PLP Encourages BTA To Support Cup Match

July 16, 2015

[Updated] The decision by the Bermuda Tourism Authority to drop their tourism booth at Cup Match citing budgetary constraints should be very disturbing to anyone who sees the value of this historic holiday to our tourism, said Shadow Tourism Minister Zane DeSilva, who encouraged the BTA to “reverse course and allocate some of their taxpayer funds” to the booth.

Mr DeSilva said, “The decision by the Bermuda Tourism Authority to essentially boycott Cup Match by dropping their tourism booth at the St. George’s Cricket Club citing ‘budgetary constraints’ should be very disturbing to Bermudians and anyone who sees the value of this historic holiday to our tourism product.

Video of fans celebrating Somerset’s Cup Match win last year:

“While the BTA couldn’t find the money to market Bermuda effectively or to support Cup Match, there didn’t seem to be any ‘budgetary constraints’ when it came to paying out nearly half a million dollars in bonuses to Bill Hanbury et al. despite the BTA producing the worst tourism numbers in 48 years.

“Cup Match matters to Bermudians and matters to the countless number of visitors who have benefited from the hospitality and education provided over the years through the tourism booth at Cup Match.

“We encourage the BTA to reverse course and allocate some of their taxpayer funds, even at this last minute to this vital part of our social and cultural heritage,” added Mr DeSilva.

Update 2.19pm: In response, the BTA’s Glenn Jones said, “The BTA is aware of the Bermuda Hotel Association’s decision – it will not manage a visitor stand at the 2015 Cup Match, as it did in 2014.

“Our product and experiences team will reach out to the BHA in the coming days to better understand the reason for the decision and to ensure both of our organisations have confidence visitor desires are being met.

“Ultimately, the goal is to provide the kind of visitor experience visitors tell us they want, and at this year’s Cup Match we believe we are well on our way to meeting that objective.”

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Comments (48)

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  1. Bermyman says:

    Why do you need a tourism booth at Cup Match? just ask around!

    I love how they spin it as a Boycott? really!

    • Smh says:

      Ok but if you look at the budget and grants given by the BTA you will see that the money for Cup Match was dropped in addition to just the booth… while certain others were increased….rugby …executive bonuses….Americas cup… Things that make you go “hmmm.”

      • Think about it says:

        Maybe that’s because we don’t have a problem getting tourists to the island that weekend, and a more effective use of the money would be to focus on attracting winter season visitors.

  2. somuchless says:

    But they have enough to pay hanbury his 30% bonus. Crazy.

  3. Lois Frederick says:

    Cup Match will be just fine without a BTA booth there. Not quite sure what the real advantage of having a booth there would be for anyway. Tourists at Cup Match would have already decided to come to Bermuda and would clearly already know about Cup Match. Money can be used more effectively to attract new Tourist to the island.

    Carry on BTA, you are doing a great job changing how Tourism is marketed and the results will be seen in time. After multiple decades of decline, for anyone to demand that the BTA turn things around in a year is showing everyone that the naysayers intentions are not about Bermuda’s best interests.

  4. Huh says:

    Suggest Mr. DeSilva step up – give back some MEGA-MILLIONS from PORT ROYAL GC for Tourism set up at CM!

  5. Raymond Ray says:

    Though I’m not a supporter of the P.L.P. I must give credit where credit is due I commend Shadow Tourism Minister Zane DeSilva on his suggestions and the reasons for requesting them e.g.”Cup Match matters to Bermudians and matters to the countless number of visitors who have benefited from the hospitality and education provided over the years through the tourism booth at Cup Match.
    We encourage the BTA to reverse course and allocate some of their taxpayer funds, even at this last minute to this vital part of our social and cultural heritage,”

    • jt says:

      Cup Match should be heavily promoted by the BTA but I see little benefit in having a booth at the event.
      I do question any bonuses given to BTA employees and would be interested what criteria were used to determine that they were warranted.

      • C says:

        Cup match to us is like Martii gras is to Louisiana

  6. Maritimer says:

    I love how mr. Desilve uses the words “boycott” to further confuse and influence the public against he BTA. While perhaps it isnt wise for the BTA to remove their booth, Mr Desilva implying that the BTA is boycotting Cupmatch is ridiculous and irresponsible.It just goes to show that the PLP and Mr. Desilva especially, will go to any lengths to smear the current government and put roadblocks up wherever they see progress happening. The only thing they care about is getting back into power and lining pockets with taxpayer money once again

    • Not exactly says:

      Misquote, misinform, repeat. Standard PLP playbook.

    • Johnny says:

      Maritimer- how would you describe this situation. How much money does it take to run a booth at Cup Match? Can’t be that much. At most it should be 2 days wages for a couple of people (We should already have the tent and all the advertising parephanilia needed) and the booth rental fee.

      With the amount of money we are paying Mr. Hanbury, he should volunteer his services for at least 1 day.

      Actions like these are why Bermudians feel the OBA doesn’t have our best interest at heart.

      • Local says:

        If the PLP had our best interest at heart they would focus on more important issues and enjoy the unity that Cupmatch provides the island every year.

        • stunned... says:

          …better still, why don’t the PLP manage a booth for 2 days. surely the coffers of Alaska Hall could handle it. put the money where the complaints are.

  7. Navin Johnson says:

    So if I understand Zane correctly he wants the Tourism Authority to have a booth at Cup Match promoting Cup Match Bermuda…aren’t’ The tourists already at Cup Match so why have a booth? Am I missing something or is this just another useless press release?

    • Retired says:

      Tourist are at the match however the booth will give our guest a resting place and learn about the game. Both Clubs assigned 90% of the grounds to persons who purchase a camp site for the two (2) days leaving others to walk around.

  8. PBanks says:

    That’s a bit of a surprise for them to not have a booth at an event of this magnitude.

    Overseas visitors definitely attend Cup Match and it’s a good opportunity to promote the island and encourage them to be repeat visitors in the future. Strange, this decision.

  9. SMH says:


    I am shocked by this decision.

  10. brigadooner says:

    While I agree with the PLP’s comments that the BTA should continue their support of cupmatch, I completely disagree that they have not been able to effectively market Bermuda. We have had some great press lately thanks to the BTA.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      As I’d mentioned, give credit where credit is due. “We have had some great press lately thanks to the B.T.A.”

  11. Islander says:

    Perhaps 14yrs of misspending hadnt taken place the cuts necessary 2013 – 2015 to make things work in and for this Island BTA would be able to do that and more like many other Companys thus the loss of many programs for our children seniors tourists and unemployed and homeless you guys still dont see it

    • Johnny says:

      But we have millions to help fund a boat race.

      • Person who knows a little says:


      • Onion juice says:

        And $1000,00 a day PLUS $100,000 bonus pay for Hanbury, and just to think Cup Match is celebrating emancipation of slaves in Bermuda and we are being robbed again.

      • Local says:

        Correct. Arguably one of the most important sporting events in the world. It will bring many more millions here to Bermuda.

  12. Jeremy Deacon says:

    It is not a boycott! Absurd use of an emotive word: typical of the PLP policy to spin it like this. Noise noise noise ….. so tiring.,
    Don’t blame Bill Hanbury for the contract he was given – and spare some thought for the work he has been doing untangling the contractual messes created by the PLP Government

    • C says:

      What work Next year we have less cruises
      Planes are empty
      To much is being put on the A C if that’s where u r going

      • Raymond Ray says:

        @ C: Not true…there are more cruises for 2016. And there will be more planes with the A/C. Lets not forget the up-coming jobs for Bermudians that wish to work!
        After reading/listening to the program laid out for this years B.T.A. and the public involvement for the Cup Match along with the other events taking place there really is a “positive”
        Many are afraid of “change” and that’s why Zane is attempting to mislead the vast majority…But them that can read/think for themselves well see it’s all

        • Raymond Ray says:

          Oh before someone goes off accusing me of being mixed up allow me to explain. Zane made a remark prior to B.T.A. stating publicly via media what it is they and others will be doing.So naturally I was mislead by Mr.Zane DeSilva’s statement also

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Check your facts, we have more cruises for next year, and there is expected increase of cruise spending locally of around 10%

  13. Alvin Williams says:

    Why are we surprise the BTA is the brain child of this government who are bound and determine to create a Bermuda without the Bermudian; the recent announcement that Bermudians do not have a birthright to their country shows just where their mindset is. So it would be natural for the BTA to attempt to sell Bermuda as tourist destination without the presence of the Bermudian which Cup-match is quinquennial Bermudian.

  14. Kevin says:

    Mr Desilva could sponsor it , call it the Port Royal / Island Construction booth

  15. Truth says:


  16. Michael says:

    We advertise for our guests to come to Bermuda and celebrate Cup Match with us. During the lead up yo the annual classic, we talk about it, we share our team spirit with our guests, we encourage them to go to the game, which colors to wear and which day to go. As a long time Tourism professional, I, like many of my colleagues, encouraged our visitors to go to the Tourism Camp, where they could sit for a bit, enjoy a little food and libation and have someone explain the basics of the game. I believe there has been a hugh effort to encourage a mingling of residents and locals and share our culture. I know that our visitors enjoyed a tremendous benefit by having a visitors Camp at the Annual Classic. The BTA has encouraged us to give our guests a Bermudaful time; I encourage Mr Jones to explain the reason for the lack of continued support. I am sure there are a number of individuals, groups and businesses that would gladly step up to the plate, I am one of those. BTA, please continue this worthy tradition or at least lend your professional expertise in coordinating the visitors Camp so that others can give that Bermuda Spirit to our visitors.

    We invite them to the party and then don’t make them feel at home.

  17. Believe says:

    How much could it possibly cost to have an information booth at the game ?

    Surely those who were recently paid bonuses should be capable of manning the booth. While it is a holiday, most jobs where salaries plus bonuses are paid, have an assumption of reasonable overtime being required. For the BTA, this is surely an example of such.

    There is no need for something of the scale of previous years but some knowledgable insight of the history of the holiday etc should be provided (in fact the clubs should also have a representative present to tell the story of the clubs). I am pretty sure some local residents could gain some knowledge also.

    Perhaps, MP Burt could provide complimentary swizzle for our visitors to sample…

  18. Maddog says:

    Cup Match in Bermuda was voted as one of the top 10 summer vacations ACROSS THE PLANET by National Geographic, hullo???? a opportunity to leverage?

    • brigadooner says:

      And it only made that list due to a whole lot of effort by the BTA

  19. Terry says:

    Rum all around.
    You don’t need a booth at a cricket game.
    The tourists are already here and if they want to go they do. They are already aware.

    Bonuses to whats him name is neither here nor there. It’s already budgeted.

    Zane is just spouting off at the mouth again. Poor guy.
    Have to let his troops he is still alive et al.

    Maddog. Your comments are already addressed. That why they are there.

    Lord people of Zane.

    Find something constructive………..Damn….Zane is in construction.

    Can’t wait for the first storm to brush by.

    They will blame it on OBA.

  20. C says:

    How about Mr Hanbury give up half his bonus to sponsor the booth

  21. Sid says:

    Spending tourism dollars on advertising at any local event is a total waste. Tourism spending should be advertising to potential visitors overseas, not to people already on the island.

    The best way to attract tourists is to make it less insanely expensive to holiday here. If they got rid of the BTA and used the savings to cut the hotel occupancy tax, that would attract the most tourists.

  22. general admission says:

    Why can’t the tourists sit in the area generally open to the public and interact with locals? Bermudians are all ambassadors of our Island and should be happy to explain Cup Match to our visitors (and answer any other questions or provide information about Bermuda that would improve the visitors’ experience). Over Cup Match people are especially open and friendly and so such small exercises of personal responsibility for our tourism product should not be much to ask. If really necessary, have an usher in that seating area to answer questions and support the foregoing.

  23. Onion says:

    How Stupid can one be , a waste, and with the crown it will be so hard to get to, and the little visitors that are there, would be guest of locals, and the hotel guest, more likely a one time visit to cup match.. if they are that into it they will find the information

  24. Local says:

    Mr. Desilva… Boycotting something is when an entity decides to not participate in something because they want to prove a point or are upset with something… The BTA is simply not participating at a mainly local attended event because of budget constraints… Hardly a boycott. Pick your battles Mr. Desilva and please attempt to address the real probelms that face this island. In otherwords… Check yourself.

  25. Cow Polly says:

    So the BTA hasn’t ‘abandoned’ or ‘boycotted’ Cup Match as Mr DeSilva dramatically announces, it’s changed its tactics and provided a different type of visitor experience hmmmmmmmmmm

  26. LJBDA says:

    Oh my goodness. Can’t this government get just one thing right? You just couldn’t make this stuff up.

    • Well... says:

      1st of all the BHA who runs the booth at Cup Match decided not to have the booth/stand due toe lack of visitor participation last year.The BTA ran a transport service for those visitors… No stand, no transport…. The cricket club has known for some time that the BHA were not running a stand, and never approached the BTA to take it over…. Personally I think the host club should sponsor the “visitor stand”