Videos: BTA Unveils 2015 Golf Tourism Strategy

February 25, 2015

[Updated with videos] The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] unveiled the 2015 Golf Tourism Strategy, saying they “estimate the overall economic impact as a result of our 2015 golf tourism calendar to be: 820 visitors; 4,075 room nights and more than $1 million infused into the local economy.”

Speaking today, BTA Chief Product & Experiences Development Officer Pat Phillip Fairn said, “When we launched the Arts & Culture season this past November we were careful to mention it did not mean the end of the Golf & Spa season. Sport and spa are two experiences that still have significant roles to play in the overall mix – especially during the lower demand months between November and March.

BTA Golf meeting Feb 2015

“That’s why today’s presentation on the 2015 Golf Tourism Strategy is important. Along with the new golf advisory committee and other partners here today, we trust our presentation will show a coordinated commitment to golf that is more strategic – and thoughtfully integrated between the product and experiences team here in Bermuda and the sales and marketing team in New York.

“We’ve distributed a 2015 golf tourism calendar that includes a collection of golf events the Bermuda Tourism Authority is supporting because there is a visitor component. You’ll notice these events are scheduled almost entirely during the months when visitor demand is lower. That is by design. It’s part of our strategy to create demand in travel to Bermuda year-round.”

The BTA’s Golf Tourism Calendar, click to enlarge

BTA_2015 Golf Calendar_sml

Ms Phillip Fairn spoke about various golf tournaments that Bermuda will host including the Talleton-Bermuda Pairs,: Bermuda Collegiate Invitational, Bermuda Open, Grey Goose World Par 3, the Bermuda Golf Classic, Gosling’s Invitational and the Goodwill Invitational.

“We estimate the overall economic impact as a result of our 2015 golf tourism calendar to be: 820 visitors; 4,075 room nights and more than $1 million infused into the local economy,” Ms Phillip Fairn added.

“We are still finalizing the BTA investment for the two December events, but we can say confidently, taxpayers will see an overall golf tourism return on investment between 5 to 1 and 10 to 1, with the final combined investment for the year being up to $150,000.”

Pat Phillip Fairn’s full statement follows below:

When we launched the Arts & Culture season this past November we were careful to mention it did not mean the end of the Golf & Spa season. Sport and spa are two experiences that still have significant roles to play in the overall mix – especially during the lower demand months between November and March.

That’s why today’s presentation on the 2015 Golf Tourism Strategy is important. Along with the new golf advisory committee and other partners here today, we trust our presentation will show a coordinated commitment to golf that is more strategic – and thoughtfully integrated between the product and experiences team here in Bermuda and the sales and marketing team in New York.

We’ve distributed a 2015 golf tourism calendar that includes a collection of golf events the Bermuda Tourism Authority is supporting because there is a visitor component. You’ll notice these events are scheduled almost entirely during the months when visitor demand is lower. That is by design. It’s part of our strategy to create demand in travel to Bermuda year-round.

We estimate the overall economic impact as a result of our 2015 golf tourism calendar to be: 820 visitors; 4,075 room nights and more than $1 million infused into the local economy.

One such event is happening now. Talleton-Bermuda Pairs is a brand new event created with the help of our British partner, UK PGA Professional Christine Langford [who is here today]. Couples from the UK crossed the pond this week to play golf and stay at Pompano Beach Club. As Christine will remind us, the weather in Bermuda is not always perfect but is far better than the wet and chilly 40 degrees in Britain.

Next month we have three more golf events: Bermuda Collegiate Invitational, Bermuda Open and Grey Goose World Par 3.
The first is a pilot event and we see great potential. For the Collegiate Invitational at least eight college teams will compete over two days at Port Royal and Tucker’s Point in what is an official NC-double-A event. We’ve been told it’s the first-ever NCAA sanctioned golf competition played outside of the United States.

Even more important to us: these college golfers will be here during their college spring break. We see tremendous potential in attracting college teams to Bermuda. They are anxious to get outside and play while the weather is not cooperating at home – they’re also anxious to bring their families along. In fact, if this year goes well with the men’s teams the ladies golf teams are likely to be here in 2016. But this strategy applies not only to golf. We figure why not spring break lacrosse or tennis or rugby? How about field hockey or track and field? This is the direction we’re heading as part of our multipronged effort to solve seasonality in the hospitality industry.

Also in March we have the Bermuda Open and the Grey Goose World Par 3. Both events continue to grow and continue to receive the support of the Tourism Authority. The Grey Goose at Turtle Hill is especially powerful in the media exposure it generates in the US, the UK and especially Canada – thanks to the work of PGA of Canada. These two March events are back-to-back giving visiting golfers the opportunity to travel once and play twice, take one flight to Bermuda and compete for two winners’ purses.

Meantime, two new events will unfold in April. The Bermuda Golf Classic mixes former NFL athletes, Cambridge Beaches Resort and Port Royal. While the Kitty Michael Classic is a traveling women’s golf event for ladies from the United States and the Caribbean. Bermuda is the 2015 venue thanks to Bermudian Val Nearon who is no stranger to the sport and is showing us once again her love of country.

Speaking of passionate women, Christine Langford is back with us in November for her consistently growing Women & Golf Trophy. It started small like Talleton-Bermuda Pairs, but now is among the biggest hotel blocks booked on the golf tourism calendar.

Then we cap off the year in December with two mainstays – Gosling’s Invitational and the Goodwill Invitational – which combine for 1,800 estimated room nights. Details for these events and the level of BTA support are almost finalized, but among the considerations is moving the dates back-to-back so golfers can come to Bermuda and play both events in the same swing like the March tournaments. This, we believe, is the route to growing these December golf tournaments.

As mentioned earlier the combined economic impact of all events for the local economy is about $1 million in 2015. We are still finalizing the BTA investment for the two December events, but we can say confidently, taxpayers will see an overall golf tourism return on investment between 5 to 1 and 10 to 1, with the final combined investment for the year being up to $150,000.

In addition to the golf tourism calendar, the Golf Around Getaway Package is another important component in the strategy. And we have a plan for growth. For starters, Mid Ocean Golf Club has been added to the package offerings for the first time. Now every operable golf course in the country, including well-known Mid Ocean, is available to visitors as part of the package.

Plus, as a result of greater partnership, we expect to almost double the amount of participating hotels by April 1st. To us, this signifies greater confidence among our stakeholders that golf tourism is heading in the right direction and a greater likelihood we can sell golf vacationers on a stay and play package. Over the past five years an average of 963 rounds of golf were played on the Golf Around Package. We expect to see that average go up over the next five years.

Alex Madeiros, Chairman of the new golf advisory committee, will speak in a moment about the golf industry partnerships we have formed, but I want to turn it over to Christine Langford now to speak a bit more about building successful destination golf events.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Thanks for the up-date and eye opener…

  2. Claude says:

    Great stuff.

  3. Slinky says:

    All this push for golf and the grand slam didn’t even work. Good luck. I’ll be watching.

  4. street wise says:

    Only 820 visitors?… hardly seems worth it. How much is it gonna cost us again…? Per visitor.

    • Family Man says:

      Math too complicated? Let me help. 820 visitors, 4,075 room nights, up to $150,000 investment.

      $183 per visitor
      $37 per room night

      Sounds like a very modest investment that could grow significantly over time.

      • Russ says:

        The mathematics is not complicated, it is simply quite unimpressive. I wonder if the staff salaries and overhead were included in the analysis.

  5. Friend of BDA says:

    I think there’s a possibility of real traction for fall and spring golf travel to Bermuda. Unfortunately, green fees are quite uncompetitive with the Carolinas and Florida.

  6. Think... says:

    “…more than $1M infused into the local economy”
    For less that $150,000. That’s a good investment anywhere in the world.

    • Russ says:

      This is a low return investment. Try something with a scale appropriate to Bermuda. The approach is more like treading water rather than an aggressive marketing approach which Bermuda sorely needs.

  7. more than enough says:

    less than $150,000? i beg to differ. this might have been in addition to all the money spent on salaries… 48, or so, six figure salaries that is. the projected returns from all this “hard work” barely covers the “compensation packages” enjoyed by the two top shots, ie bill and montgomery burns[d dodwell] for one year. i believe the running tally of money received is approximately $64 million. two years of government grants so far… and projected returns of $1,000,000 so far, attributed directly to the bta… great job!

  8. more than enough says:

    i thought that the bta was supposed to be run like a private enterprise, not like the government. since when can a private business, lay out all these highly attractive compensation packages, provide housing, and huge bonuses,[30% to be exact] with nothing but projected earnings? must be nice to have a guarantee of 27mil. a year from government, everyone at the bta will be getting paid, regardless of performance results. just like the problem in gov., at present… too many overpaid employees/exec’s, fancy offices and running costs, taking the majority of the budget, leaving little if any money to fulfill promises made, but still gettin’ paid. smh.
    i really think that it was irresponsible for the exec’s to award themselves such lucrative pay packages this early in the game. it shows little regard for our economic position, and in turn we all have to pay more in regards of goods and services so **** like this can continue…
    once again, thank you oba and bta for making life harder for all of us, and for the rises in price on everything eg health insurance [due to go up 19% this year and 19% more next year...38% in two years?] i hope the trickle down effects of the acbda will help me get by, through the onslaught of price hikes, added tax, profiteering, etc.. but i won’t be holding my breath waiting for that.
    meanwhile, those who have lots of money are poised to make much, much more.

  9. aceboy says:

    The Grand Slam cost us money. Too much given away and the whole thing was to stroke an ego of a former premier, so no one cared how much we spent.

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