BTA: Visitor Arrivals Increase In Third Quarter

November 12, 2015

“Vacation air arrivals in the third quarter were up slightly when compared to the same period last year,” the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] announced.

“Additionally, total vacation arrivals to Bermuda were up 5.6% in the third quarter of 2015 when cruise and yacht arrivals are combined with air arrivals,” the BTA said.

“Year-to-date, total vacation arrivals are up 2.3%. Between July and September vacation air arrivals saw an increase of 0.31% [or 168 visitors] and for the first nine months of the year, leisure air arrivals are flat when compared to 2014, down 0.80% [939 visitors].

2015 Q3 Visitor Arrivals Report 1

“Thus far in 2015, the vacationer category’s performance is holding steady despite a sharp decrease in the number of airline seats flying to Bermuda.”

“A 34,000 decrease in airline seats has been a tough headwind for us as we try to increase the number of vacationers to Bermuda this year,” said BTA CEO Bill Hanbury.

“While we haven’t yet achieved the level of growth on air arrivals we want, we’re pleased the vacation category is showing signs of recovery.

“This is the category the BTA impacts most and our marketing efforts are definitely having a positive influence when compared to the other categories of visitor,” the BTA added.

2015 Q3 Visitor Arrivals Report 2

“Airlift capacity to Bermuda is down 8% through the third quarter, yet vacation air arrivals are down less han 1%. In contrast, the business [-4.5%] and visiting friends and family [-9.0%] categories are both down markedly in 2015 when compared to the year before.

“While the fourth quarter of 2015 is expected to see another quarterly decline in airlift capacity to Bermuda, the first quarter of 2016 is forecast to be a 14% year-over-year increase. It will be the first such quarterly increase of commercial airline seats to the island since the inception of the BTA in April 2014.

“The government’s Department of Airport Operations has worked closely with airlines on securing the routes most important to Bermuda’s economy, while the BTA has engaged airline partners with cooperative marketing strategies. Collectively this has resulted in additional commercial airlift to the island for 2016.

“The growth of visitor spending seen in the first half of 2015 levelled off in the third quarter. The average spend per person among all air visitors is down 3.8% year-to-date or $46.39 per person.

“The high volume of travellers in the third quarter matched with lower spending figures in the third quarter negatively affected spending numbers that had experienced growth between January and June.

“In the third quarter hotel occupancy was flat, but the average daily rate was up 4.2%. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is expected to have driven hotel revenue and occupancy numbers higher in October.

“A more detailed overview of third quarter tourism industry performance is available on the BTA’s corporate website.

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Comments (65)

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  1. somuchless says:

    Bill hanbury. Big fluff.

    • So we gave him a $80,000 bonus for…………………… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      What a F!@#ing JOKE.

      • Onion Juicer says:


        • Paying someone $1000,00 a day for doing F!@#s while HARD working people are loosing their jobs every month is no easy pill to swallow.

          • Onion Juicer says:

            What about the $20Million we lost on Port Royal? Was that easier to swallow? That was way more than $1K/day.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            202 jobs on the board today, applying required

          • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

            Can you tell me where to find proof that we pay Hanbury $100,000 a day?

            i believe you, of course, but can you show me so i can show someone who doesnt believe you?


          • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

            Can you show me where is says that Hanbury gets paid $100,000 a day (36 million a year)? i believe you, of course, but i want to show this guy that doesnt believe us. i mean, i told this guy we pay hanbury $100,000 per day but he just wont believe me!

            thanks in advance,


    • Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

      Hanbury needs to leave! he’s as useless as wet paper bag!

  2. watching says:

    this is marginal increase at best, compared with the millions that are being invested through the BTA. Unacceptable, in my opinion.

    • Onion says:

      The BTA is working with a much smaller budget than the old Department did.

      • Duh says:

        What does that have to do with their return being unaccpetable?

        Who cares what the old department did, what we are seeing now is totally unacceptable from a group of people that command the salaries they get and for the amount of money invested in the program. Simple, No “The PLP did this worse” crap anymore, Be real with yourself,

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Your arguement is that millions are being spent with little return, countering that is tourism has received the least amount of money in years and in comparison of what was spent to what was made, they are having a greater ROI than in the past.

    • hmmm says:

      It is less money than was being invested in the DOT though isn’t it !!!!!!

    • Sickofantz says:

      You do realise that the total tourism budget is substantially lower than previous years don’t you?

  3. Solution says:

    uh oh PLP….What you gotta say now? Im sure with this positive news you will stil be able to find something negative about it.

    • Rhonda says:

      Please highlight the positive.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        ….that the numbers are up.

        • Coffee says:

          Compared to the all time low recorded in early 2015 by the same bunch of experts .

    • mixitup says:

      The expectation IS that the opposition say something, these numbers aren’t anything to gloat about at all are you kidding me… Everyone in Bermuda would like to see these numbers move upward, but don’t tote this BTA as the holy grail solution and the first up tick in numbers after two years are 168 more ppl…We could have paid people to come here and gotten higher numbers… The people want to see solid results and these are not solid results.

      • The B.T.A gift club is a F!@#ing JOKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Onion Juicer says:


          • mixitup says:

            I agree, enough show boating, enough smoke and mirrors….RESULTS BTA RESULTS!! Remember this para phrase..on the lines of “Bill Hanbury is the BEST in the industry and he commands this (obsurd) salary/bonus” All well…. We want our value for our money!

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Gift to who, they have spent more on local entrepreneurs than anyone has in the past to try and diversify our tourism product/experience. Maybe it is time to stop, complaining and start coming up with an idea as well?

  4. jeremy deacon says:

    No figures for spending levels?

  5. bluebird says:

    These figures are very informative and way over the heads of some who will be negative anyway.
    Thank you BTA for keeping us informed which is far supeior to the PLP/BIU who treated the population
    like mushrooms. (For those who dont understand,keep you in the dark and feed you alot of poop)

    • Chris Famous says:

      It does not take a mensa student to read figures

      Air arrivals have flatlined at a 48 year low
      Yacht arrivals have decreased by 7% at a time we are promoting ourselves as a major sailing destination

      The only positive growth has been of 7% by cruise visitors.

      Please refresh our memory as to when did Dockyard get outfitted for mega cruise ships.

      • serengeti says:

        The yacht arrival reduction was 15 people.
        The cruise ship increase was 12,437 people.
        For some reason you didn’t focus on that.

        When you ask about when Dockyard was outfitted, are you referring to the fitting out that fell to bits a year later, or the repairs and refit that were necessary in 2013?

  6. Rhonda says:

    Again I have to say….when are going to stop having the Fox report on the status or progress of the hens….

    I am totally confused on what’s being reported.

    STATS needs to be uniformly reported in its simplest form, unmanipulated or narrated by the Organization heads..

    • hmmmmmmm says:

      how simpler do you need this. this is pure and simple numbers at its best.

      if these numbers need to be broken down for you there is definitely a problem and it isn’t with the numbers being reported.

      • Rhonda says:

        What was the the total visitor spending for the 3rd quarter..

      • Rhonda says:

        The BTA told us to measure success by visitor spending not visitor volume, …. so it seems strange that the first line of the reports isn’t clearly stating the visitor spending for the 3rd quarter…

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          If you remember, it took about 4 to 6 months to get the spending together last time, different and more varied source of number to gather, while visitor arrivals is relatively easier to produce faster as those numbers are collected at the ports of entry

  7. Chris Famous says:

    Air visitors up by 0.3 %(flatlined)
    Yacht visitors down by over 7 %(irony)
    Cruise visitors up by 7%

    Looks like the cruise ship port in Dockyard is the only positive growth.

    We should see what we can do to convert these cruise visitors into air arrivals.

    • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

      Ill give you one thing, you are very predictable.

      oh, and very boring

      take a break….from life.


      • a WASTE OF $80,000 bonus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Onion Juicer says:


        • Kangoocar says:

          And your plp was a waste of $800 MILLION???? Any thoughts from you were that money went?? Your simple mind focuses on $80 thousand but can’t focus on the $800 MILLION your plp wasted/loss??? Any reason of substance you can give us on that???

          • Coffee says:

            Really … $800 million ? Who looked under the hood ? Did Bob or did you ? Kangoocar , it’s high time to remove the hood , and send those responsible for this awful deed against the people of Bermuda to prison . I’ll walk in lockstep with you . I trust you have the proof … See you in court .

          • Kangoocar says:

            Here we go, we now have the pathetic plp orchestrated sheeple hitting the dislike button once again in droves??? Sad bunch you pathetic people really??? It makes my day every time you do this silly stuff!!! It proves the TRUTH stings you and I am more than honored to be the one STINGING you!!!

      • mixitup says:

        Air visitors up by 0.3 %(flatlined)
        Yacht visitors down by over 7 %(irony)
        Cruise visitors up by 7%

        Looks like the cruise ship port in Dockyard is the only positive growth.

        We should see what we can do to convert these cruise visitors into air arrivals

        There… I stated the same facts as Thomas, do you feel any better? Or do you just prefer no one to hold this ‘Authority’ to account?

  8. cup of tea anyone? says:

    seriously, rhonda, stop waisting our oxygen.

    for the love of jah, just stop.

    oh, and drink more tea!


  9. Tony Brannon says:

    Bermuda needs to bring other cool things on line so that when the eyes of the world turn on Bermuda for the America’s Cup we will have:

    A Casino
    Another sports event to promote
    Horseshoe Bay rebuild of facilities
    Music Festival – or a series of music events
    Designate 3/4 public beach bar development areas
    A tax free zone for the arts – that would really help spur things in the entertainment world
    A change of cruise ship policy that would seriously limit on board entertainment in port (LIKE it used to be)

    The good news is we are most definitely heading back in the right direction !

    • When you wake up from your DREAM, let us know. Bermuda is too Conservative, Boring and Expensive to compete with our cousins to the South.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        So in one statement your complaining that arrivals aren’t increasing to your desire, in the next your actually showing an understanding to the trouble we face as a tourism destination and why our numbers aren’t climbing at any substantial rate. Come up with any ideas yet, or just more points to complain on.

  10. stunned... says:

    Rhonda, Onion Juice, Famous et al, you have every right to voice your dissatisfaction with the BTA.

    truth hurts sometimes…

    • I see we’re dredging for cruise ships while when this Govt. was in opposition they stated that cruise ship passengers dont spend enough money.
      What a F!@#ing JOKE.

    • Onion Juicer says:

      They also have the right to voice there dissatisfaction over the extra $20Million spent on a golf course…..what do we have to show for that? Why wasn’t there the same amount of complaining over the money spent on that? Or is that different?

      • stunned... says:

        there are two distinct issues – 1) previous maladministration and 2) the current maladministration aka dismal results albeit a speck of improvement.

        the difference is the dissenters are able to speak more freely.

        • Cant complain about the guy that slapped me 20 years ago but I can do something now about de guy that’s flugging de S!#@ outta me now.

      • Tolerate says:

        Good suggestions Tony Brannon. Better than the Shadow’s that I just read on another story at least.
        Hey Onion Juicer keep that $20 Million business quiet.
        lol, yes that IS DIFFERENT…..

  11. mixitup says:

    Bill Hanbury – “A 34,000 decrease in airline seats has been a tough headwind for us as we try to increase the number of vacationers to Bermuda this year,” said BTA CEO Bill Hanbury.

    So why are the Airline load factors for the available seats to Bermuda (for the quarter) currently running 65% full.. Shouldn’t they be running at least 85% average loads into the Island based on your statement? In other words, you are not filling the seats that ARE available.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It is about flight availability as well, more flights make it easier for more people to arrive, when there is a diversified range of time that they can arrive at. If someone is flying here and needs to connect to a flight here, it doesn’t help them if there isn’t a flight here after they get to their connecting destination. Would you go somewhere on vacation if you had to overnight to catch a flight there?

  12. Can'tURead says:

    The increase of 168 people was in the 3rd Qtr 2015 only and further, only in the “Vacation – Air” segment. When counting all air visitors including Business segment, the YTD numbers are negative -5,068 people in 2015 vs. 2014. The alarming figure is business travel substantially down to 2014, as well as the year-long deficit in group segment….hotel salespeople need a) the right leadership and b) fresh ideas on which markets to target and c) proper product enhancements to fix their numbers. Spending is down -$46.39 per visitor in 2015 vs. 2014. There is nothing good in this report.

  13. Eve says:

    How can anyone say the BTA is on the right track when other than cruise arrivals all the numbers are negative? Check the statistics on the under 55 age group that showed a decrease in Q3. The BTA marketing and grants ($) to tourism activities are directed at a younger age group, sure looks like failure to correctly understand the target market.

    • serengeti says:

      Oh I see. They can only talk about the parts where numbers are down. Can’t mention the fact that overall Q3 numbers were up by over 10,000.

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    What really counts is the figure for bed nights. 2 people here for 4 nights are worth much more than 2 people here for 2 nights.

  15. Coffee says:

    Again , the BTA singing a sweet song about a sour outcome …. Can’t wait for Black Friday , maybe we’ll sell a couple thousand cheap flight tickets to Bermuda . There BTA , that’s a huge idea for yah !

  16. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    I just hope that future visitors don’t concern themselves with bermuda media beforehand…because some people here would foil Jesus Christ’s plans to come here…smh.

    Just remember…

    You do have a RIGHT to your voice.
    BUT it doesn’t make your voice RIGHT.

    Most of you are talking LOUD but you ain’t saying NOTHING.

    It’s gonna get WORSE for US…TRUST ME!!!

  17. Tolerate says:

    lol, the armchair Tourism experts are out in force. I thought an increase in anything positive related to Tourism was good? Guess I’m more of an optimist than a pessimist.
    But again it’s easier for me as I DON’T have political ties that drive me to see negative in EVERY thing related to this Government.
    Is this a turning point? Who knows; but I am not going to be the one to bad mouth any positives. Hell, we ALL need things to start turning around. At least it’s not more declines.
    Guys are out earning their money on this one.
    Please continue.


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