BTA: ‘Growth Fuelled By Younger Travellers’

May 3, 2016

Growth in vacation air visitors during the first quarter was fuelled by younger travellers, the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] said, adding that for the first three months of the year, 83 percent of the growth is attributed to travellers younger than 45 years-old.

“The largest percentage growth among all age groups was in the 18 to 24 year-old category which jumped 39 percent in the first quarter of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015,” the BTA said.

160503_Demo_Trends_Q1-1 Bermuda May 3 2016

“Attracting the next generation of travellers is a principal focus of our team,” said Victoria Isley, the BTA’s chief sales and marketing officer. “We target specific personas in marketing efforts and the results of the first quarter are encouraging. They indicate our messages and outreach to younger travellers are resonating.”

The BTA said, “In public relations, advertising and marketing activations the BTA attempts to reach specific personas, some of which skew younger. These youthful personas in the Middle Atlantic region appear to have responded well to the BTA’s marketing, particularly in New York City.

“In the first quarter, 41 percent of all leisure air visitors reside in a New York City zip code. Additionally, air visitors from New York and New Jersey were more likely to be under 45 years-old than over 45 years-old.”

Some of the BTA’s Target Personas

  • Adventure Seekers: 25-35 years-old; HHI $100+; 6-plus trips per year; Desires authentic experiences, adventure, time on social media
  • Experience Seekers: 36-50 years-old; HHI $200k+; 6-plus trips per year; Desires immersive travel experiences, leisure, culture, me time
  • Go For It Families: 36-50 years-old; HHI $200+; 7-plus trips per year; Desires unique experiences, creating memories, leisure, culture, adventure
  • Dream Tripper: 51-65 years-old; HHI $150k; 8-plus trips per year; Desires leisure, culture, storytelling
  • Bucket Lister: 66+ years-old; HHI $100+, 5-plus trips per year; Desires trips tied to family, their hobbies and culture

Video: BTA’s Research & Business Intelligence Director explains the trend of younger visitors

The BTA said, “Consumers, particularly in the New York area, are exposed to advertising and influencer marketing about Bermuda online, on television, in print and outside of home in places like bus shelters and targeted subway lines.

“Stories about Bermuda, including its lure as a destination for adventure-seekers, have appeared over the past year in Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Du Jour, Robb Report, National Geographic Traveler and other print and online publications.

“This weekend sailing fans will see Bermuda tourism marketing activations as part of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in New York, with Bermuda-related promotions around the city, in the race village and on the water during the races.

“In the first quarter of 2015 and throughout the year, the lion’s share of leisure air arrivals were 45 years old and older. Now with a greater number of younger travellers in the first quarter, the demographics of air vacation arrivals to Bermuda is distributed more evenly across all age groups. The demographics of Bermuda’s air arrivals have not skewed this young in the first quarter in at least a decade.

Age of Air Visitors Q1 2015 vs Q1 2016

160503_Demo_Trends_Q1-2 Bermuda May 3 2016

“In 2015, 35 percent of Bermuda vacationers who travelled by air were older than 55 years-old. Through March 31st of 2016 that number has reduced to 31 percent.

“In 2015, 19 percent of Bermuda vacationers who travelled by air were between 18 and 34 years-old. Through March 31st of 2016 that number has grown to 23 percent.”

Erin Smith, the BTA’s director of research and business intelligence said: “Although there was a high number of young sports teams and athletes in Bermuda during the first quarter of 2016, if we exclude them and focus exclusively on vacation visitors, there remains a significant shift upward in those particular age groups.

“While this is only one quarter of data, it’s a good indicator that our marketing strategy to target younger travellers is returning positive results.”

The 16-page Tourism Measures 1st Quarter 2016 report follows below [PDF here]: 

click here banner Bermuda tourism

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Comments (11)

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  1. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Sound marketing strategy, getting younger people to fall in love with this island today, increases the odds of us being the choice for their destination wedding and/or returns for their 25th or even 50th anniversaries and/or somewhere to bring their families tomorrow. We do need more focus on adventure activities for these early travllers though, but that is more of an entrepenuer initiative that the BTA can only be a part of in a peripheral way.

    • Its me again says:

      They arent marketing to young people. Its a coincidence.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Since the BTA took over, I’ve seen a higher presence on social media than by any previous tourism body… but I guess you think they are on there to target the older market…

      • hotcrossbuns says:

        You have got to be kidding…just look at the numbers.

    • jiggs bda says:

      Also these persons become heads of corporations and bring them back for conventions…
      Very dynamic

      Let’s continue

  2. Jackpot says:

    Well done BTA!! With all the unnecessary criticism and ridicule you have had to endure this is excellent news. Clearly you know what you are doing. We haven’t seen an increase like this in many years. Let’s see if the Opposition give you the credit you deserve. Good luck sustaining these numbers.

  3. Keep Spinning says:

    What the BTA is not telling you is that during March 2016 we had many sporting events, business conventions, college kids for spring break and lets not forget Easter Weekend.

    Ask them to compare March 2016 to April 2016. The loads will be less!!

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Yup, and much of that sports tourism they have been promoting involves young people… young people that now have a taste of Bermuda and provided we left them with a good taste, they will want to keep coming back. Course it isn’t up to the BTA to provide a good product, that falls on each and everyone of us to live up to that goal.

    • jt says:

      Do you hear whistling when the wind blows?

    • Zevon says:

      So you noticed how successful we were getting people to come here. That’s good.

  4. Average Bermudian says:

    fey ?