BTA Chairman & CEO Issue Joint Statement

December 14, 2017 | 39 Comments

Following the contrasting statements from the Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO and Board which were followed by comments from the Tourism Minister expressing his “disappointment with Mr. Dallas’ unauthorized statement,” BTA Board Chairman Paul Telford and CEO Kevin Dallas issued a short joint statement about the “way forward” and their strategy and role to promote tourism.

BTA CEO Urges Senators To Vote No

Prior to the Senate vote on the Domestic Partnerships Bill, BTA CEO Kevin Dallas wrote to Senators to express concern, saying, “We believe the Bill poses an unnecessary threat to the success of our tourism industry. We urge you to vote no.”

“The yet-to-be-written headlines associated with a yes vote in the Senate could be damaging enough to derail the seven consecutive quarters of growth the Bermuda tourism industry has enjoyed dating back to January 2016,” Mr Dallas said.

“We should send a message that Bermuda continually and permanently lives up to its well-earned reputation as a warm, friendly and welcoming destination. A no vote on the Domestic Partnerships Bill will make that message crystal clear to the world.”

BTA Board: ‘BTA is Non-Political, Bermuda’s Laws Outside BTA Remit’

The following day, the BTA Board released a statement saying, “The Bermuda Tourism Authority is focused on driving the success of tourism in Bermuda, by making our island an appealing destination, and marketing it to potential visitors.

“We strive to provide useful information to support any tourism-related debate in Bermuda, including the Domestic Partnership Bill. As an organisation we respect all views and opinions on this matter, and remain focused on our primary objective; bringing more visitors to Bermuda.

“To be clear, however, the Bermuda Tourism Authority is a non-political entity and decisions about Bermuda’s policies and laws are outside the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s remit and are the responsibility of Parliament.

“We have full trust in Bermuda’s elected and appointed officials to effectively carry out the democratic process on behalf of Bermuda’s citizens.”

Minister: ‘Disappointment With Mr. Dallas’ Unauthorized Statement’

Following the BTA Board’s statement, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons said he takes “note of the statement on the Domestic Partnership Bill by Kevin Dallas, CEO of the BTA, as well as his lobbying efforts throughout the community.”

“I have been informed that this statement and accompanying lobbying efforts were done without the knowledge, or the consent of the BTA Chair Mr. Paul Telford or the Board,” the Minister said.

“While ultimately Mr. Dallas’ actions are a matter for the Board and the Chair, I have, on behalf of the Cabinet communicated my disappointment with Mr. Dallas’ unauthorized statement and will support the Board in whatever action they wish to undertake to ensure the established processes and procedures surrounding public statements are respected.”

‘BTA Chairman, CEO Joint Statement on Way Forward’

In a new statement today, under a title of “Chairman, CEO Joint Statement on Way Forward,” the BTA corporate website said, “Bermuda Tourism Authority Chairman Paul Telford and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Dallas issued the following joint statement.”

Paul Telford: “Our strategy will continue to focus on showcasing Bermuda’s genuine hospitality and diverse, inclusive culture – traits that have always been valued and true. The Board of Directors has every confidence that the talented Bermuda Tourism Authority team is up to the challenge of delivering on that strategy.”

Kevin Dallas: “Our role at the Bermuda Tourism Authority is to support the island’s economy by promoting tourism and welcoming all guests to our beautiful destination. The focus for the Bermuda Tourism Authority is to work on behalf of Bermuda’s reputation, her visitors and her tourism industry workers.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. alistair m says:

    this has turned into a pr disaster ….

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Only because it’s a case of people scrambling to keep their jobs , not for any moral rectitude .

  2. puzzled says:

    Thanks Mr. Dallas and Telford.

    Sounds like the band leader and conductor starting an introduction to the band as the HMS/SS TiBermuda hits a beeg peace of ice.

  3. fluffy says:

    “Our strategy will continue to focus on showcasing Bermuda’s genuine hospitality and diverse, inclusive [*except for the gays] culture – traits that have always been valued [*except for the gays] and true.”

  4. Truth is killin' me... says:

    You tryna insult my intelligence with these scripted statements!? Poor Dallas. Don’t try to muzzle …you deserve a bite in the a.. for that Senate Bigotted Debacle!!

  5. Curious says:

    Now we can move into the future and try to repair all the damage done to our reputation as we become the first jurisdiction ever to revoke marriage equality, place at risk our inclusive tourism product with all the negative global press this has and is generating.

    This is a first in history that will always generate a level of shame and embarrassment for many Bermudians and it will repel aunts, uncles, brothers, sister, daughters and sons who were making their way home since the introduction of marriage equality in May.

    We have stepped back from being a community that values and respects Diversity and Inclusion. Be warned Bermudians and visitors, our definition of Diversity and Inclusion is arbitrary and situational.

  6. Kevin says:

    The Board need to grow some b@lls and stand behind Kevin Dallas. You know he is right and if you are willing to throw him under the bus …your time will soon come you sometimes have to make a stance when you KNOW what the outcome will be …but if you all want to play the game do so at yours and Bermudas Peril we will be known around the world and it will affect us all.
    What a bunch of nuts ….
    I didnt vote for them
    I am a dependant territory citizen I no longer am a Bermudian

    • rene says:

      They say if you wont stand for something you will fall for anything. The BTA don’t own Kevin he is entitled to his opinion if the BTA had moral fortitude like Kevin they would have spoken up earlier. Thank you Kevin for speaking up about equality for all people not just the loudest majority.

  7. C says:

    PLP going to use this Dallas thing to spin the pressure off what just happened, distract their support base. Simmons is lurking and ready to legislate. Kevins head is on the chopping block.

  8. Marge says:

    I wonder what our governor will or wil not do regarding this latest development.

    • facts of the rock says:

      The British Governor will have NO option but to refuse to sign off on this or face immediate recall in disgrace and an interim Governor will take over.
      No Governor would risk being recalled like that.

      This stupid exercise by the plp will fail!
      as the younger generation are fond of saying…Epic Fail.

      The World Media and it’s people and Leaders are watching this very carefully as it unfolds,not to forget business leaders are taking a very clear interest too.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        I doubt the Governor would take such drastic action as refusing his assent. The will of Parliament is deemed to be the will of the people and in the absence of some very serious representations about corruption or the like, it is his duty to accede to the will of the people.

  9. Guy Carri says:

    So Jamahl wants control of gaming Commission and wants control over BTA. No wonder why. Be a puppet everyone. Crock of nonsense. Bda moving backwards.

  10. Darkstar says:

    Jamal don’t like Dallas…. no matter how good a job he does-plus he spoke up against what the Gov’t push to discriminate-bet he is out of a job by the end of January

  11. facts of the rock says:

    FACTS
    the plp will try to put pressure on anyone they can

    The British Governor will have NO option but to refuse to sign off on this or face immediate recall in disgrace and an interim Governor will take over.
    No Governor would risk being recalled like that.

    This stupid exercise by the plp will fail!
    as the younger generation are fond of saying…Epic Fail.

    The World Media and it’s people and Leaders are watching this very carefully as it unfolds,not to forget business leaders are taking a very clear interest too.

  12. Red says:

    Kevin was correct to speak up,after all his job is performance based along with his staff at BTA. If the numbers fall he,s the one who politicans point the finger at. This new law will make thier job a lot harder along with Bermuda’s shipping registry. Remember politicans do not generate wealth, they spend or destroy it.

    • EQUALITY says:

      No one BUT the PLP Government is to blame for the GLOBAL FALLOUT.

      Don’t mess with Equality. The GAY community is very very powerful. Many powerful gay folks lead global corporations – APPLE, SILICON VALLEY, HOLLYWOOD, PRESS – the Bermuda Government has just PISSED OFF the PLANET….

  13. Coffee says:

    BTA is apolitical , Dallas spoke on behalf of BTA , BIG MISTAKE THAT . He should have voiced his opinion as a private citizen , that is his human right !

    • aceboy says:

      That is the point of being in an apolitical post you nit wit. You can criticize the govt BECAUSE you are apolitical.

      • Bob says:

        Ummmmmm…..can you really and get paid by, wait, the Govt?

        I’m reasonably sure that there is a clause in his contract that speaks to this matter.

  14. Teresa says:

    Kevin you are next.

  15. Tomas says:

    BTA posted the joint statement on BTA Facebook page too which advances the efforts to soften the backlash from Kevin’s letter to Senators. The Facebook post risks bringing more unwanted attention to the subject. BTA should drop attempts at damage control and move on with tourism.

  16. rene says:

    Jamahl only complaing because someone else doesn’t side with his ideology of rejecting equality for a minority group.
    Just like everyone else he believes he has a moral high ground sufficient to suppress the rights of a minority. He needs to take his blindfolds off.

  17. steve says:

    Jamal is far too insecure to accept criticism, the proof is glaring at us. He is a wallmart greeter masquerading as a political leader…actually, that’s insult to open minded kind wallmart employees.

    • Mother Theresa says:

      A Hahahahahahahahahahahah! Brilliant!

    • Bob says:

      Yes, he is all of that and more – however, he is a legally elected MP and just starting his term in office .

      I recommend Tums and a very long world tour !

  18. smile says:

    BTA and Dallas are doing such an incredible job for revitalizing the Bermuda Tourism product.
    Would be a tragedy if PLP waves it’s light sabre and takes control.

    BTA return on investment has been impressive and we’re starting to reap real rewards. Jahmal needs to put his ego in check

  19. epitome of Bermuda Bulls*t says:

    Really. He called it. The Gvt didn’t like it. The rest of the world sees it for what it is.

    Out the Bermuda spin on it but the world sees exactly what just happened on our beautiful island.

    Blessings.

  20. Warwick West says:

    What a spineless board the BAY are. To publicly rebuke Mr Falls so unnecessary and shows just how spineless you are. Shame on you mr. Telford.

    Memo to self Kevin – it Simmons/PLP way or the highway. Bully tactics at its best and BTA board at its worst.

  21. Joe Bloggs says:

    Kevin should have learned from Alan Dunch. If you are paid from the public purse your right to freedom of expression does not exist unless your expression agrees with Government policy.

  22. Wahoo says:

    Well the plp are in for a WORLD of criticism now whether Kevin should have expressed himself as an individual or part of a group is neither here nor there. He was simply following his beliefs and desire that the Bermuda tourism product be shown in the best of lights. Jamahl you need to grow up you are a train wreck.

  23. Rocky5 says:

    Kevin’s gone as are most of BTA Board. PLP Minister Jamal Simmons won’t stand for ANY subordination. Bermuda’s 11th Commandment NEVER criticise PLP Govt EVEN if you’re OBA MP’s & Senators or the Press!!

  24. Warwick West says:

    CORRECTION TO AUTO CORRECT NOW ERRORS ON MY FIRST

    What a spineless board the BTA are. To publicly rebuke Mr. DALLAS is so unnecessary and shows just how spineless you, the BTA Board are. Shame on you Mr. Telford.

    Memo to self Kevin – It is Simmons/PLP way or the highway. Bully tactics at its best and BTA board at its worst.

  25. This is a human rights issue…by the same token we do not have the right to grow our own marijuana…and yes…this is a human right too.

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