[Updated] Bermuda has been chosen to host three International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series events in 2018, 2019, and 2020, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism announced today, calling this a “huge win” for the island.
Speaking at a press conference, Tourism Minister Michael Fahy said, “I have some very exciting news to share with the people of Bermuda.
“We found out this week that Bermuda has been chosen to host not one, not two, but three International Triathlon Union World Series events in April 2018, 2019, and 2020.”
23-minute video of the full press conference:
“This is a first for Bermuda, and a huge win for all of us,” said Minister Fahy, who added that events are expected to bring approximately 1,200 competitors for each event, and the races “will be broadcast around the world.”
The BTA coordinated the bid’s particulars in partnership with the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Triathlon Association and other relevant parties, with Bermuda’s own Flora Duffy — the reigning ITU World Champion — supporting the bid. Edmonton was selected to host the 2020 Grand Final.
Flora Duffy speaking via phone at the press conference:
BTA CEO Bill Hanbury said, “It’s a very, very special time for Bermuda from a tourism perspective. We’re now in the eleventh month of continuous growth in the tourism economy. This announcement today is just going to add to that.”
World champion Flora Duffy spoke, via phone, at the press conference, saying: “It’s going to be incredible. I grew up watching the race that Bermuda had in the 90s; for it to come full circle and for me to be racing on the roads of Bermuda in a couple of years time is really incredible.”
This video, showcasing the island, was shown as part of Bermuda’s bid to host the events:
BTA Chief Product & Experience Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn said, “In just three years, Bermuda has transformed from an emerging sports tourism destination to a pre-eminent sports tourism destination.
“This successful bid for three years of World Triathlon Series events is one big part of a much bigger whole when it comes to sports and adventure tourism.”
Update 11.49am: Minister Fahy’s full statement follows below:
Thank you for joining me today where I have some very exciting news to share with the people of Bermuda…
We found out this week that Bermuda has been chosen to host not one, not two, but THREE International Triathlon Union [ITU] world series events in April of 2018, 2019 and 2020.
This is a first for Bermuda and a huge win for all of us. These world series events bring with them 1,200 competitors to each event which includes 150 elite athletes, not to mention their friends, family members and supporters.
We all recall the fanfare around the arrival of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in October 2015, and I think it caught many of us off guard just how much of a buzz was generated.
I don’t think we fully realized until it got here just what to expect, and I would say it far surpassed many people’s expectations. I think we all felt the excitement – it was in the air.
It impacted our businesses, our economy, our tourism, afforded opportunities to entrepreneurs testing their wings before the big event in 2017…and it was exhilarating to watch right in our backyard.
Picture that – for three consecutive years – and that’s what we have just won – except in the world of triathlons, instead of sailing this time.
These week-long world series triathlon events will be broadcast around the globe, including the United States where NBC Sports is the broadcast partner. This will ensure coverage of Bermuda on televisions around the world. The proposed courses for the triathlon will highlight Bermuda’s natural beauty on both land and sea.
Also, from a tourism perspective, April is a month where we have room for growth, so these events will offer a huge boost for the island in that month and will result in significant visitor spending on-island.
Put simply, this is the biggest event Bermuda has landed since the America’s Cup. This will take Bermuda to the next level of sports tourism and is a wonderful way to follow in the wake of the America’s Cup.
But what makes the icing on the cake, is that we will be able to watch our very own Flora Duffy, the ITU World Triathlon Champion, compete here, in her homeland. I look forward to cheering her on every step of the way. Flora is a wonderful ambassador for telling Bermuda’s story as a perfect destination for athletes and adventure travellers.
Getting to this point has been a cross Ministry partnership between the Ministries of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, Economic Development and Social Development and Sports who all assisted in preparing Bermuda’s bid for these events. So I want to thank all those involved for making this possible. It has taken a lot of hard work but we got here…and the view looks pretty good from where I’m sitting.
To Pat Phillip-Fairn and Philipp Schmidt, I want to say ‘thank you’; it was a pleasure working with you in Madrid as we submitted our bid for the 2020 International Triathlon Union World Grand Final.
While we did not win the bid for the 2020 Final, we learned a lot from the bidding process and taking part in these events has solidified Bermuda as part of the ITU family.
I can also announce today that we will be bidding for the grand final in 2021, taking onboard what we have learned from the previous bidding experience.
Bermuda’s blessings of a temperate climate, seaside beauty and iconic geographic location have certainly made us a coveted playing field for some of the world’s greatest contests.
Update 11.49am: BTA Chief Product & Experience Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn’s statement follows below:
In just three years, Bermuda has transformed from an emerging sports tourism destination to a pre-eminent sports tourism destination.
This successful bid for three years of World Triathlon Series events is one big part of a much bigger whole when it comes to sports and adventure tourism. Let’s take 2017 for example which will be a colossal year for the island… easily the biggest in Bermuda’s history as a sports destination.
- Already there are 27 sports tourism events on the 2017 calendar – and that’s just in the first six months alone
- One of those events is the 35th America’s Cup, which is five weeks of sailing activities and excitement that will solidify Bermuda’s position as the Sailing Capital of the Atlantic
- Of the $800,000 in investments the BTA will make to support the ideas of local event planners and entrepreneurs next year, at least 30 of those visitor experiences are in the sports and adventure category
- And sports training is an area we have seen an explosion of demand – particularly among high school and college athletes. We expect that demand to grow even more next year
A couple of weeks from now we’ll welcome 100 visiting swimmers who will train at the National Sports Centre aquatics facility. There is similar demand among other sports including lacrosse and rugby, track and golf.
Without question these advances are exceptionally important because we’re attracting younger visitors to Bermuda, critical to the sustainability of the country tourism industry.
And we’re growing business in the shoulder season, a period when we need high volumes of travellers to keep those working in the tourism industry on the job year-round.
Three years of international triathlon events in April is consistent with the BTA’s overall sports tourism strategy and is consistent with the objectives of the National Tourism plan.
Today I hope the tourism community, and the country in general, are proud of the progress we’ve made in sports tourism and, more importantly, I hope they’re excited about where we go next as a truly world class destination for sports and adventure travel.