Bermuda A Finalist To Host ITU World Triathlon

November 23, 2016

[Updated] Bermuda is a finalist in the bidding to host the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final in 2020, a world class sporting event that is broadcast in 160 territories worldwide.

“If successful, Bermuda would also host ITU World Triathlon Series races in the spring of 2018 and 2019. The impact of all three events would result in significant visitor spending on-island,” the BTA said.

The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] is coordinating the bid’s particulars in partnership with the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Triathlon Association and other relevant parties.

“We are aggressively pursuing this opportunity because it checks a lot of important boxes for the tourism economy,” said BTA CEO Bill Hanbury.

“These international triathlon events are outside of the summer months, they bring robust media exposure and this is sports – an area the BTA has made tremendous strides in over the past two years. Winning this bid would catapult us to the next level of sports tourism. These events are a terrific way to follow in the wake of the America’s Cup.”

BTA Chief Product and Experiences Development Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn said: “We’re competing against prominent destinations. Three years ago Bermuda was not in such elite company – we weren’t even in the conversation – but now we’re serious contenders.

“It just goes to show the distance we have travelled in a relatively short amount of time. Being named a finalist for such a prestigious sports tourism event is an outstanding accomplishment for Bermuda.”

Big Sports Tourism Bid Bermuda Nov 23 2016

The BTA added, “The WTS is an annual worldwide series of nine to 10 triathlon races, culminating in a Grand Final. The ITU World Triathlon Series event could attract as many as 1,200 competitors in each of the two years, including 150 elite athletes, while the Grand Final could draw as many as 3,000 competitors.

“Visiting friends and family for each event would further increase visitor numbers. Journalists, TV broadcasters, support crew and competition officials would drive visitation numbers significantly higher.”

The event is broadcast on television in 160 territories worldwide, including in the United States where NBC Sports is the broadcast partner.

Cozumel, Mexico hosted this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final; Rotterdam, Netherlands will host in 2017. Prior hosts include Auckland, London and Chicago. The International Triathlon Union is expected to make its decision for 2020 at its Executive Board meeting next month.

Michael Fahy, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, is taking the lead in the Government’s support of the triathlon bid, with assistance from Minister Dr Grant Gibbons of Economic Development and Minister Sylvan Richards of Social Development and Sports.

“Government departments will play a pivotal role in the event’s logistics including: security, traffic control, health and safety, beach and railway trail access, immigration and customs,” the BTA said.

Bermuda’s own Flora Duffy, the reigning ITU World Champion, is also supporting our bid and is expected to be a part of the delegation that presents in front of decision makers next month.

Minister Fahy said: “It certainly doesn’t hurt that Bermuda is the home of Flora Duffy, the ITU World Triathlon Champion and perennial rock star of the sport. She is a wonderful ambassador for telling Bermuda’s story as a perfect destination for athletes and adventure travellers.

“Because of strong leadership from the Bermuda Triathlon Association, our Island has a solid reputation for managing outstanding triathlon events. The proposed courses for the triathlon will highlight Bermuda’s natural beauty on both land and sea.”

Minister Richards noted: “Landing these events would be a tribute to Flora, Tyler Butterfield, Tyler Smith and all the impressive Bermudian triathletes making a name for themselves in the sport. Government is proud to be supporting this initiative and our local Bermuda athletes.”

Minister Gibbons added: “Bermuda’s winning bid for the America’s Cup, its stellar performance during the America’s Cup World Series, plus its emergence as a premier sports and adventure playground has made us a formidable player in these discussions. As always, Bermuda is punching way above its weight on the global events stage.”

Update 12.44pm: A statement from Minister Michael Fahy, from today’s Senate sitting, follows below:

Madam, President, for a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with just over 64,000 people, Bermuda is once again “punching above its weight” as officials consider the island, along with two other finalists’ countries, bidding to host the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in 2020. If successful, Bermuda will also host an ITU World Triathlon Series [WTS] race in the spring of 2018 and 2019 – with the impact of all three events resulting in significant direct spending on-island.

Madam President, the WTS is an annual worldwide series of nine to 10 triathlon races, culminating in a Grand Final. The week-long ITU World Triathlon Series events could attract as many as 1,200 competitors in each of the two years, including 150 elite athletes, while the Grand Final could draw as many as 3,000 competitors.

Junior and amateur athletes will take part in each race series. Visiting friends and families for each event would further increase our tourist numbers – with the BTA projecting that number to be around 10,000. Along with the athletes and their families will be journalists, TV broadcasters, support crew and competition officials that would drive visitation numbers significantly higher.

The event is broadcast on television in 160 territories worldwide, including in the United States where NBC Sports is the broadcast partner. Cozumel, Mexico hosted this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final while Rotterdam Netherlands will host in 2017.

Madam President, we are now competing against prominent destinations. It was only three years ago that Bermuda was not in such elite company – in fact, we weren’t even in the conversation, 3ITU World Triathlon but now we are serious contenders. It just goes to show the distance we have travelled in a relatively short amount of time.

Even if we don’t come out on top this time, it’s truly an accomplishment just to be considered for such a prestigious sports tourism event. Madam President, the reason we are aggressively pursuing this opportunity is simple – it checks a lot of important boxes for the tourism economy. These international triathlon events are outside of the summer months…they bring robust media exposure…and this is sports – an area the BTA has made tremendous strides in over the past two years.

Winning this bid would catapult Bermuda to the next level of sports tourism and it will be a terrific way to follow in the wake of the America’s Cup.

Madam President, this has by no means been my Ministry’s effort alone. Far from it! This effort has been in concert with the Ministry of Social Development and Sport, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Bermuda Triathlon Association and the Bermuda Tourism Authority – who were tasked by my Ministry with coordinating the bidding process. From the many meetings, phone calls and presentations with all stakeholders in recent months, I must commend the BTA on the outstanding job they have done!

With an event of this magnitude, and if we were serious about securing another major sporting event for the island, all hands had to be on deck as we prepared our bid package. This package will be considered next month in Madrid Spain when the winning country will be announced.

4ITU World Triathlon Madam President, it doesn’t hurt that Bermuda is the home of Flora Duffy, the reigning ITU World Triathlon Champion and perennial rock star of the sport. She is a wonderful ambassador for telling Bermuda’s story as a perfect destination for athletes and adventure travellers. The way we see it, landing these events would be a fitting tribute to Flora, Tyler Butterfield, Tyler Smith and all of the impressive Bermudian triathletes making a name for themselves in this sport.

This Government is proud to be supporting this initiative and our local Bermuda athletes.

Madam President, the destinations on the shortlist of bidders for the 2020 Grand Final have not been officially revealed, but previous hosts have been London, Auckland New Zealand and Chicago. As I mentioned earlier, the International Triathlon Union is expected to make their decision for 2020 at its Executive Board meeting next month in Madrid Spain, where Ms. Pat Phillip-Fairn, Mr. Phillip Schmidt, Mr. Christian Toetzke and Ms. Flora Duffy will accompany me for the official events.

Thank you, Madam President.

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Comments (10)

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  1. PBanks says:

    That would be a huge win for the island, especially riding off the back of Flora’s accomplishments. Go get em, team.

  2. Jeremy Deacon says:

    Fingers crossed !

  3. wahoo says:

    Great news. Why the dislikes?

    • PBanks says:

      Some people get off on hurling dislikes on topics that could bring positive attention to the island, it is what it is.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Because it will be (is) deemed as another one of those events that represents , err , ahhh, umm , well you know . Like all the haters of the America’s Cup it’s an event for the , oh , umm . Well you get it , I’m sure .

  4. Your joking says:

    Just keep the churches out of the way…you know they don’t like people messing with their Sunday drive to confess all their sins

  5. Jus' Askin' says:

    UBA ~ United Bermuda Alliance

    We’ll Make Bermuda Great Again

  6. hmmm says:

    Are you kidding me, this is a no brainer for the ITU. They should hold it here.

  7. Athena says:

    We are starting to see how the hard work put in by the BTA is showing results.

    Now is the time to encourage our young up and coming triathletes with what they need to excel in this sport. Flora Duffy has shown what a Bermudian can achieve we need to keep the momentum going.