BTA Release First Quarter Tourism Statistics

May 8, 2019 | 7 Comments

Leisure air visitor spending and leisure air visitor arrivals were down by single-digit percentages year-over-year, according to new Bermuda Tourism Authority data released today, marking the first down quarter for leisure air visitor spending and arrivals since the fourth quarter of 2015.

Slide 1 - Google Chrome 582019 35027 PM-001

The BTA said, “Bermuda’s tourism industry in the first quarter of this year could not eclipse 2018’s accelerated pace, yet it still outperformed the first three months of 2017. Both leisure air visitor spending and leisure air visitor arrivals were down by single-digit percentages year-over-year, according to new Bermuda Tourism Authority data released today.

“Vacationers who arrived by air spent more per person than a year ago, but since the overall volume of leisure air visitors was down, total estimated spending was off 2.5 percent to $32 million.

“That amounts to a $776,000 year-over-year reduction for direct leisure air visitor spending into the local economy. However, the 2019 spending number was far better than 2017, up by more than $5.5 million.

“The volume of leisure air visitors was down 8.5 percent, a decrease of about 2,200 travellers. Air capacity played a role in the lack of growth with the amount of airline seats to the island down 3.5 percent—including a 12 percent fall off from New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, amounting to 5,000 fewer seats. More commercial airline seats fly to Bermuda from New York City than anyplace else and is the island’s largest source market for visitor arrivals.”

Q1 Leisure Travel

Q1 Leisure Travel

“Although no one in Bermuda’s tourism industry likes down arrows, we see the first quarter performance as a glass half full scenario,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority Chief Executive Kevin Dallas.

“The first quarter of 2019 outperformed the first quarter of 2017, so we believe the industry is still in a strong position. If these 2019 numbers happened a year ago, the tourism industry would be elated.

“The significant increase in 2018 is something we’ll have to contend with throughout 2019 as we work toward year-over-year growth for the industry.”

The BTA added, “For leisure air visitor spending and arrivals, the first quarter of 2019 is the first down quarter since the fourth quarter of 2015. The streak of quarterly growth lasted 12 consecutive quarters.

Air Leisure Visitor Spending

Air Leisure Visitor Spending

“The initial three months of the year bring the lightest traveller volume to Bermuda, creating an opportunity for the industry to rebound before year-end. It’s hoped a new US Open marketing partnership and a recently launched sports tourism strategy will help to make a positive impact on 2019 performance.

“Fewer visitors led to lower hotel occupancy [off 5.6 percent] but hotels were able to command marginally higher rates than a year ago [up 2.6 percent]. Vacation rentals performed well with a slightly greater share of visitors choosing to stay in private homes [from 7.8% in Q1 2018 vs 8.2% in Q1 2019].

“Meantime, the Bermuda Tourism Authority strategy to grow cruise visits outside the summer months continues to advance the jurisdiction toward a more active year-round visitor destination.

“Cruise vacationers were up 137 percent in the first three months of this year, almost doubling last year’s passenger totals and ahead of 2017 figures as well. Cruise arrivals helped drive overall first quarter leisure numbers into positive territory year-over-year.

The full Q1 2019 Tourism Measures Report follows below [PDF here]

click here banner Bermuda tourism

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, Business, News

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Leisure air visitor spending and leisure air visitor arrivals were down by single-digit percentages year-over-year, according to new Bermuda Tourism Authority data released today, marking the first down quarter for leisure air visitor spending and arrivals since the fourth quarter of 2015.”

    I could have sworn the Hon. Wayne Furbert was saying quite the opposite just a last week (http://bernews.com/2019/05/live-video-minister-furbert-press-conference)

    • Bermudian Thinker says:

      I believe this says Air, and he mentions Cruise, no?

  2. Eve says:

    Statistics show that leisure air travel by North American’s is higher than it has been in the past decade which should raise concern about BTA’s sales/marketing schemes. The Pink Sale and Splash Sale were both failures in 2018 and when traveler’s pass on a “sale” that should have told the BTA they were not reaching their target. Poor percentage of return by hotels on rooms is another warning sign that cannot be overlooked. Vacation rentals and cruise ships require minimal marketing effort by BTA. Increase in cruisers won’t carry Bermuda tourism!!!!

    • Don’t worry says:

      That’s correct! Cruise ships are great but those people don’t spend money in stores, bars or restaurants as the cruise ship sells then a drink package and food galore on board which they already paid for!

      We need people to stay on island so start offering the 5th night free or a return visit within 3 months gets a night free. Something to get them to stay on Island

      • Eve says:

        A number of the hotels are already offering 3rd. & 4th. night free packages which isn’t having much success. BTA has been concentrating on Sports Tourism which gives locals something to watch but does not bring in visitors who come for holiday/vacation. BTA brings in large numbers of “influencers” who get a free trip for a couple of pics and sentences about Bermuda to their social media followers. BTA is headed down the same path as the Bermuda Department of Tourism took and see where that ended, out in de bay.

        • You are right says:

          Good points you have made. Sports tourists don’t spend a lot of money other than to attend the sport event! Time to start hosting some mega entertainment events that run over extended periods to attract the real spenders. What you got in your pocket Zane?

  3. campervan says:

    Why is air capacity down?
    Is this possibly a reason that we have lost leisure visitors? (travellers cannot get on flights because of limited seating)
    Were the contracts with the various carriers renewed correctly and in a timely manor when they came up for re signing when the new government took the helm?

Leave a Reply