, plus my hospitality industry colleagues. We’re delighted you have joined us for this important forum.

This is the first of what we anticipate will be an annual summit of tourism sector leaders and stakeholders. For a first-ever event, what a great demonstration of support. In attendance throughout today, we have over 200 hoteliers, restaurateurs, vacation rental owners, transportation professionals, plus managers from retail, attractions, events and cultural organizations. Let’s give ourselves a round of applause for this great turn-out.

As the day unfolds, we’ll participate in what should be an interesting range of programming. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • hear the tourism forecast for 2015;
  • discover how to plug into future marketing and sales initiatives;
  • learn about new tourism events, products and experiences;
  • find out about the new BTA national service standards program;
  • and, receive a detailed briefing on the status of Bermuda’s extraordinary America’s Cup victory.

As the day continues, I think you’ll realize the BTA team has done an excellent job of presenting an agenda which is relevant to you and your business interests. I’m grateful to the entire BTA team for the hours-and-hours of expertise which went into developing this program.

We’re calling this event a “Summit”…we’ve named it that purposefully. Bermuda is in the midst of climbing to the summit of very formidable mountain…that mountain represents the re-energizing and re-building of Bermuda’s tourism economy for the good of all island residents.

Our ascent up that mountain has begun. The formation of the BTA was a bold first step on the path of that journey. Many other additional steps have already been achieved. Building a top-notch BTA staff and a “best-practices” organizational structure were also critical steps forward. Announcements of new hotel developments and a renewed confidence in our tourism economy are other important steps. A giant step along the difficult climb was the successful bid for the 2017 America’s Cup. In fact, I’d place that conquest in the category of climbing Mount Everest.

Many more steps need to be taken. Big future steps will include: reestablishing Bermuda as a year-round destination, increasing the number of air arrivals, building hotel occupancy, attracting smaller cruise ships for Hamilton and St. George’s, plus nurturing more tourism-related businesses. The biggest step we still need to accomplish is assuring the creation of more family sustaining, upwardly mobile jobs for the Bermuda citizens that needs those jobs the most…the under-employed and un-employed.

We’re not fooling ourselves…we still have many steps to go in conquering the summit. And, when we reach that summit, Bermuda will recapture its rightful place aside other premier global tourism destinations. I ask all of you to join this journey with a sense of good spirit and collaboration like never seen before on our island. It will not be an easy climb, but nothing worth achieving is ever easy. Nothing less than the future of the country hangs in the balance.

Now, it is my pleasure to introduce the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport. The Honorable Minister is a reliable supporter of the tourism industry and has been a leading voice for an affective, independent Tourism Authority that listens to the marketplace [customers], first and foremost. He truly is Bermuda tourism’s most reliable [staunch] advocate. Please welcome Shawn Crockwell.

-

BTA CEO Bill Hanbury’s full statement follows below:

Honorable Minister Shawn Crockwell, thank you for being with us today. You have done a commendable job leading the Government’s tourism effort during a challenging and dynamic moment in Bermuda’s history.

Also, Chairman David Dodwell, thank you. Your contributions of time and expertise are deeply appreciated by this CEO and the BTA team.

Most of all though……“thanks” to all of you for being with us today. I know you’re here because you care about the growth of tourism and the future of the country. You are here because you want to see Bermuda succeed.

Well, you’re “right on time”. We have before us a once in a generation opportunity to change-the-game. Tourism momentum is building…success is a real possibility.

We trust everyone in this room will do their best to build on Bermuda’s recent accomplishments. From America’s Cup and the bipartisan agreement about the need for a new airport facility, to the recent announcements concerning hotel development that will create jobs and family-sustaining opportunities for Bermudians… tourism is moving in the right direction.

What we need now is collaboration to ensure these opportunities reach their full potential. Collaboration is key to maximizing the significant prospects that lies in front of us. Dissention is the enemy of success. So, today we make a call for:

  • dialogue before ranker,
  • support ahead of suspicion,
  • togetherness instead of discord.

We suggest that there is a lack of collaboration in the current discourse. It’s not productive, and if you have a vested interest in Bermuda tourism – as most of you do – it’s a momentum killer. The internet allows the world to view the ongoing differences taking place on the island.

Differences are to be welcomed and expected, especially if presented constructively. But, the scale and negative nature of the current debate around tourism can be distracting; and it can, and will impact Bermuda’s profile externally. If we don’t fix this soon, we’ll miss our once-in-a-generation opportunity to change-the-game.

In a highly competitive marketplace, our collective actions need to show that Bermuda is playing in the big leagues, on a global stage. Its collaboration and teamwork that will help tourism recover economically. Its collaboration and teamwork that will help attract sorely-needed foreign investment to get tourism growing again. This is how we can realize the success that awaits us on a very-near-horizon.

Let’s commit…today…to change the direction of the dialogue and most importantly, the trend lines. The BTA stands ready to work with all parties to reinvigorate tourism and help build real pride in what the country is trying to accomplish. Pride…in and of itself…is actually a very valuable economic development tool. Think about the pride you felt this past October when Bermuda got up off the mat not once – but twice! Those storms were strong, but as one hearty Bermudian told ABC news – Bermuda is stronger!

One of the country’s biggest challenges is job creation….in particular job creation at the entry-level. Of all the components of the economy that creates entry-level jobs…it’s the tourism sector….family sustaining, upwardly mobile jobs which are the difference between abundance and hardship for some Bermuda families. Forget politics; everyone needs to rally to this cause. The BTA is nothing if not an organization of Bermudians working to create jobs for Bermudians. The BTA staff is a group of dedicated people who get out of bed earlier and stay at work later.

And, the BTA team is one of the finest groups of young Bermudians ever assembled in one place, at one time to promote the island. Walk into our office, and you will feel and see the energy. You will be inspired! I’m inspired everyday by a group of: researchers, graphic artists, PR professionals, accountants, marketing and sales experts, event management pros…all patriots, real modern day, 21st century Bermuda patriots. They are a large part of the reason tourism is moving in the right direction.

In fact, I’d like to take a moment to ask the BTA staff to stand so you can see them. They should be recognized for their hard work.

The BTA is nine months old. I’m sure it seems like an eternity for some people, but it’s only been nine months. During this time, we have been building a world-class destination marketing organization. We have 38 staff members of which 90 percent are Bermudian.

There has been no government interference in the way that BTA goes to market. We are directed by what the marketplace demands of world-class destinations and what customers are telling us – no destination can afford to ignore what the customer wants.

Significant changes have been made in how Bermuda presents itself to the world. We have a new PR firm, new social media channels and new tourism partner agreements. We are about to select a new advertising agency. We’re making a concerted on-island effort to improve Bermuda’s tourism product and experience. Our targeted grant investment program has been hailed for its: fairness, transparency, focus and most importantly, effectiveness. There are many people in the room today that are recipients of our marketing and sponsor support.

When it comes to marketing and sales, we are fusing: data, insights, technology, creativity, and plain old hard work to connect with customers in the moment that matters, via the medium they’re most receptive to. BTA’s marketing objectives are crystal clear:

  • Arrest the decline in visitor numbers
  • Increase air arrivals to impact the entire tourism value chain;
  • Better integrate our brand messages;
  • Match Bermuda’s authentic experiences with consumers’ desire;
  • And, build year-round demand;

I’d like to tell you we have completely turned the corner…we have not…much work still needs to be accomplished. However, 2015 is going to be a better year and you’ll hear more about that in the next session on our forecast and projections.

BTA has developed seven foundational directives which are helping us rebuild the tourism economy. They include:

One, move from a “seasonal” to a “year round” destination. We can’t afford to rest in the off-season. Bermuda families and their living expenses don’t take a vacation in the off-season. We need to keep people working on a year-round basis. So, BTA is allocating more marketing resources to our shoulder seasons.

Two, geographically identify Bermuda as an Atlantic instead of a Caribbean destination. We have different seasons, usually less severe weather, shorter flight times from all our feeder markets and even a different consumer experience. This is all about geography and the marketing advantage it provides. It’s a simple fact that Bermuda is not in the Caribbean and we need to take full advantage of that fact.

Three, don’t boil the ocean. Bermuda is a quality destination for discriminating consumers, and the price structure of the island’s hospitality industry requires we market to the upper-tiers of the personas. To suggest anything else would waste marketing assets by selling to audiences that won’t, or can’t buy Bermuda. This directive also is geographically focused predominately on northeastern United States, Canada and the UK. No need to go anywhere else to find the audiences waiting to buy our products.

Four, embrace 21st century marketing. We are investing in building brand over the long-haul. There will be no more “one-off” programs that only solve to the short-term. In fact, every time you solve to the short-term it’s at the expense of building long-term brand recognition. We are embracing social media and maximizing the value of public relations like never before. We also are better aligned according to our booking channels and how consumers are actually making decisions. From online travel agents and tour operators to airlines and sales representation firms, the coordination of the Bermuda brand message has never been stronger.

Five, a renewed emphasis on the island’s British charm and island Soul. We call it “Proper Fun”. Visitors love our British and Caribbean influences. Thus, our historic British antiquities and traditions should be better promoted; and we will celebrate our strong connection to Caribbean heritage, art, culture and cuisine; while also shinning a light on the rich culture of our Portuguese community.

Six, celebrate the real Bermuda and its people. No more “invented” events not reflecting Bermuda’s true heritage. The BTA is investing-in and nurturing Bermuda arts, culture, history and cuisine. We are placing more focus on our extraordinary marine and nautical legacy, plus embracing Bermuda’s world-class natural and ecological resources. True and authentic is what the global consumer demands and BTA is working with Bermuda entrepreneurs to deliver these types of experiences.

Finally number seven, global visitors desire sports and recreational experiences. BTA has initiated a new golf direction that includes an Advisory Board, an on-island concierge, and selective sponsorships which are generating room nights. From rugby, sailing and football to triathlons, fishing and scuba diving there’s a place for athletics and recreation in Bermuda market mix.

So with all that said, let’s move on to the purpose of the Summit today. We have an exciting and informative lineup of speakers and programs. From Charles Jeffers, one of Bermuda’s native sons and Chief Operating Officer of DMAI to Steve Paganelli, head of destination marketing sales for Trip Advisor…you will find a program designed to provide the information needed for your success.

We’ll review the outlook for 2015 with a session led by our BTA senior managers. We’ll also have sessions concerning: the growing vacations rentals market, trends in media relations, and managing your online reputation. We’ll also have sessions on golf, on our new national service standards, and importantly a session entitled “collaborating for success” which will be led by some key community leaders.

As part of our lunch program you’ll hear from the Honorable Doctor Grant Gibbons, Peter Rusch from the America’s Cup Event Authority and other key managers about what to expect from this high profile event. If you don’t know, BTA’s own Adam Barboza and Victoria Isley played important roles on the Bermuda Bid Committee to secure America’s Cup. The BTA was a proud partner in contributing countless hours behind the scenes in: design work, marketing agreements, administrative support, hotel coordination and logistics.

So that’s our program for today. You should listen, learn, but also contribute to the dialog. We want and need your input and feedback. Join the conversation.

Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce a gentleman who is well-known to the island…one of Bermuda’s own. Charles Jeffers is Chief Operating Officer of Destination Marketing Association International, the global association for destination marketing organizations like BTA. The association is all about best practices, education, plus industry and customer data. Charles is the former Vice President of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and has a distinguished record of career accomplishments.

Please join me in welcoming Charles Jeffers, one of the tourism industry’s dynamic and highly competent leaders…Charles, welcome home.

-

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Comments (57)

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  1. Moving in the wrong direction says:

    Moving in the wrong direction:

    - CEO’s experience is getting conventions to come to DC and use conference facilities;

    - CEO has no experience with Caribbean, or “Atlantic” travellers and tourism, prior to arriving here;
    - The BTA are currently running TV ads on ZBM of late, who are these ads aimed at, Bermudians, or the “target market” we are trying to lure here?

    - arrivals continue to decline.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Started an entity that is funded by Tax-payers money, running it as a private enterprise, no TRANPARENCY on wages to whom and how much is being paid = CORRUPTION.
      But the die-hards and the Daily were b1+ching over CERDAR BEAMS.
      We’ve had Jet Gate, Casino Gate, Harbor Gate, License Plate Gate, Election Bribe Gate, etc, etc, and still the die-hards ad certain media are QUIET.
      Very Embarrassing.

      • Redman says:

        Mockingjay,

        Yawn.You finished?

        Platinum Period anyone? Yeah that put us back on the up… Not!

    • Trulytruly says:

      It would seem that the OBA can do nothing right. I suppose if you say it enough times it makes it true, right? As Bill told me when I stopped to give my full support to his efforts, common sense will prevail at some point. Stop fighting and go with the flow. We need everyone on board.

      • Mockingjay says:

        You mean do no wrong, oh I forgot your ice is colder.

        • LiarLiar says:

          You also display the exact same attitude you accuse others as practicing. This is exemplified by your daily racial rants at whites, blacks that you don’t consider to be ‘real black people,’ the current Government while glossing over any missteps or screw-ups by the Party that you support so vehemently.

          You are what you hate. Congrats.

  2. C James says:

    Thank you BTA for your good work. Paid blogging members of the Public Loser Party will be inserting their usual moans and groans below. They had 14 years to do something – yet they did ****.

    • Uncle Bob says:

      @C James…correction for you, OBA paid bloggers not PLP….

      UBP/OBA had 50 Years to get it right…yet the did….you guessed right…nothing

      BTA taking all our tax paying money to look good in BDA Shorts and Suits….

      I think you’re living in a fantasy world thinking OBA is doing a better job than the PLP did.

      • LiarLiar says:

        Actually tourism was booming from about the 1920′s to the 1980′s and has been in dire straits since.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          The day tourism died was the hot July day in 1981 when visitors had to carry their bags across the bridge & into the airport because of a strike that had nothing to do with tourism.

          Thankyou BIU.

          • Jus' Askin' says:

            What drove the people to strike like that?
            While I feel that was the start of the decline, there are many reasons for the continuous downwards slide. Yes, we can blame those that striked, for destroying tourism. How about those that put them in that position? ;-)

          • Mockingjay says:

            For your information Jamaica had a general strike in 1985, in Bahamas 2012, Martinique last year and their tourist industries are doing quite well.
            So Dreamer your boogieman tactic is not accurate, those places are a CHEAPER destination and have More to offer compared to an over priced Island that’s Boring, Conservative and fine you $1000.00 for a joint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            NEXT

          • Mr. Ed says:

            There was a lot more damage done then a BIU strike at the Airport!- Infect that hot summer day was nothing to what was really going on.
            Tourisuim died when several Govt. Officials decided to get rid of College Weeks, remove the open canopys from the Taxi’s, and aimed our efforts at the upscale visitor.— we screwed up here big time!
            Lets not forget that it took the Govt..of the Day back then a very long time before they realised how much damage the over aggressive Customs officers at the Airport was doing with our Visitors compared to most vacation destinations.
            The word of our vicious Costoms spread like a wild fire on the eastern seaboard. Several times I have watched in horror how our Visitors were being treated by Bermuda Customs officers.
            We done it to ourselves.

        • Mockingjay says:

          @ LiarLiar you are correct and in the 80′s it took a weeks wages to pay a months rent, go figure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mockingjay says:

      @ C James, so how much of the $350,000 did P.L.P bloggers receive ?
      Hello

  3. flikel says:

    I think the saving grace for the BTA is the America’s Cup. The BTA will take credit for the ensuing bump in visitors, and attribute the increase to their marketing and sales efforts.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Well if the return is profitable then good.
      But if the $77 MILLION that was TAKEN from us the TAX PAYERS does’nt have a god return then it’s a BAD INVESTMENT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • aceboy says:

        Any return is better than say….the Grand Atlantic disaster. Don’t hear you talking about that 40 million dollar monument to incompetence. But, in this case there WILL be a return, count on it.

        • Creamy says:

          $40m plus interest, plus maintenance. It’s easily $60m by now. Totally and utterly wasted.
          At least the AC will do something positive for us.

  4. Keep up the Good Work Hanbury & Co says:

    Don’t listen to the sour grapes on this blog–they are planted.

    Finally Bermuda’s pitch has some class and the BTA are engaging modern methods to reach a wider audience.

    Good for you guys and thank you very much for getting Bermuda tourism out of the dark ages.

    We are 100% behind you and looking forward to your team’s success.

    Thank you!

    • Mockingjay says:

      WEll if the PEOPLE don’t get no satisfaction from this Govt. in the next couple of years then you will be Highly Disappointed.
      We the PEOPLE have POWER too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      And TRUST me we WILL use it.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        And who would you suggest voting in to replace them ? You often make this threat/suggestion .
        Tell us who it is you would use your ‘power’ to replace them with. Surely not the group who got us into this disaster of 2B worth of debt and chased the money out of here ?

        And as for you faux list of things you claim represent lack of transparency/scandal and ROI I suggest you again take a look at that monstrosity opposite Dunscom Road on South Shore .

    • Yea ok Tourism is improving lol says:

      You’re the type of person that rides an OBA donkey!

  5. Optimistic says:

    Maybe we will even get a decent to advert now! I have never seen one but the Bahamas and Jamaica put out great adverts. Oh but hang on they said they are about to select an advertising agency. Shouldn’t that have been done last year? People choose their summer holidays in Jamuary not July!

  6. Redman says:

    PLP – Platinum Period LOL

    It’s early days yet so I say carry on BTA, I have more faith in the direction we are going now despite the constant moaning by the usual Cabal of whiners.

    Maybe for the sake of the moaners we should go back to what was definitely NOT working. Like the decline over the previous 35 plus years under successive UBP & PLP Govts. Yeah that should help tourism.

  7. Suggestion Box says:

    Wow, all those made up scandals Mockingjay! Please inform us of the actual corruption with some facts? What wrongdoing occurred (facts please)? Or is this just the normal PLP spin? I will wait for the details.

  8. Impressive says:

    I really hope it is as I want the best for my country.. Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Can you get an objective statement when someone or some entity is evaluating themselves??? I mean, if I bake a cake and issue a press release saying how good it tastes, is that the end of the story???/

  9. Stumped says:

    Time will tell and I am sure a lot will come out

  10. Impressive says:

    I have no issue with the BTA in principle, however if the task of improving and managing our Tourism product has been delegated to the BTA, why is Minister Crockwell still receiving a full salary??? (He should be getting a full salary for the Transport portfolio alone) I mean the OBA did say they will reduce the size of cabinet.

    • Impressive says:

      I mean, I wish I could be given a job with a great salary, subcontract someone else to carry out the work, and then ask my contractor to pay my salary and the subcontractor’s salary.. would be nice,,

      • Mockingjay says:

        I wish I can still travel in peace after being caught with a spliff !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        WTF

  11. stunned... says:

    Why on earth is Bill harping on about the America’s Cup. it is a done deal. He should be thinking in the future, what is Bermuda going to do next and how HE/BTA can broker that deal. losing patience with this talk, no result bs.

  12. stunned... says:

    here’s a bone to all the naysayers…can Bermuda successfully try for one stage of the tour de France to be held here or something of that magnitude?

    there is also the Louis Vuitton Race (sailing) that occurred last year -can we seek to host that – that would utilize the facilities built for the AC…

  13. PANGAEA says:

    In light of the up coming A/C we have to come up with something real quick to show the world what our Bermuda Shorts are made of.

    Mr Bill Hanbury has come up with a great idea that people are our greatest asset, this is an absolute fact of life ,it is people that make the “Tasty pudding” and the “Cod fish and potatoes”.

    Bermuda has become a cosmopolitan, a Nation of many Nations with people from many countries and all walks of life each contributing in one way or another to ours and their future.

    Bermuda will welcome with open arms people from all over the planet they will come with their culture and way of life,we have to be ready for the unexpected.

    The A/C is an event involving many competing Nations each bringing with them their own traditions, language and culture.

    It is our chance to make friends with the people of the world.

  14. Dread says:

    Numbers declining,moving in right direction?

  15. somuchless says:

    the bta are just out for themselves. Very very sad. Friends and family. I still Wana know what bill is being paid and why isn’t a local gearing up to take over the cEO role. Wait, the rich get richer.

  16. St. D says:

    As someone in the industry and in the East in particular, I can assure to those without direct experience that the BTA is a breath of fresh air. On the surface it may look similar to the old DoT but it is light years different. They have and are gathering and analyzing data to understand where they want to go and then putting all their energy into moving in that direction. They make a plan and then do it! Novel idea but I can assure it was not the past practice of react and then do the same thing the next year because …. well, because that’s what they did last year so it must be right.
    Thank you BTA!

  17. aceboy says:

    The really stupid thing is the desire of the BTA to regulate and tax Tourism rentals.

    What a colossal waste of time and effort. We do not NEED regulation. Let the MARKET be the force to drive this niche tourism NOT regulators.

    I fail to see the value AT ALL in having inspections of units, for example. Inspectors will add a subjective element to the decision making process that “the unit is too dirty”, “the unit is too far away from a bus route”….whatever the heck you come up with. It doesn’t matter ONE BIT what these people think. The ONLY person’s opinion that matters is the GUEST. If they don’t like the place, they can find another unit and leave. They can write poor reviews. They will not return to that unit.

    None of these issues will be solved by having greater regulation. NONE. The same issues can arise in any guesthouse or hotel that is already regulated. The argument that we could somehow “damage” tourism and cause people to never come back is absurd. Do you really think that people who have spent time money and effort in getting rental units to the market will shoot themselves in the foot by providing a negative experience to their guests? If that was the case, those people should understand that they won’t last long in that business.

    The worst part is that any regulation comes at a cost. No doubt fees and taxes will be required to be charged. This is going to put the whole concept of Holiday Rentals at risk. The people who use these holiday rentals are very price sensitive. A small difference in price will dictate whether they book or not.

    BTA, just leave us alone. We will bring the tourists here. Your job is to find things for them to do while here and to make sure this island has adequate infrastructure to get them from place to place. Don’t waste time and money micro managing something that Bermudians have already been doing for decades. Don’t authorise some tooth sucking well connected but totally inexperienced “regulator” to come and tell me what I can and cannot do with my property. You do your job and we will do ours.

    • just the facts says:

      It’s apparent you weren’t in the room yesterday with the more than 100 other vacation rental owners at the tourism summit. If you were, you’d know that your assessment of the BTA’s ‘desire’ is completely off base.

      • aceboy says:

        My wife was there. I had to work and couldn’t simply march off for a nice breakfast and lunch.

        Did they, or did they NOT, state that they are “looking at” two US states for a model upon which to base Bermuda’s REGULATORY regime?

        One way or another the angle is for regulation, be it light or heavy.

        Correct?

        A simple yes or no will suffice.

        • aceboy says:

          I also listened to the radio this morning and heard all about the “collaboration” that is required for this market to be successful.

          Well, guess what? Our unit has been open for business for a year. We had almost 80% occupancy.

          We have collaborated with taxi drivers, bike rental shops, restaurants, dive shops etc etc etc.

          If you need to be told to do this, or to be nice and friendly and have clean units….you shouldn’t be in the business.

          • stunned... says:

            like X100

          • Think About It. says:

            I think it is a great idea to have certain regulations for vacation rentals. Regulations are put in place for the customers safety, not necessarily to prevent how a vacation accommodation offers its product to the consumer.

            Just like hotels, regulations and licenses are given in terms of fire, sanitation safety. Fire inspections, health inspections are undertaken to be given a hotel license.

            Also for the renter making sure that the proper insurance coverage is put in place, in the event a customer has an “accident” and there is property damage. Keep in mind how accustomed the American clientele is to such regulation. Also to provide renters, best practices when offering their home as a vacation rental (deposit process, cancellation process etc).

            Of course customers looking at vacation rentals there is also a buyers beware “you are one your own” element, but if a customer is unhappy about there experience they always spread that experience to friends, family and to anyone that wants to listen (Trip Advisor and other review sites).

            Personally I do not feel that BTA can regulate anything, because they are not mandate to do that. It is up to government to make sure that vacation rentals have the basic regulations in place to offer accommodation to guests. I believe the Department of Tourism still exists for this specific reason.

            If small hotels only offering 6 rooms (like a Dawkins Manor)have to be regulated, why not the home vacation rental market.

            Also I am not saying that most vacation renters, do not have these safety measures in place and already know best practices, but neither the BTA nor government seem know of their existence, because this market has primarily been an open market. If licensed and recognized then, I believe it would be BTAs responsibility to promote this booming market and not just the hotel community, as a viable option for accommodation in Bermuda.

            To me it makes sense.

            • aceboy says:

              I went for lunch today with a good friend and someone I trust implicitly and whose opinion I value.

              He made the case to me that a minimal level of regulation is indeed necessary.

              The primary reason is safety….something you have raised in your post.

              I am a big enough person to admit that I may have been wrong in relation to the need for regulation. BUT I would expect the level of regulation to be minimal.

              • stunned... says:

                again, the bta are rehashing things we know to be intrinsically correct. there have been folks from the ny office coming to bermuda on free paid trips to bermuda ostensibly to check out/inpect the guest accomodations.

                good on you to acknowledge you were incorrect in your assumptions but your concerns are still valid. the bta can leave the inspections/regulations to the Tourism ministry as they apparently have less to do these days.

              • Think About It. says:

                And remember the safety regulations are not only there to protect the customer, but also to protect the renter.

                I believe the regulations would be minimal, for example like making sure a new house needs a permit before someone can move in. Fire alarms, extinguisher, tap water is drinkable, etc.

                It could be a role for the BTA to offer new renters getting into the vacation market best practices, which I believe would help new entrepreneurs and possible existing ones new and easier ways to promote or offer value to your guests. But it is not up to the BTA or in their mandate to tell renters how to sell and what they can sell. I doubt they can do that to the larger hotels.

                I am not sure if there is an association for vacation rental owners or committee. But I believe there should be one to make sure there is a voice, especially when the BTA starts their “collaborations”. Maybe there could be something started with the Bermuda Hotel Association or the Chamber of Commerce, because I definitely agree with you the regulations that are put in place need to be specific to vacations rentals which could be much different to larger hotel regulations.

                I am not a vacation renter, but I think it is a great idea for anyone looking at getting into the business, and applaud you.

                • stunned... says:

                  bta – you get the tourist here. there are smart people in Bermuda to address the specific regulations for this group of accomodation providers. please.

  18. I had the privilege to attend the Bermuda Tourism Authority summit yesterday. It was called a summit as it was made clear that we are climbing a mountain and we’re not at the top yet. We’re on our way.

    I was very impressed by the level of enthusiasm, happy to see Union representatives, Opposition, and most importantly a very enthusiastic team at the Authority doing a lot of research, sharing the information, and the direction that they’re seeing and the trends.

    Coming and reading these comments – most of which are offering solutions – but seem to me to be coming from a place of resentment and hatred is unhelpful and destructive.

    My challenge for myself and anyone else here is this:

    We all have a positive contribution to make. This country will not turn the corner of the economic, cultural and spiritual decline that we’ve been in without each one of us betting and acting on our best – our highest and best self.

    I cannot expect my children and grandchildren to act with dignity and respect unless I lead by example. Nelson Mandela always said that if people can be taught to hate, then they can also be taught to love.

    And I know that the only person I can influence is me – i.e. the only person I can change is me.

    So my challenge to myself and to everyone blogging here is this:

    What type of community do you want to build?
    What do you want for future generations?
    What’s your legacy?

    Is it a legacy of point scoring, diminishing each other and hatred?

    Or is it a legacy of peace reconciliation and transformation. Of being the example of how to be humane and peaceful?

    Will the words from the hymn “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” with you with everyone?

    Can each one of us go out into the world with the intention to leave this world better than we found it?

    Because these blogs can and do hurt people, words to do hurt. And they not only hurt and diminish the people who make these posts, but they are out in cyber space for anyone to read forever. They’re part of the footprint of this country that I believe we all love very much.

    If we want a better world for our children then we need to start to take responsibility for our words and actions and start treating ourselves and each other with dignity and respect.

    To be part of the solution.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Ahh Monica, I notice whenever African people(especially in Bermuda)are venting and expressing their views someone ALWAYS comes up with a Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King quote on peace or love like it is supposed to be some sort of kryptonite for our concerns.
      I think it is an injustice to camouflage OUR concerns with an antidote of quotes from our African Leaders who before they resoluted to PEACE were considered Communist and Terrorist and called derogatory names for the cause that African people are still facing today.
      I’m not against what your saying but until we deal with the underlying, subliminal practices that continue to divide our community we the people will continue to uphold the LEGACY of our Fore Fathers who stood up for Justice and when we get satisfaction then we can talk about Peace and Harmony.
      We as Africans have always waved the white flag to be accepted in a society that did not except us as equals and then expect us to tone down our African identity and ideology to be excepted.
      We have been advocating PEACE for years in America and South Africa while being gunned down and murdered. And today there is still that subliminal trait that pokes its ugly head up but nobody seems to confront the perpetrators but admonish the victims to walk in LOVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      SMFH

    • Mockingjay says:

      Where you quoting Mandela when he was a ROARING LION when he was labeled as a Terrorist and Communist instead of a Freedom Fighter or take the easy road and quote him when he became a tame cat after being broken for 27 years of isolation away from family and loved ones.

  19. stunned... says:

    this seems to be the second organization which seems content to bury its head in statistics, writing policy/regulations then doing their freakin job. the bps is the other institution. bta – get the tourists here. bps – enforce the laws. please.