BTA: Third Straight Year of Growth For Tourism

February 6, 2019

“Year-end visitor arrival statistics for 2018 confirm three straight years of economic comeback and uninterrupted growth for the island’s tourism trade,” according to a report out today from the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

The BTA said, “In addition to the growth trend, last year’s performance was historically significant in many areas:

  • Record-breaking number of total vacationers for second consecutive year
  • Highest number of leisure air arrivals since 2002
  • Total visitor spending into Bermuda’s economy climbs past $500 million
  • Cruise passenger arrivals jumped 34 percent during non-summer months

“Back-to-back record-breaking years mean Bermuda’s streak of tourism growth is now 12 quarters long – dating back to January 2016. Over that time period, key performance indicators are up sharply:

  • At December 31, 2018, leisure air visitor spending was up 67 percent compared to 2015 year-end
  • At December 31, 2018, leisure air visitor arrivals were up 46 percent compared to 2015 year-end

BTA Visitor Arrivals Report Summary Bermuda Feb 2019

“By every imaginable definition, Bermuda’s tourism industry is on a sustained path of recovery,” said Kevin Dallas, Bermuda Tourism Authority’s chief executive.

“Our team put together a totally fresh tourism approach in 2014 and 2015. Stakeholders believed in our vision and helped build on the new foundation. That two-step process is the reason the country’s tourism has progressed so impressively.

“These stellar results represent real men and women in Bermuda’s hospitality industry who have seen positive impacts on their lives – whether they own a small business or call someone else the boss.”

The BTA added, “The employment of Bermudians in the hotel industry, for example, is up 23 percent between 2016 and 2018, according to the government’s most recent quarterly statistics bulletin.

“In 2018, total visitor arrivals surged to 770,683, an 11 percent increase over the previous year and a new record for Bermuda. Air leisure arrivals finished up 12 percent year-over-year and spending from this audience jumped 11 percent. The 203,697 vacationers to arrive by air in 2018 is the best performance in this category in 16 years. Back in 2002, 218,248 visitors flew to the island for leisure travel.

Leisure Air Visitors by Year

Leisure Air Visitors by Year Bermuda Feb 2019

“The steadily rising number of leisure travellers is driving greater direct spending into the local economy. With air visitors up 12 percent and cruise visitors higher by 16 percent in 2018, total leisure visitor spending surged 28 percent year-over-year.

“Per person leisure spending fell slightly for air visitors in 2018 – not unexpected in the wake of America’s Cup – but because the amount of these travellers was sharply higher, total spending grew.

“Hotel occupancy and the amount of airline seats flying to Bermuda in 2018 also grew for the year, but only modestly, coming in relatively flat. This trend could be a drag on near term growth.”

Mr Dallas said: “The past three years is just the first chapter of Bermuda’s comeback story. There is a long way yet to go. Bermuda can get there though, with a continued spirit of collaboration and using the National Tourism Plan like a North Star to navigate our path to success.”

The 2018 Statistical Highlights follow below [PDF here]:

click here banner Bermuda tourism

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Comments (23)

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  1. Micro says:

    And government wants to stick their grubby fingers into this prosperous pot.

    • Bobby Jones says:

      Yes the Government has stuck their fingers in it by charging 4.5%. They didn’t think it would effect the arrivals.

      It has. For 2018 I had 8 weeks signed and sealed before Jan 1st, this year 2019 I have only had 1 by Jan 1st.

      Maybe they killed the golden goose. Something is going wrong.

      • Eve says:

        It’s great to hear from someone who has skin in the game. To be fair, BTA & Airbnb were behind the 4.5% the government just followed along.

  2. MB says:

    He is right lot of work still.
    We had nowhere to go but up..
    and we are far off mark of 2002 number and highs before that.
    Imo we won’t get back there until
    bta gets the hotels we have in line
    Their product is inconsistent uninspiring and shoddy compared to peers, maybe Reefs, TP rooms, Loren rooms ok but is there really value for money compared to peers?
    BTA needs to address the complete lack
    of interest in hotel brands
    in Bermuda if we are serious
    as a tourism destination. Until we have the new iconic hotel brands here tourism will go nowhere
    St Regis if it ever happen wont cut it.

    • That's Entertainment! says:

      If you were a brand and you did your due diligence and studied up on the BIU and immigration would you be coming to Bermuda? What’s happening with Morgans Point? What’s happening with gaming?

  3. topranking says:

    and Zane wants to “tear the car apart”?! To continue with the analogy …”buckle up we are in for one terrifying ride”

    • Let’s Go Bermuda says:

      With a 23 percent increase in Bermudian employment in the hotel industry, I would hope leave the model that is working alone!!!

  4. Come Correct says:

    Minister DeSilva: “Hold my beer”

  5. red rose says:

    Thank goodness for tourism. Is the Minister still going to look under the hood and tear the car apart?

  6. sandgrownan says:

    So, compare and contrast…

    PLP – 16-20 years, a record of dismal failure the details of which are well documented elsewhere

    OBA – 4-20 years. De-politicize tourism, let the professionals run it. Take grubby little politicians out of the decision making process. And here we are….three short years of steady, upward progress. Good news for Bermuda and well done the BTA.

  7. Bdabye says:

    I’m sure! the great coverage of the America’s Cup played a role in this.

  8. Johnny B says:

    Good thing PLP is getting involved. This is out of control!

  9. Chris B says:

    That you BTA and America’s Cup knock on effect!

  10. dondererd says:

    Looking forward to hearing Zane say ‘well done’ and ‘we love the BTA!’

  11. Rotten Onion says:

    The only positive news since the PLP got into power.Thankyou OBA

  12. dick francis says:

    so while we wait … and wait ….. for anything fintech related to create jobs, here we see a policy implemented by the OBA that is creating and sustaining jobs.

    Where is the PLP’s economic plan? Where is the next economic stimulus coming from? When will retail sales pick up? when will GDP show a real rise? when will taxes come down? when will health costs come down?

    25-11 – you get what you voted for …

  13. trump supporter says:

    Give it time, the PLP needs something positive on thee resume.

  14. Question says:

    Let’s hope Zane keeps his grubby incompetent hands off it. He should stick to returfing contracts. More lucrative.

  15. Me says:

    They want to be seen photo ops with celebs and showboating to promote the party like The Brown era and take credit for someone else work as they are incapable

  16. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Year-end visitor arrival statistics for 2018 confirm three straight years of economic comeback and uninterrupted growth for the island’s tourism trade”

    No! This cannot be allowed! Quick, Minister, disband this group of BTA people immediately!