Shadow Minister Comments On Tourism CEO

January 27, 2014

Shadow Minister of Tourism Wayne Furbert said the PLP welcomes Bill Hanbury to Bermuda and wishes him much success in his new role, however said “like many Bermudians, we are disappointed that a Bermudian was not selected in this role.”

Yesterday [Jan 26] the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] announced that American Bill Hanbury will serve as the BTA CEO, effective today.

He will report to the Board of Directors, which consists of Chairman David Dodwell, Phil Barnett, Paul Telford, Jessica Mello, Allison Towlson, Peter Everson, Earl Graves, and Allison Reid.

Mr. Hanbury is an industry veteran with over 25 years of senior management experience, including serving as the CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area, and President & CEO of Destination DC and the American Experience Foundation.

Mr Furbert said, “The Progressive Labour Party welcomes Bill Hanbury to Bermuda and wishes him much success in his role as CEO of the Tourism Authority.

“He brings a wealth of experience to this post and we look forward to working with Mr. Hanbury as we seek to return Bermuda to its rightful place as a global tourism leader and innovator.

“Like many Bermudians, we are disappointed that a Bermudian was not selected in this role,” added Mr. Furbert.

“We encourage the Tourism Authority to take advantage of the vast array of talent and experience found within the people of Bermuda and insure that Bermudians play a key role in shaping the direction of our tourism industry.

“Diversity and the hiring, training and promoting of qualified, capable Bermudians must be a top priority.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. wondering says:

    there is no such thing as a welcome which is followed by the words “however”, “despite”, “but”, “disappointed”……

    • Joonya says:

      I get “dissapointed” everytime I drive past Grand Atlantic..

      • frank says:

        rather than use grand atlantic they are prepared to just let it rot politics
        I went in all those units I did not see nothing wrong
        the government needs to stop being so dam stupid and use those places

        • Susie Quattro says:

          Um, the PLP let them rot empty as well you know, all while Weeks was lying to us about how many dozens had been sold.

          The current government is trying to find someone interested in using them for something. Bottom line, it’s a $60m waste of money.

          • Moving Forward says:

            EDUCATIONAL TOURISM. Use them as dormitories for Bda College students from overseas and expand the college’s programs.

          • MAKE MY DAY says:

            That is only about $100 bucks for each Bermudian!! Not too bad!!

        • Use them for what? says:


          If there was nothing wrong, why weren’t they selling? Could it have had anything to do with price? Or appearance? Or …

          So back to the question. If they can’t sell them, what are they supposed to use them for?

          • Kermy, Miss Piggie, Fozzie & Gonzo says:

            Maybe they are not selling because the government did a great job getting everyone to believe they would fall in the ocean

            • Story Teller says:

              Or more than likely the price wasn’t and still isn’t reflective of market values.

              The 3 bedrooms were priced at nearly $700k. You can buy a single family home for that price nowadays. That means you can own a house and some land. Or you can buy a small 3 bedroom condo, with no closet space and no elevators, on the top of a development.

              But it is much easier to blame someone else. “It Wasn’t Me” should be the PLP’s new mantra.

  2. swing voter says:

    “Like many Bermudians, we are disappointed that a Bermudian was not selected in this role,” added Mr. Furbert

    So who would you suggest run this new, untried concept? Someone with DOT experience and track record I guess. Hey Furbert, have you ever heard the story about the old dog learning new tricks? Its gonna take time to bring everyone up to speed on this one.

  3. Godson says:

    Politricks again…a non Bermudian trying to sell Bermuda? This sound like a Ewart Brown tactic.

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      No, no, no!!! This American has a ton-of-experience at being successful at what he does best – and a “record” to prove it!!!

      Let’s wait and see – show some patience!!

      It is definitely a much, much better “conceived idea” than what E. Browne did a few years ago – when he gave one of his US mates in Chicago $40 MILLION to market the Island with very little to show – for that outrageous amount of Tax Payer $$$ wasted!!

  4. Charter says:

    Do you want them to provide a job for a single Bermudian – or to hire someone who can make the industry successful so that it can hire many Bermudians?

    • godson says:

      Some Bermudians are so gullable…I’d bet my house this fellow will resign before his time is up..any bets? Lol..we do it to ourselves all of the you really think he will “train” a Bermudian to take over when he leaves? Wake up

  5. Amaraaal says:

    The best man for the role should get the job! The appointment should NOT be based on being a Bermudian or an expat.

    • godson says:

      Was this “job” advertised? Or was this position given? Surely you are smarter than you seem..this man is a business associate of Dodwell…smell the coffee…

  6. Vote for Me says:

    First – I am surprised that the Tourism Authority could not find a Bermudian to ‘sell Bermuda’.

    Second – given all that Dodwell has done to ‘set the course’ for the TA, what happens if Hanbury thinks an entirely different course is preferred?

    Third – is there at least a Bermudian understudy for the post? 64 is younger than it used to be, but what is the succession plan?

    Fourth – do we know how much his total compensation is? A recently left CEO was paid handsomely from the Bermuda purse and it is only now being revealed that they did not do such a great job.

    Fifth – Dodwell has effectively set the course of the TA and he is an experienced Bermudian. Do we not have anyone of the caliber of Dodwell in our midst?

    • more than enough says:

      hence, the real reason a outsider was hired.
      this allows dodwell to essentially, remain in control.
      colud you imagine ‘mr tourism’ himself, having to answer to another bermudian?

      • more than enough says:

        this also insures the ubp, sorry, the oba remain at the helm.

    • Understudy? says:

      If you actually bothered reading they made it very clear that they would be looking for a Bermudian successor.

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      Too bad that Jim Woolridge was not 30 yrs younger!!!

  7. Joonya says:

    I get “dissapointed” every time I drive past Grand Atlantic…

    • Joonya says:

      Wow, it seems there are 2 idiots who were happy with the PLPbiu wasting $60,000,000 of money we didnt have, and happy with it rotting away as we speak. You should pay the interest bills then.

  8. Concerned says:

    Here’s a test question?

    Can anyone name any time in recent history that one party has supported the other one?

    Anyone say “good job” without a “but,…” immediately following it?

    Unity, my a**!!

    We need to clean up this rock together and quit wasting time, money and energy “poking holes in the other man’s boat”!

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      What the Island needs and what it gets – are unfortunately two very different things!!! There will always be a certain segment of Bermudians – who will never get-rid-of the very big *chip* on their shoulders!!

      And we ALL know who they are!!!

  9. bluebird says:

    NEGATIVE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE,trying to play the old “RACE” card are we,well it just don’t work does it.
    Our “ECCONOMY” is still going “DOWN” for the “FIFTH”(5) year in a row.
    Wayne please go put your head back where the sun don’t shine.

  10. neverODDOreven says:


    Scenario: Friends stop by your place unexpectedly……you’re happy to see them….it’s been a long time but you’re on your way out the door…….you say “I’m so glad you came….welcome to my humble home BUT I wish you would have called……we’re just on our way out…….we’re so disappointed we can’t spend more time.

    Scenario: A couple comes to Bermuda for their honeymoon and the weather is supposed to be bad all week……they hop in a taxi and the driver says……”Welcome to our lovely island BUT it’s too bad you didn’t come last week it’s probably going to be raining the whole time you’re here I hope you’re not too DISAPPOINTED”

    Scenario: “Welcome to tonight’s much anticipated talk, HOWEVER our guest speaker has laryngitis.”

    Scenario: “Welcome to The Gap DESPITE the look of our mannequins we actually do carry clothes in your size.”

    There IS such a thing as a welcome which is followed by the words “however”, “despite”, “but”, “disappointed”……

    • Concerned says:

      My Example for neverODDOreven:

      “I’ve read through you’re scenarios and you really make some thought-provoking points…


      you’ve simply pointed out a few tailless mice.”


  11. Take it Easy! says:

    Wayne Bermudians do have the top job 8,000 of them! So stop moaning!

  12. Triangle Drifter says:

    Predictable response from ex Minister Flip Flop. As if he has a stellar record to base his opinion on.

    If Mr Hanbury’s ideas are different from the TA I am sure they will be listened to by the TA & changes made if they are good ideas. That is what he gets paid big bucks for, not doing the same old same old because that is what was always done before.

    So what if he is 65. He has had that many more years of experience to learn what works & what does not. That is a whole lot better than somebody fresh out of university with a whole bunch of ideas & no experience which is as bad as having a Dr as Tourism Minister or a hotel property guy in the operating room.

    Then there is the old favourite trotted out, “Why was a Bermudian not hired?” Well, we have had a whole string of Bermudian Directors at DOT, all of them proffessional civil servants with no real world working experience. Look where they got us.

    This is a new direction of how to do it though it does have a flavour of ‘back to the future’ of the old days of the Trade Development Board which comprised of Bermuda business people who had a stake in the success or failure of tourism.

  13. Tourism Rehab Man says:

    From the Bernews and other media articles it appears that the BTA has managed to identify and lure one of the best candidates for the job.

    And what a task you have sir. Monumental even.

    Given the connections, experience and expertise that this man must have cultivated over the years he can only benefit the ailing tourism industry of this island. As they say there is nowhere to go but up once you have hit the bottom.

    In the meantime, Mr. Hanbury, please try and block out the perpetual whingers and xenophobics of this island. Just do what you have to do to try and put BDA back on top her tourism game and lets get locals interested in being employed in this once lucrative sector. Ensure to appoint a qualified Bermudian to shadow your position and impart your knowledge and rolodex with this person.

    At this point in time, given the fact that tourism is only 5% of our GDP as of now, we need all the help and professionals we can get.

    Good luck BTA, you all will definitely need it.

  14. Scoalsy says:

    Like we need another Flip-flop Furbert in tourism NOOOOOOO thank you

  15. One Comment says:

    Mr. Hanbury’s CV in the article and when researched online shows he retired in September 2013 to as he said “Spend time in his home in NYC and read more books and spend time with family etc” his CV shows significant depth in the convention business and attracting business groups to DC to use the city’s convention business.

    On balance, since he has no experience with Island economies, cruise ship visitors or casinos then this means the future of our Tourism is in attracting convention business, hopefully as one of the 3 or 4 different key “Tourist Markets” that we will rely on in the future, so diversification would mean:

    - Convention Business
    - Summer travellers (Cruise ships and by air)
    - The Gaming/Casino proposition (which Minister Crockwell et al are also investigating)

    My Hanbury is clearly an asset to Bermuda but should have been hired as head of the Convention Proposition, not Head of the Tourism Authority at age 64 when all his contacts and experience is in ONLY ONE of the revenue lines that Bermuda needs to tap into and grow.

    Sorry, just One Comment from someone who isn’t qualified to do all of that there!

  16. Sat Dish says:

    Flip Flop. Glad it wasn’t you. Give the man a chance( you had yours and blew it ) and if there was a QUALIFIED Bermudian I am certain they would have been interviewed. You make your selection from that not because the person is Cuban or American, pink or green, communist or entrepreneur, Democrat or Republican, etc. You choose the best candidate for the job and task him with getting on with it and to be ACCOUNTABLE.

  17. San George says:

    The CEO and the Board should be evaluated on the basis of results. If they don’t get the targeted result they should resign.
    Man up!

  18. Smh says:

    It don’t matter who the CEO is whether he local or not tourism is DEAD in BDA we have nothing to offer besides “Pink Sand” oh boy!!!

  19. Family Man says:

    Travel agent to the pyramids.

    He was as successful as Andre Curtis.

  20. Malachi says:

    As I read the first few words I began to think that Mr. Furbert was in full agreement with the appointment, until, of course, the “BUT”.

    Reading on, it also seems that Mr. Furbert is quite confident that the appointee has all the skills and experience to carry out the role.

    What Mr. Furbert failed to do, however, was to name those suitably qualified Bermudians to whom he felt should have been considered.

    As such, I have to believe that Mr. Furbert’s statements regarding his disappointment that a Bermudian was not selected, were made to merely to appease the party faithful.

    It would be, of course, refreshing, to hear an Opposition member give a one hundred percent acceptance of any action or statement by the incumbent Government.

    • Malachi says:


      SHOULD READ:..”Bermudians whom he felt should have been considered.”

  21. cicada says:

    It makes sense to get someone who knows the clients well and who can help us sell the Bermuda experiences the clients want. This job is not about catering to locals or what they necessarily think is something of interest. We live in a different culture than the East Coast folks, and an outside perspective will probably help.

  22. Bermuda boy says:

    Flip flop, Go away, just go away.

  23. somuchless says:

    We should be glad it wasn’t Billy Griffith.

  24. ok.. says:

    Seriously you judge a candidate based on their nationality? What next skin color? Maybe the problem with tourism is the fact that Bermudians were selected in the past. Look at the state of tourism its horrible. The level of service on the island is one of the worst destinations for travel on the western hemisphere considering the money and luxury people live compared to most islands. It’s just not at a North American standard. You get more for your money else where and they smile for your business not automatically include the tip on service.
    The tourism industry needs to infuse some fun and things to do on the island walking around dockyard for an hour to look at t-shirts and dolphins in a small pool just isn’t world class. You need fresh ideas from the outside.

    “Like many Bermudians, we are disappointed that a Bermudian was not selected in this role,” added Mr. Furbert.

  25. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    The New Four Seasons Grand Atlantic.

    Take a lesson from Dubai they made something out of nothing but the desert sand.

    Congratulations we now have our very own 2.5 star Resort and fitness and sport club in the making, Presently the buildings are costing tax payer money just sitting there.

    Do you may have some positive recommendations of your own to put forward or is it “Just say no “.

    First of all let’s look at the property , Next other assets which are ripe for
    conversion or transformation to a HOTEL COLLEGE. A home away from home that must be affordable.

    Beach front; Ocean view; cool summer breezes; Flat land; Beach; Bus stop; Near by Restaurant; and Gas station Supermarket ;15 minutes from the city.

    What is needed, lots of palm trees; Private Swimming and wading pool; Play sand pit; Children’s Climb set: Tennis court; Volley ball court; surf boards; Enclosed Play ground ;Beach umbrella and lounges and swim gear; out door dance floor; and stage; BBQ; Bermuda flag poles; Golf cart to beach; taxi service and more.

    Re paint every building with a different pastel color, avoid pink and green . All buildings get Bermuda names names. Security camera. Convert/ modify lower units to Reception office/ gift shop; scooter rental outlet ; Live in Management; laundry and storage; continental breakfast and take out unit; convert remaining ground floor units to special needs; Furnish all Visitor units, no junk.

    Young People as Host or Hostess……… not chamber staff.