BTA: Vacation Air Arrivals Up 13.7% In 1st Quarter

May 2, 2016

Vacation air arrivals were up 13.7 percent in the first quarter when compared to the same period last year, the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] announced today.

“The 18,189 air vacationers attracted to the Island during the first three months of 2016 is the highest amount recorded in the first quarter since 2008,” the BTA said.,

160502_Q1_Visitor_Arrival_Report-1 160502_Q1_Visitor_Arrival_Report-2

“During the first three months of 2016, major travel and tourism industry indicators charted positive results when compared to the same period a year ago:

  • Direct spending by air visitors in Bermuda reached an estimated $20.4 million during the first quarter, a 4 percent increase
  • The number of airline seats flying to Bermuda increased 21.9 percent in the first quarter · Hotel occupancy grew 7.4 percent
  • Total leisure arrivals to Bermuda were up 31.9 percent when cruise arrivals are combined with vacation air arrivals
  • Vacation air arrivals from the United States were up 28.4 percent overall. Europe was slightly up on volume [67 travellers]
  • Leisure visitation from the UK was flat [down 4 travellers]. Canada remains sluggish [down 26.5 percent]“

“Last year the BTA worked diligently with partners in the public and private sector to grow the amount of airlift to Bermuda in 2016,” said Bill Hanbury, CEO of the BTA.

“Much of the increased capacity is flying New York and New Jersey, part of a group of states categorised as the Middle Atlantic, where the BTA is concentrating much of its marketing and sales efforts.

“BTA’s integrated and targeted marketing efforts are getting traction in our key markets and demographics. When you combine good data, innovative creative, and solid execution Bermuda’s tourism economy benefits.”

CEO Bill Hanbury explains the benefits of increased airlift for visitors and residents in Q1

“We launched a new brand platform for Bermuda in 2016. And we’ve been very focused on integrated marketing and sales efforts through our own team as well as with hotel and airline partners,” said BTA Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Victoria Isley.

The BTA said, “A two-week flight of television advertising starts in two key markets today: New York City and Boston. This means TV ads will run in the New York City market during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series May 6-8, and in the weeks leading up to the seasonal JetBlue service resuming in Boston.

“This TV advertising compliments an integrated approach to marketing that includes traditional public relations, social media, digital marketing, influencer marketing, sales calls and events as well as consumer promotions. Self magazine recently ranked Bermuda’s Instagram account as one of “17 Travel Destinations That Will Change Your Life [And Your Instagram Feed].”

Visitor Spending

“Direct spending by air visitors into the local economy during the first quarter rose 4 percent when compared to the same period a year ago. These vacationers spent an estimated $20.4 million, about $768,000 more than the first quarter of 2015.

“The positive economic impact is attributable to the notable increase in air arrivals despite a decline in individual spending, due mostly to a shorter average length of stay and slightly lower spending on accommodations.

160502_Q1_Visitor_Arrival_Report-Bermuda May 2 2016 2


“Hotel occupancy grew 7.4 percent during the first three months of the year when compared to the same period in 2015. On average hotels commanded slightly less revenue for their rooms in the first quarter and visitors’ length of stay was shorter, but because there were appreciably more visitors in the quarter, hotels still came out ahead, earning about 1 percent more revenue per available room.”

Mr Hanbury said: “In the key categories – vacation air arrivals, visitor spending and hotel performance – the first quarter was a success. However, there is no victory lap today, only an affirmation to stay the course.

“We know the first quarter is just the start of the year and in order to stay in positive territory we must maintain this trend of growth in the second and third quarters as well.”

A more detailed overview is available on the BTA’s corporate website.

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

click here banner Bermuda tourism

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Comments (12)

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  1. Where you at? says:

    Where all the haters at now?

    • Bud says:

      You got no problem with the BTA? You drink kool-aid??

      • hotcrossbuns says:

        Yes, the cool aid is good economic news. Better than drinking the pollutants of hate and wanting the country to stay in the ditch. Just ask the Bermudians working in hotels and restaurants if things are getting better…the answer is “absolutely yes”. Too bad for some folks determined to see the country fail.

    • aceboy says:

      The haters are there, hitting “dislike”. Sad really.

  2. Gabriel says:

    Great News! I hope it continues!

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    A step in the right direction but what really counts is the number of bed nights. Where are the numbers for the record of bed nights?

    • serengeti says:

      Looking at the report, there were 16,002 air arrivals in 2015 staying an average of 6.72 nights, and that equates to a total number of nights of 107,533.
      In 2016, it’s 18,189 x 6.33 = 115,136 nights.

  4. Thank you Hanbury and Team says:

    For not getting distracted by the shrill spin machine and keeping your eye on your goal—you outlasted–they have moved on to the next drama du jour!!!

    Have a blessed day!

    • Full Fuulish says:

      Cue Onion juice in 5…4…3..2..1..

  5. Clare says:

    Woohooh! Well done to the awesome staff at BTA!

  6. O'Brien says:

    The PLP seem to issue a press release every time a traffic light goes out.

    And yet, on this….silence. Hmm.

  7. aceboy says:

    We have seen an increase in people renting our vacation units. The best part is that many of them are from New York. They all ay the same thing: “We had no idea how close Bermuda is, we always thought it was in the Caribbean.”

    So, the message is getting through FINALLY to the exact market we need to target.

    Bermuda needs to STOP aligning itself with the Caribbean. It has been killing our tourism.