Tourism Authority: Vacation Air Arrivals Up 10%

August 9, 2016

“Vacation air arrivals were up 10 percent through the first six months of 2016 after two strong quarters of growth,” the Bermuda Tourism Authority announced today, saying the “68,462 leisure air passengers landed in the first half of the year make for the largest volume of air vacationers since 2008.”

“The strong start to the year extends to visitor spending, hotel occupancy and cruise arrivals as well – all of those industry performance areas are up between January 1 and June 30, 2016,” the BTA said.

Chart: BTA/Immigration Landing Cards

YTD Air Arrivals by Purpose of Visit Bermuda August 9 2016

The BTA said, “In the second quarter, major travel and tourism indicators charted positive results when compared to the same period a year ago:

  • Air vacation arrivals up 8.8 percent to 50,273
  • Air vacationers spent an estimated $69.3 million, a 15 percent increase
  • Hotel occupancy grew 2.7 percent
  • Cruise arrivals were up 3 percent
  • Total number of airline seats flying to Bermuda increased 10.6 percent

“The second quarter performance comes on the heels of first quarter data which showed a 13.7 percent increase in vacation air arrivals, a 4 percent increase in leisure air visitor spending, a 7.4 percent increase in hotel occupancy and a 21.9 percent increase in airline seat capacity.

BTA CEO Bill Hanbury said, “The second quarter data shows a solid recovery underway within Bermuda’s tourism industry; every key indicator is trending in a positive direction.”

“In no uncertain terms, these two quarters of results are a reinforcement of the BTA’s marketing and management approach.

“When you combine excellent business intelligence, strong marketing execution and a dedicated team of Bermudians working overtime to turn the economy around, this is the result: stellar performance.

“Although we’re very pleased about this progress we won’t spend too much time looking backward. We’re focused on finishing the year as strongly as we started it.”

Visitor Spending

The BTA said, “Vacationers poured $90.1 million in direct spending into the local economy during the first six months of the year – $10 million more than a year ago – representing a 12 percent increase.

“The increase in average spending per person is more modest. On average, visitors spent $1,316 per visit, a 2 percent increase over the same January to June time period in 2015.

Chart: BTA Air Visitor Exit Surveys

Visitor Spending Bermuda August 9 2016

“Business visitor spending and money spent by visiting friends and relatives were also up year-to-date versus 2015. When those categories of visitor are factored in, total visitor spending is up 13 percent from $119.3 million to $135.2 million.”


“Hotel occupancy grew 4.4 percent during the first six months of the year when compared to the same period in 2015. Hoteliers commanded a slightly lower average daily rate, but because more of their hotel rooms were occupied, overall revenue is up.”

A more detailed overview of second quarter and year-to-date tourism industry performance is available on the BTA’s corporate website, and also printed below.

The  Q2 2016 Tourism Measures Public Report follows below [PDF here]:

click here banner Bermuda tourism

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Comments (32)

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  1. mixitup says:

    Great news! Let’s keep this momentum going during the soft months.

    • Cedar says:

      Don’t be fooled my people. Hey call a snap election while the PlP is weak or let’s wait until their stronger. Bring it on let’s have it.

    • Wake up Bermuda it's called strategy says:

      I can’t fathom why people believe this hug wash. The extra visitor % all came from the outside events put on my independent groups such as sporting events players, spectators

      Lets not forget Heroes Week and CupMatch that attracted friends and family. I had 5 friends at my house now think about other people that did the same. This was a community effort.
      These results had nothing to do with the BTA so stop all the trickery. Don’t forget the extra ship.

      • hotcrossbuns says:

        You are living in an altered universe. The extra ship has nothing to do with these numbers. “Stop the trickery”, rather you should stop the PLP nonsense.

      • Tourism Advocate says:

        Some facts…

        1. The BTA is the largest sponsor of Heroes Weekend and supported Bermuda Carnival from inception when others were like you must be crazy.
        2. Cup Match doesn’t happen in the second quarter. Smh.
        3. Sport events like Newport-Bermuda Race and Triple Challenge are financially supported by the BTA, which also helps to market them to visitors.

        It seems to me you’re the only one peddling hogwash. Sit down!

      • Zevon says:

        The extra ship brings in air visitors, does it?

  2. Rhonda says:

    Lower airfares and lower hotel rates resulted in a greater number of vistors.
    So now we must analyze the concessions, it took to get an increase. .is this seemingly good news sustainable.

    • Zevon says:

      You just can’t stand it can you. The best tourism results in 8 years, and you hate it.

      • mixitup says:

        No Zevon, it’s called ABOUT TIME… After 12 quarters the tax payer had to wait, we welcome this news. I appreciate anyone who put pressure on the BTA for results, not the folk who sat back on a wing and a prayer. These are indeed positive results and is good for Bermuda, I personally would have likes to see upward movement six quarter ago, but better late than never.

        • Spectator says:

          Well nothing is instant in this world as your beloved PLP/UBP claim so sorry to burst your bubble!

        • Hmmm says:

          If you want instant results, then why do you support a PLP party that won’t produce until 2025!

          • Hmmm says:

            My apologies, the plan to plan a plan for a vision, or was it just a vision..

            Bermuda has been turned around despite the best efforts of the PLP and their gestapo to derail progress.

        • Zevon says:

          The PLP couldn’t pull the country out of recession. The PLP couldn’t turn tourism sround. All they could do was spend $100m a year on foreign consultants. Pouring money overseas, pretending they cared about Bermudians.

  3. hmmm says:

    I flew back from vacation a few weeks ago….there were about 8 people lined up in the Bermudian line, the rest all vacationers !!!!!!

    • Terry says:

      And the irony of your comments is the fact that things are looking up but Onions have yet to make a profit.


    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I came back a couple weeks ago & the Bermuda line was to the door however that was just before Cup Match so must have been a bunch of foreign living Bermudians coming home for the holiday.

      In any case, nice to see the air arrivals trending upwards. If only we could have the air vs cruise ratios reversed again. Remember, for every $1 a cruiser spends the air visitor spends $10. Take extra special care of them.

  4. Terry says:

    I live in the US.
    On Sunday there was a great article two full pages about Bermuda.

    Well written and researched and presented with photo’s of Hamilton Princess and St. Peters Church …..half a page photo’s.

    I tried to pull it up on line but I guess it is not there. Maybe you techies know how.

    I can’t find the author of the article but I guess I could if I spent hours calling the Virginia Pilot staff.

    Brilliant work and I am sure hundreds of thousands of people are now aware and read the Virginia Pilot in Virginia and North Carolina.

    Just for your information.


    • NCM says:

      Wow, Rummy, a positive comment. Are you off the sauce?

      • Terry says:

        Sure am and have been for many years NCM.
        Nothing Comes to Mind.


  5. smh says:

    Great news…keep up the good work BTA. Don’t let the neigh sayers bring you down

  6. wondering says:

    what’s the difference between the Vacation/Leisure vs. Visiting Friends/Relatives??

    aren’t they ALL visitors?

    they spend money differently if staying at hotels versus homes of friends/relatives but what does it equate to economically – where is that money going in detail [enquiring minds want to know]?

  7. Starting Point says:

    Now its our job as Bermudians to seek out these visitors and give them the first class service, positive vibes etc. that turns into repeat guests which is the gold mine for tourism!

  8. cruise390 says:

    It’d be great to see Virgin Atlantic or Thompson heavies in here from Gatwick or Manchester as well.

    • Terry says:

      It’s called British Airways ……………………..
      You fools will not get it until granddad is in the ground.

  9. Say Whaat? says:

    Good Job Jason Sukdeo & his team for BHW! I hope you get rewarded a commission or something for making the weekend a success!

  10. Kevin says:

    Positive results , hope its the start of a new trend , as said above its important they enjoy the island and the hospitality that separated us from all of the others return home and spread the word
    it really wasn’t rocket science we finally have people in charge of a tourism product that have direct stake to its success.

  11. george says:

    As a frontline veteran of bda’s hospitality industry, this is good news after emerging from it’s part of the worldwide recession, may the number continue to grow to match the ones of 2007 at least.

    Regardless of what political organization is calling the shots of bda

  12. Bill says:

    Still not the numbers to pat yourselves on the back and pay yourselves yet another bonus, for really doing nothing!

    • Zevon says:

      You preferred it when we paid $30m to global hue for doing nothing.

  13. Peter says:

    Imagine if Bermuda supported equality the LBGT community tourists would boost our numbers even further.

    • Just the Tip says:

      But..but..then they might have a parade where they are all almost naked waving bright colours around. That would be horrible, can you imagine.

      On a more serious note you’re right has been proven that ‘pink’ dollar is a thing. As I recall when Miami started doing their pride business saw a 40% increase for that week, which while only for a week is nothing to sneeze at.