New Visitor Services Centre On Front Street

October 3, 2018 | 40 Comments

A new Visitor Services Centre going up on the Hamilton waterfront is part of a “strategic approach to increase the amount of money travellers spend,” the BTA said, explaining that the two-level – plus roof deck - structure previously served as the Artemis Team Base during the America’s Cup, and the approved budget for its reassembly is $825,000.

A BTA spokesperson said, “A new Visitor Services Centre going up along the Hamilton waterfront is part of a strategic approach to increase the amount of money travellers spend on-island by more seamlessly connecting them with tourism entrepreneurs.

“At the end of 2017, on-island visitor spending was up 51 percent for leisure air visitors and up 5 percent for cruise visitors, when compared to the end of 2015. All in, that’s an additional $94 million for the local economy.

“The spending figures for air visitors has grown another 6 percent in the first half of 2018 and cruise visitor spending is on pace to outperform 2017 as well.

“We set out on a strategy to improve the visitor experience and drive greater visitor spending across the island,” said Kevin Dallas, Bermuda Tourism Authority chief executive.

“Growth in tourism comes from greater numbers of visitors to our shores, but also importantly, from persuading our guests – especially arriving cruise passengers – to spend more while they’re out here. While the increases of the last few years are encouraging, we need to do more.”

Visitor Services Centre Strategy Bermuda Oct 2018 (1)

“It’s a strategy that has already proven effective in Dockyard, where the Visitor Information Centre was closed earlier this year and replaced with a Visitor Services Centre next door,” the BTA added.

“Customer satisfaction with the Visitor Services Centre is improving healthily with the team far exceeding targets. Providing a frictionless technology experience is one of the things that has improved visitor satisfaction.”

“We’ve focused on developing a team of ambassadors who are knowledgeable, fully informed experts on what Bermuda has to offer from end-to-end,” said Mr. Dallas. “Our commitment to training is driven by quality service delivery as outlined in the National Service Standards.”

Visitor Services Centre Strategy Bermuda Oct 2018 (2)

“Video advertising, online booking and touchscreen kiosks are hallmarks of the new Visitors Services Centre model. They’re all in place at the Dockyard VSC and they’ll be the cornerstone of what’s planned for the Hamilton location.

Mr. Dallas said: “In this new model we have the technology tools to help visitors access the information themselves and actually make bookings electronically before they leave the centre.

“The point of this facility is to give our visitors one central place to plan their itinerary and then get out and about across the island – to experience more and spend more.”

Visitor Services Centre Strategy Bermuda Oct 2018 (3)

“The two-level [plus roof deck] Hamilton waterfront Visitor Services Centre is on a five-year lease with the City of Hamilton.

“The structure is a made of about 30 shipping containers and was formerly the Artemis Team Base at Cross Island during the 35th America’s Cup. The approved budget for its reassembly is $825,000.

“Once the new VSC is open in or before the first quarter of 2019, the pop-up kiosk at Washington Mall will no longer be needed.

“The new facility will have visitor services and branded merchandise on the first floor, event space on the second level and the opportunity for pop-up vendors on the second level and rooftop. All levels of the space will provide lovely views of Hamilton Harbour.

“In 2019, focus will shift to St. George to bring visitors there the same frictionless, on-brand experience available in the west and central parts of the island.”

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Comments (40)

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  1. sage says:

    Only $825,000 to re-assemble? Fantastic.

    • Justin says:

      It does sound like a lot but when compared to Dr Brown’s payout it looks quite small! The titty milk drinkers won’t see it that way though!!

    • Not ADA says:

      look whose crane was on site enough said

    • Paul Riviere says:

      No where does it say $825,000.00 to reassemble.
      While I am NO fan of Mr. Davies, he states that $825,000.00 was allocated which included the purchase of the pop up building at a deep discount, the cost to reassemble, the cost to outfit/ brand windows etc, and the cost to outfit the building with accessories needed to function.
      But most of the OBA trolls are trying to paint a picture that it cost $825,000.00 to reassemble.
      Listen to Mr. Davies closely in the first 30 seconds.
      Or quite simply, ask him to break down the costs.
      And it’s a BTA project NOT a PLP project.

    • Thats about 2 years wages for Kevin Dallas.

  2. Ron says:

    This is ridiculous!

  3. cha says:

    $825,000?? That’s nuts.

  4. question says:

    Don’t let the Minister for National Security anywhere near the female shop assistants. He doesn’t know how to behave.

  5. What says:

    Now hold on one bloody minute! I have been paying Front Street and Reid Street rents for over 25 years and now they give prime placement to vendors who have not made a like investment in operations?!?

    The placement will put me out of business but give a startup a business! There is something wrong with this! Ok I guess I have to fire the 25 Bermudians that I employ and setup a small boutique on the waterfront staffed by me and one Bermudian versus what I am doing now?

    Confused, frustrated and angry!

    • haha says:

      Govt has bottomless pockets havent you observed? They dont care about how you make your money

    • Bertastic says:

      How about waiting to complain until you see and experience the final result? Is that you…Laverne?

    • smile says:

      Yes,
      Concerning that they will have vendors in “pop up” retail space competing against those struggling to keep their doors open on the other side of the street.
      Will be interesting to see what the final product produces.

      In general BTA has been doing an incredible job turning Bermuda tourism around. I’m hopeful they won’t try to compete against already established Hamilton businesses.

      • Bertastic says:

        If you watch the video
        And listen it’s not meant to compete but to enhance and compliment. It won’t be a retailer since the bta has their own brand of merchandise….it’s like Shelly bay 5 all over again/

  6. Thanks OBA says:

    America’s Cup. The gift that keeps on giving. Still waiting to hear what Jamahl’s plan is to replace that “Mickey Mouse” event. So far, all we’ve heard from him has been crickets.

    • Michael Mouse says:

      Stop ya noise at least we didn’t have to pay airfare to send him to Front Street.

  7. somuchless says:

    So who got the bus and ferry ticketing proposal? You thought we’d forget so you can keep it in the boys club?

    • Bertastic says:

      The government Cancelled it for now. So not in the “boys club” you speak of…

  8. Jus' Askin' says:

    $825,000!!!
    $825,000!!!!
    $825,000!!!!!

  9. James says:

    Looks like crap and blocks the view. How do they allow them to build this out of container frames when nobody else is permitted to build out of containers?

  10. JohnBoy says:

    Why so expensive to reassemble? It would probably cost less to build a shop that size with bricks!

  11. Tired of PLP Crap says:

    I can only assume a building/planning permit was gazzeted and thus obtained and all workers had to be english speaking bermudians

  12. Crapola says:

    who was the contractor (just look at the crane) where was the planning permit # glorified lego blocks and it cost 825000 to assemble, rubbish (F O F again?)

  13. Me says:

    824 g wow for that tin box

  14. Mark says:

    Bit pointless give we only want English speaking visitors.

  15. Doug K says:

    wow….

  16. catedra says:

    Where was the tender for this advertised?

  17. The Original Truth™ says:

    When will the BTA become a sustainable business? They need to stop using the tax payer’s money & raise their own. If these high paid CEO’s have been worth their salt why haven’t they found a way to build up their own income?

  18. Chris says:

    Quite brazen about extracting even more cash from visitors.

  19. Legalgal says:

    They had the very useful Terminal office as a referen
    ce point for tourists. All it needed was free wifi. What a total waste. And looks ….well like a high rise container monstrosity. But making someone rich.

    • Bertastic says:

      A shabby desk shoved in the corner of a coffee shop is not the way bermuda wants to present itself.

      • question says:

        Ah yes. We’ve seen Caines showing us all news ways to present ourselves.

  20. Piggy Wiggy says:

    I think i will VISIT to see where and what my portion of tax money has gotten, oh and use the free Wi Fi if they have it. Could you please tell me where I can spend even more of my hard earned pesos in tis OVER priced paradise?

  21. Chauncey says:

    It is OCTOBER!!!!! What the heck to we need it for… at this time of the year? Put it up in April when it MIGHT be required. The next six months it will be empty unless from the people that will get a wage.. for doing nothing! It is blot on the landscape. It is as ugly as if the OLEANDER had tied up and left a load of empty boxes.

    • Bertastic says:

      Tourism is a year round business. Air arrivals will still need service.

  22. po says:

    if there are 30 containers which doesn’t look like it to my untrained eye, thats 27500.00 per container come on now don’t play us for fools. ( that is of course if the sum of 825000.00 is correct. ) Damn kindergarten lego engineers con do that.

  23. Y-Gurl says:

    Another waste of space, cruise ship visitors spend very little, what are these people going to do in the winter, sell Bermuda rum cake?

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