Minister: Five-Year Plan For Bermuda’s Tourism

July 13, 2018 | 6 Comments

The Ministry of Economic Development & Tourism has been working with the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] to update the National Tourism Plan, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons said, explaining that the objective is to develop a five-year plan for the growth of Bermuda’s tourism “in a world where tourism is constantly and quickly evolving.”

“When completed, the 2018 Plan will chart our course through 2023 – keeping the country on track with a clear vision for continuing the growth trajectory that the industry has enjoyed since 2015,” Minister Simmons said in the House of Assembly today [July 13].

“The process of creating the next chapter of the National Tourism Plan is a little more than halfway to completion. Having begun in early March, the BTA expects to deliver a final report to the public in October at its Annual Tourism Summit,” the Minister said. ”Over the past four-and-a-half months, a lot of research work has been completed to build the foundation of the final plan.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good Morning, Mr Speaker.

Members of this Honourable House will be aware that the Ministry of Economic Development & Tourism has been working with the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] to update the National Tourism Plan “the Plan”].

The most important objective of this exercise is to develop a comprehensive five-year plan for the growth of Bermuda’s tourism industry in a world where tourism is constantly and quickly evolving. When completed, the 2018 Plan will chart our course through 2023 – keeping the country on track with a clear vision for continuing the growth trajectory that the industry has enjoyed since 2015.

As I stand today, Mr Speaker, the process of creating the next chapter of the National Tourism Plan is a little more than halfway to completion. Having begun in early March, the BTA expects to deliver a final report to the public in October at its Annual Tourism Summit.

Over the past four-and-a-half months, a lot of research work has been completed to build the foundation of the final plan. Allow me to review some of the broad consultation that has already taken place:

  • 122 stakeholder interviews, ranging from 1-2 hours each, have been conducted covering a wide variety of viewpoints — from within the tourism industry and outside of the tourism industry, from the public sector and the private sector;
  • More than 25-hundred people have been surveyed in the US, UK and Canada – both previous visitors to Bermuda and those who have not visited yet;
  • Nearly 800 local residents have been polled for their opinions about the future of Bermuda tourism as well – either in response to an online survey or via a telephone interview.

Clearly, Mr Speaker, the goal is to gather as much input as possible, from as many vantage points as possible, so that the end result is a National Tourism Plan that the whole country can get behind. This cannot be a plan crafted in an ivory tower, Mr Speaker it must be crafted, collaboratively, with the people whose help is required to make it a success.

To that point, more than 40 volunteers associated with the tourism industry volunteered over nine hours of their personal time to sit on National Tourism Plan Working Groups over the past two months. This is where people rolled up their sleeves and worked as teams to shape an improved on-island experience for Bermuda’s visitor target segments. The end result of this work intends to be an actionable strategy for raising our tourism product across the spectrum.

In addition to these volunteers, Members of Parliament, BTA Board Members, the staff at the BTA, small business owners, front line tourism workers and a host of others made significant contributions to the working groups – and I cannot stress enough the importance of their input to the National Tourism Plan.

Mr. Speaker, I’d like to read their names here in the House of Assembly as a token of appreciation for their time and effort:

From the Bermuda Tourism Authority Board

  • Paul Telford
  • Sophia Greaves
  • Phil Barnett
  • And Stephen Todd

From the staff at the BTA

  • Alastair Jack
  • Tashae Thompson
  • Tiffani Cailor
  • David Thomas
  • Rasheeda Burgess
  • Jill Dill
  • Jamari Douglas
  • Glenn Jones
  • Amanda Dempsey
  • And Leonard Williams

From the Parliament…

  • The Honourable Cole Simons
  • The Honourable Leah Scott
  • The Honourable Crystal Caesar, Junior Minister of Economic Development and Tourism

And from a cross-section of Bermuda’s economy, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to thank the following:

  • Jonelle Christopher
  • Rodney Grimes
  • Mark Anderson
  • Roger Todd
  • Joanna Cranfield
  • Stephanie Rodill
  • Mayor of St George Quinell Francis
  • Mayor of Hamilton Charles Gosling
  • Elizabeth Christopher
  • Cordell Riley
  • Shelley Meszoly
  • Corey Butterfield
  • Danilee Trott
  • Thomas Lightbourne
  • Alexander Green
  • Tim Morrison
  • Kristin White
  • Kim Dismont-Robinson
  • Heather Whalen
  • Craig Burt
  • Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone
  • Antwan Albouy
  • Faith Bridges
  • Craig Tyrrell
  • Paul Adams
  • And Malika Cartwright

These contributors to the National Tourism Plan were split into four working groups that met for three sessions spread over a six-week period. I attended a session for a brief period this week, Mr. Speaker and passed along my thanks and a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development & Tourism. We are very pleased with the collaborative spirit of this project and grateful for the contributions of many.

In addition to this important review of the on-island experience, the next chapter of the National Tourism Plan will also explore the possibilities in:

  • The African-American travel segment;
  • Sports tourism;
  • Cultural tourism;
  • Groups and Incentive travel
  • And a myriad of other important touchpoints, including markets where Bermuda’s future tourism growth is likely to come from

I would like to conclude by reiterating that writing a National Tourism Plan is an important part of creating a successful tourism destination….. and that my Ministry will continue to provide support to the Bermuda Tourism Authority on this crucial work to complete a plan that all of Bermuda can get behind.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Stormy daniels says:

    Should start renting hot air balloons, enough hot air around!

  2. Toodle-oo says:

    So interesting that everything the PLP proposes takes a full election term to show any results , if there will be any .
    2025 here we come !

  3. Ringmaster says:

    From the Minister’s own statement “the objective is to develop a five-year plan for the growth of Bermuda’s tourism “in a world where tourism is constantly and quickly evolving.” A 5 year plan will be out of date within a year in a world which is quickly evolving. An annual plan would be more suitable, except that it will take 5 years before a plan is agreed so it will be at least 4 years out of date. Typical political spin and worthless words from Jamhal.

  4. Answer says:

    40 people putting in 9 hours each is not enough to put together a new plan for one our most important industries.
    Actually, it’s pathetic.

  5. BermieBorn says:

    Good to see the PLP endorsing the BTA’s continued success, strategies and approach to a comprehensive 5 year approach for the sector. Makes a lot more sense than promising a knee jerk 100 day turnaround. Keep it up everyone!

  6. Rocky5 says:

    Wow, no mention of or thanks to Kevin Dallas from BTA. He better dust off his resume!!

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