Video: Minister Zane DeSilva Press Conference

July 11, 2019 | 10 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Tourism and Transport Zane DeSilva is holding a press conference this afternoon [July 11] and we will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 8-minute replay is below

Update 3.41pm: Minister DeSilva said, “Good morning everyone and thank you for attending,

“Before I get into the reason for this press conference, I must acknowledge Tim Morrison, General Manager here at Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, and thank him and his team for giving us the opportunity to meet here on the hotel property marina. I specifically requested this venue, as it is the perfect backdrop for the information I am about to share.

“I also acknowledge Glenn Jones, Chief Experience Development Officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and thank him for taking time from his busy schedule to attend in support of this announcement.

“As the Minister of Tourism and Transport, it is my responsibility to identify opportunities to grow Bermuda’s tourism and maritime sectors. This includes making the necessary legislative changes to strengthen Bermuda’s competitive position on a global scale.

“This Government has done that recently on two fronts: with superyachts and with our shipping registry.

“Over the years, research on, and feedback obtained from, superyacht owners and skippers visiting Bermuda, have revealed a strong positive opinion of Bermuda as a destination. This includes a positive view of our potential to become a preferred business service provider and venue for superyachts.

“In considering this opportunity, it was understood that amendments to legislation would be needed in order to support a sustainable superyacht industry in Bermuda. To that end, I am here to announce the introduction of legislation to create a tourism product that will make Bermuda more attractive as a destination for yachts, in particular for superyachts.

Minister Zane DeSilva Press Conference Bermuda July 11 2019

“The legislative changes will foster a charter yacht industry and streamline the process for obtaining permission to conduct a charter business in Bermuda.

“Specifically, the Superyacht and Other Vessels Act 2019 to be debated in the House, will make changes to our existing regulatory framework. These changes will detail the permits required for superyacht charters in Bermuda, outline the requirements for those permits and enable certain concessions and reliefs. For example, the Act will specify the requirements for the new transit, cruise and charter permits.

“The legislation also seeks to address a number of operational challenges that have historically impacted the local tour boat industry. Some of the legislative proposals will directly and constructively impact this industry to facilitate its commercial sustainability. For example, passage of this Act will positively impact the time it takes for local tour boat operators to receive fuel rebates.

“Full details of the planned legislative changes and amendments will be provided in the House of Assembly on Friday, however some of the Acts impacted as a consequence of this new Superyacht legislation are:

  • The Marine Board Act 1962
  • The Passenger Ships and Other Vessels Act 1972
  • Government Fees Regulations 1976
  • Miscellaneous Taxes Act 1976
  • Customs Tariff Act 1970
  • Customs Department Act 1952

“This superyacht initiative represents our commitment to diversifying Bermuda’s economy. It also provides the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] and the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA] an additional product to take to the market place for ultra-high net-worth individuals.

“In looking at the benefits for Bermuda, our analysis has shown a dramatic increase in expenditure by this visitor segment when superyachts have guests and/or their owners on board. And this speaks to the need to create a legislative framework that streamlines the experience for Bermuda charters so as to encourage their growth.

“Furthermore, this initiative has the potential to create employment opportunities for Bermudians working to meet the needs of the superyacht industry. These opportunities range from additional qualified crew for a variety of duties on the hospitality and yacht maintenance side while a yacht is in Bermuda’s waters to spa services and, yes, groceries.

“In addition to the Superyachts and Other Vessels Act 2019, Acting Minister Burch tabled the Merchant Shipping [Fees] Amendment Regulations 2019 last week as well. These Regulations, in tandem with the Merchant Shipping [Registration of Ships] Amendment Regulations 2019, which were gazetted earlier this week, take an important step towards enhancing Bermuda’s commercial competitiveness as a jurisdiction for ship registration, and support the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority [BSMA] and the BDA as they market and grow our ship registry.

“The Fees Amendment Regulations will allow the BSMA flexibility to develop an incentive programme to encourage ship owners to register their ships in Bermuda.

“The Registration of Ships Amendment Regulations will expand the prior restrictions on the qualifications to own a ship, which, in today’s world, is a competitive limitation. The Regulations will expand the list of eligible countries and open up opportunities to new customers.

“As was stated in the Speech from the Throne, this government will invite the Legislature, “to consider bills related to the continuing diversification of Bermuda’s economy, the growth of new sectors of the industry and the measures required to facilitate the continued growth in tourism” and, I might add, in our shipping industry sector.

“So said so delivered, and this government will continue working with all stakeholders on these initiative and others, to ensure that collectively all Bermudians can enjoy a better, fairer Bermuda. Thank you.”

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Comments (10)

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  1. BermudaBeach1 says:

    Congrats on finally getting this passed. The BTA has been pushing this initiative since before Americas Cup, Zane why has it taken you so long to get this done? This is the problem with Bermuda, everything takes forever. It has literally taken you 3years to pass this, blows my mind. Do BETTER, cut the red tape.

  2. 2Bermudaz 2bermudaz says:

    so you are announcing OBA legislation?

  3. toadinthehole says:

    so the PLP has now officially run out of ideas – it is relying on the AC legacy and proposed OBA legislation ….

  4. Martini anyone says:

    The hypocrisy of the current government and this minister in particular is absolutely beyond belief.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Well, you also need to remember that they have zero shame, especially this clown.

  5. wahoo says:

    What a F#$&ing joke! Wait til OJ starts to understand that this means more billionaires are coming. I guess now that PLP support targeting wealthy people (i.e. people with money to SPEND) it is a good thing. I didn’t get an invite to de roof wetting at de airport but guess who was there having shots. Doubt that any will be interested in purchasing property here which by the way would be a huge boost to our revenue.

  6. Kevin says:

    hey zane would this be somehow connected to the AC35 that you and the rest of your ace boys plp claimed wouldn’t help anyone but the rich and famous …wow interesting how we can switch directions and now its a great thing for us
    you 25-11 make me smile it must make you all sick to actually admit how your drive for power caused you to decry the AC35 knowing full well the OBA hit it out of the park
    Take note Bermuda plp are admitting the OBA knew what they were doing and it benefitted us and continues to do so

  7. Stormy daniels says:

    Still benefiting from OBa/AC.
    What about our bus service. You guys are clueless.
    Maybe some PGA players will start registering there golf clubs here.
    Wake up BDA

  8. Eve says:

    Press conference, photo op and not an inkling of what the cost is and no estimate of the ROI $$$$. Maybe the Opposition will question the ROI today…..probably not. Miss Vicky is in photo but Zane didn’t include her in his line-up welcome. There is little doubt that Zane has taken full control of the BTA and is targeting high-net worth individuals which on the surface looks better than BTA dance parties for those who could not afford Bermuda.

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