BTA: 2014 Total Arrivals Were “Relatively Flat”

February 10, 2015

Though most of our competitors experienced increases in air arrivals compared to 2013, Bermuda experienced an overall decline of 5.1% and total arrivals for 2014 were relatively flat with growth of 0.8%, the Bermuda Tourism Authority said today [Feb 10].

The BTA report summary said, “2014 was a year of transition for Bermuda Tourism. The year saw the creation of the Bermuda Tourism Authority; a transition from the way tourism was historically managed in Bermuda. Though most of our competitors experienced increases in air arrivals compared to 2013, Bermuda experienced an overall decline of 5.1%.

“This decline in air arrivals started in the 1990’s and has continued until the current date. This year’s decline can be attributed to various factors which will be discussed latter in this report. Total arrivals for 2014 were relatively flat with growth of 0.8%.”

The report continued on to say that, “Air arrivals were down year over year with lower demand in the summer and hurricanes in October contributing to a 5.1% decline. Air arrivals have declined 16.8% over the past 10 years.

“Cruise arrivals were up year over year by 4.7%. The driver behind the increase was problems with the port in 2013, decreased total calls to island in 2013, as well as additional arrivals in November and December of 2014. Cruise arrivals have increased 44.0% over the past 10 years.”

The full 2014 Visitor Arrivals Report follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (24)

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  1. I told you so! says:

    “This year’s decline can be attributed to various factors which will be discussed latter in this report”

    You can change the BTA name and the people that work there 10 more times. People don’t want to pay $400 plus a night for a hotel room which does not include food and drinks in the price. You can go Jamaica pay $400 for an all inclusive for that same price.

    • I told you so! says:

      Also ask your self who from Bermuda goes on a family vacation and pays $400 a night. Many of us head to Disney World during the summer months and rent a house with pool and game room for $150 a night.

  2. YoungBermy says:

    The tourist are bored as hell when they come here. They obviously want better things to do for the price they pay.

    • Business Man says:

      Forget the Pink winter discount rates..have a Pink year rate.
      Sorry but I travel all the time Bermuda has the same facilities and is much safer than the islands in the Caribbean. When you stay at those hotels they actually tell you don’t leave the hotel at night for your own safety.

  3. funny says:

    Well with very little flights what do you expect?? Nobody from the east cost which is 2hrs away willing to go South or West to get here. That 2hrs turns into 8hours or so.

  4. Terry says:

    Times have changed since the 50-70′s.
    Ecconomics on the east coast have also.
    Not that much disposable income and taxes take a chunk and as the previous commenters state; buy America and travel to the islands.

    I can spend a week from Carrola to Hatteras for $400 and have breakfast and a $100 for eating out or shopping and bring it back to the hotel and cook it.

    Rent those condos on the cliff cheap. It will be full year round.

    Building for the super rich will not pay off for the average man.

    BTA needs to…..well you fill in the blanks.

  5. stunned,,, says:

    for under $2000 – a BTA official could catch a plane to spend a few hours in our competitors’s airports and survey incoming tourists by asking one question: Why did you choose to come here instead of Bermuda?

    those answers would stop all this speculation, assumptions and theories about why people are not coming here.

    then, the BTA official should be empowered to offer paid vacations to qualifying tourists to spend time in Bermida. this would generate more bang for the advertising buck.

    • PRICE$$$$$ says:

      It’s about the price and you have been awarded the DUMB AWARD for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, 2029, 2030, 2031, 2032, 2033, 2034, 2035, 2036, 2037, 2038, 2039, 2040, 2041, 2042, 2043, 2044, 2045, 2046, 2047, 2048, 2049, 2050, 2051, 2052, 2053, 2054, 2055, 2056, 2057, 2058, 2059, 2060, 2061, 2062, 2063, 2064, 2065, 2066, 2067, 2068, 2069, 2070, 2071, 2072, 2073, 2074, 2075, 2076, 2077, 2078, 2079, 2080, 2081, 2082, 2083, 2084, 2085, 2086, 2087, 2088, 2089, 2090, 2091, 2092, 2093, 2094, 2095, 2096, 2097, 2098, 2099, 2100, 2101, 2102, 2103, 2104, 2105, 2106, 2107, 2108, 2109, 2110, 2111, 2112, 2113, 2114, 2115, 2116, 2117, 2118, 2119, 2120, 2121, 2122, 2123, 2124, 2125, 2126, 2127 if you think it’s something different!!!

  6. flikel says:

    Local response to declining or stagnant tourist numbers are always the same…’too boring’ and ‘too expensive’.

    As for the boring aspect, what should happen to correct this? We don’t seem to want casinos; we are not developing exciting enough attractions for the tourist…all we do is seemingly complain. The role of government is to not build tourist attractions, it is the role of business people and private citizens who seek an opportunity to make some money. Government can help, but they cannot take the lead. So why aren’t Bermudians investing in more exciting tourist attractions if this is so desperately needed? Seems we like to complain more than we like to actually do something.

    As for the price, the most significant cost in running a business is staff costs. Sure, hotel rooms can be much cheaper if wages are reduced. Who is first in line to take such a cut for the benefit of the country? Last time there was a three day protest at the idea of continuing furlough days for public sector workers. Good like trying to reduce the operating costs of a hotel by including some sort of wage cut among other things.

    • It’s so true, Bermudians are their own worse enemy :-( We’ve become so use to be catered to, (rather than catering to others) and subsequently this has out priced us from other tourist destination to the south…

  7. Coffee says:

    Relatively Flat , you say ?
    It was my understanding from your (BTA’s)prior reports that the Platinum Period was over !

  8. swing voter says:

    overpriced and worn out! Airlines are greedy as well….don’t need no BTA nor Tourism minister to tell us Tourism is D-E-A-D. Build the damn hotel resorts and let them work with the airlines to bring the price down to $1000 per week packages before Cuba opens up for business

  9. Larry Burchall says:

    To the BTA team,

    This is a refreshingly honest report and I applaud you for that. It presents unvarnished facts.

    Some comment for you (and others…)

    ONE – Air Arrivals. 491,000 in 1980 of which about 420,000 would have been ‘vacation’ people. In 2014, we had 141,000 ‘vacation’ people. So from peak to now, we’ve lost around 280,000 ‘vacationers’. That’s the key fact and number.

    TWO – Air Arriver unit spending is declining. Has been for years. I’ve charted it and know that it’s been seeping downwards down since the 1990’s.

    THREE – Bermuda’s switchover from a land Destination to a Cruise Destination. I’ve written about that several times and it’s good that you show it. On your chart it looks like it happened in 2006. Truth is, when you dig a bit deeper, it actually happened three years earlier in 2003. So Bermuda has been primarily a Cruise Destination since 2006 [eight years ago by your figures]; but since 2003 [eleven years ago by my figures.]. As I see it, continued marketing emphasis on Bermuda as a Cruise Destination works AGAINST all attempts to market Bermuda as a Land Destination. I said as much when I met with you earlier last year.

    FOUR – Airline seat capacity is still shrinking. It’s that capacity shrinkage that is keeping seat occupancy relatively high and stable. Bermuda is now served almost exclusively by small jets. Only BA routinely uses a big plane – and that only because of BA’s long haul. That slow shrinkage is dangerous.

    For the past five years, my consistent argument has been that we need to get vacationer Air Arrivals back up to a stable 250,000 level. That means adding up to 100,000 more Air Arriving vacationers which will have the total Air Arrivals sniffing at the 350,000 level. Our present hotel bed count can handle that without addition. However, if that arrival trend develops, the Industry will once again begin attracting profit seekers. Until then…?

    Anyhow, I think I’ve written enough for now.

    BTA, do keep up the honest reporting. You’re setting a fresh, new, and sorely needed benchmark.

    Larry Burchall

    • stunned,,, says:

      with all due respect, honest reporting should be a given. it’s the results that are sorely invisible.

    • Kiverja says:

      Did you actually read this report? It was VERY poorly written; full of grammatical errors and misspelled words. Clearly, no one PROOFREAD this important document before it was released to the public.

      This is utterly embarrassing for the BTA. Please do better in your next report.

  10. Common cent$ says:

    There needs to be a couple cookie cutter basic hotels on the island within 15 minutes walking distance to one of our great beaches. The hotel doesn’t have to look like grotto bay or south P. just a clean place to sleep with basic amenities- Internet, restarant/bar, ocean views, shuttle service to beach and town. Flat 199 room rate for basic and 299 for better ocean view etc. people just want a clean place to sleep and will spend the money out and about!! Younger people will be on board and spend the money at bars, restaurants, and activities once they are here.

  11. more than enough says:

    i suggest the bta execs take a pay cut equal to the percentage drop in air arrivals, what happenned to turning tourism around in 6 months, bill?

  12. more than enough says:

    i would also like to point out that most, if not all, future tourism activity between now and 2017, will be due to our winning the bid, or should i say, buying the event for 76 million plus, ie ac35. I, for one, think that the 100 million plus that is slated to go to the bta, over the next four years, would be better spent elsewhere.

  13. more than enough says:

    bta performance; ” relatively flat “, paychecks…unjustifiably fat.

  14. Terry says:

    Read the Virginia Pilot online. Business section.
    The Carribean and Cuba et all had almost 29 million visitors last year.
    Cruise ships played a major role.

    One Doc in Bermuda.
    Think outside the reefs Bermuda.