Tourism Statistics “Disappointing & Concerning”

November 12, 2015

“The recent tourism statistics which show a marginal increase in the 3Q of air visitors [138] year on year, are disappointing and concerning,” Shadow Minister of Tourism Zane DeSilva said.

“The only positive that can be attributed to these statistics would be the cruise ship increase of 7.3%,” said Mr DeSilva.

“The PLP has always recognized the importance of cruise ship visitors to supplement our tourism figures, even though during our term in government, the UBP/OBA refused to recognize the contributions that cruise ships and their visitors make to the economy.

“It is clear that our investment in Heritage Wharf has paid off, as without it, these numbers would be even worse.

“While the 3Q numbers may be up marginally, they only tell 1/3 of the story. Arrivals year over year for this entire year [2015] are down significantly from 2014, which was our worst tourism year in 48 years and was down on the 2013 numbers, showing a clear downward trend under the OBA government.

“Tourism is in crisis mode in Bermuda, and all the spin from the BTA and the OBA will not change this unless swift action is taken. As part of our tourism plan, the next PLP Government will -

  • Increase the advertising budget to ensure Bermuda is promoted sufficiently overseas in key markets with the view to increasing the number of vacationers to Bermuda
  • Strike advertising agreements with the major broadcasting networks in North America, UK and Europe to build on current markets, and increase exposure to new markets
  • Reassess bonus payments and compensation packages where there is deemed excess, will reinvest those taxpayer monies into further advertising
  • Reduce the Airport Departure tax to pre 2014 levels.

“The One Bermuda Alliance, in their austerity budgets, has continued to take money away from promoting Bermuda. Bermuda commercials and promotional material are virtually nonexistent in the international arena, yet the BTA has spent millions of dollars building a website that has yet to go live.

“We must get back to basics when it comes to restoring Bermuda as a tourist destination. We must act with urgency, and we must act now,” concluded Mr DeSilva.

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Comments (35)

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  1. Kevin says:

    give it a break you had no clue before you were the government , you had no clue while in government and it shows every time you open your mouth you have no clue today. Your plan was so flawed it will take years of good solid marketing not throw money at ads in all the wrong places as you did for 14 years again you wanted to play the shotgun approach… spread it wide and hope …..we don’t want your shell game again you won’t be back …until you can prove you have a solid plan and you wont just spend to spend

    • Will says:

      Your OBA are caught in the cesspit of their own sewage. The BTA is failing and the only thing selling is the red Kool aid that the OBA sheep keep drinking. The fact is your Premier has taken more photo opps of himself then what the BTA has taken of it’s own tourist product.

      • Zevon says:

        And you’d do what…bring back Patrice Minors? Is she still promising the Grand Hyatt in November 2011?

  2. Kangoocar says:

    Oh good grief zaney!!!! For once can you just be honest and admit the SLIDE from YOUR plp disaster has at least flatlined!!! It has now taken 2.5 yrs to stop the free fall and next year should be the first step to improvement from your parties incompetence!!! Sit back and let the pros handle the mess you created!!! FYI, it is better to say nothing Zane, and let everyone assume you are a fool, as opposed to opening your mouth and removing all doubt!!!!

  3. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    I just wanna truthfully know from any past or present politician.
    #1 what made you WANT to be a politician?
    #2 WHAT happened once you became one..?

    I already know the answers …just wondering how many truthful politician’s are out there.

  4. JONO says:

    Zane, Just imagine what the figures would look like if we didn’t have the BTA working tirelessly…

  5. gta says:

    Heritage Wharf was over budget and required multiple repairs after it was built… keep on spinning Zane.

  6. Show us the money says:

    Hey Zane…where’s our $20 Million!!! That all we want to hear from you…

  7. Tolerate says:

    lol, too funny. “We must get back to basics when it comes to restoring Bermuda as a tourist destination. We must act with urgency, and we must act now,” concluded Mr DeSilva.
    Now; like right now? So not over a decade ago? Just right now?

  8. jt says:

    We’re spending less for better results. Faster would be better, who wouldn’t want that?

    Be aware of how many times the PLP are criticizing austerity budgets. Its a dead give away as to how they will handle spending….and finish us off.

  9. Tony Brannon says:

    PLP Tourism Minister David Allen promised a 100 day turn around. “You can’t be serious” comes to mind.
    Allen delivered the Cruise & Stay flop, and the failed ECO village at Daniels Head.
    The PLP thumbed their noses at Gaming and Internet Gaming under Jennifer Smith. They (PLP) really had NO IDEA of the power of the Internet and were asleep at the wheel.

    Renee Webb promised a Tourism Authority….. It never happened.
    The BDOT used pictures of a beach in Hawaii to advertise Bermuda and paid $ 50k for it – what a joke.

    Tourism Minister Ewart Brown reversed the cruise ship policy resulting in all cruise lines having shows in port. As a result the local night life died. Ewart gave the cruise lines carte blanche to milk Bermuda for every last dollar, leaving almost zero for nightlife businesses.
    Ewart Brown gave away the island to Miami. The result Bermuda nightlife died…..

    Bottom line is the PLP had 14 years to make Bermuda a cool groovy place. Instead they failed and also chased 5,000 people off Bermuda with their myopic term limits policy thereby gutting many local businesses and indeed local Bermudian families who depended on the rental income. This was a blatant case of one Bermudian screwing many Bermudians. We must never allow this again. Lets not even talk about the Real Estate debacle under then Immigration Minister and current Speaker of the House Randolph Horton – Bermuda lost OPRAH !

    The PLP HOMOPHOBIA also resulted in Rosie O’Donnell taking her cruise charter to the Bahamas instead of Bermuda.

    The BTA have many irons in the fire. It takes time to rebuild tourism after the last Government basically torched the islands tourism with short sighted policy OR no policy.

    Bermuda does need to get moving and create things at a much faster pace. But as soon as the current Government puts forward ideas for progress, the PLP tear it to shreds. Bermuda has struggled to lead because the “Crabs in the Bucket” keep progress from happening. Now is the time to ignore the noise and make it happen.

    Stay at the wicket and the wins will come despite the haters and the politics. When we turn this island around we all win.

    • Coffee says:

      And to think that my opinion of this fellow was low after the most recent SSM petition initiated by him . Now for him to speak ill of the dead ! I’m afraid my respect for Mr.Brannon has flatlined .R.I.P my dear friend Sir David Allen , we won’t allow mean spirited individuals who have absolutely no respect for self to attempt to tarnish your sterling political career .

      • serengeti says:

        He was never knighted. You lot love rewriting history don’t you.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        So because somebody is dead suddenly makes them a great person?

        Like it or not David Allen not good as a tourism Minister. All talk. No clue. No action. Just because he was a part time travel writer did not make him an expert on running a tourism industry.

        Then came Renee Webb. Equally clueless in the business of tourism.

        The worst was yet to come. Brown used the position of Minister to travel the world on the Bermuda taxpayers dime. Tourism went into freefall.

        Want to see the record of tourism during the PLP years? Look at how many hotels, cottage colonys, guest houses etc. were available in 1998 vs 2012. How many were employed in tourism in 1998 vs 2012.

      • jt says:

        How did he speak ill of the dead?

      • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

        wow. what a stretch. pathetic of you.

        i think you need to switch from coffee to tea.


    • Uneathed says:

      Why didn’t you include the tourism stats before 1998? The air arrivals have been declining for the last 30 years and you only blame the PLP? That’s why this island is divided.

      Why not stay on topic as the article is about the dreadful BTA? How much are we paying Hanburry for producing nothing? How can you justify paying someone hundreds of thousands of dollars a year plus a “Bonus” for producing nothing!

      “Bermuda has struggled to lead because the “Crabs in the Bucket” keep progress from happening. Now is the time to ignore the noise and make it happen.”

      So you blame the PLP as the reason why the OBA are now failing in 2012-2015? What kind of mental case are you. The PLP doesn’t even have the majority seats in the House of Assembly, and they are simply the opposition. You can ONLY blame the active government for our current circumstances. And if the OBA/BTA aren’t adding to our tourism product and our numbers are still declining, then you can only blame the OBA because they created the BTA and hired the flop Hanburry.

    • Eve says:

      What the BDoT & PLP did is history and comparing it to the BTA is meaningless. The BTA needs to be judged on their performance not the failure of the BDoT & PLP. Tony dig out your video rants on tourism problems and failures and see if those same problems including politics aren’t still with us. A few of the faces have changed at BTA with a number of former BDoT faces still not getting the job done. BTA is counting on the America’s Cup to save their jobs but that won’t save Tourism!!!

      • serengeti says:

        So you’d rather not talk about the failures of the PLP. Got it. Not surprising.

  10. navin johnson says:

    Well written Tony and so very true…except when the island is turned around the PLP will not view that as a win….

  11. Northshore says:

    There he goes again, offering “NOTHING”! That’s what a Zane (PLP) Government will give Bermuda, “NOTHING”!

  12. Easy as Pie says:

    What to do with 25 million in advertising budget. Easy fix you dumb politicians. Take 2 million and buy free tickets for tourist to come here. They will possibly bring another family member, or secretary:-). They will fill up the hotels easy. Take the rest of the money and put into education and our Seniors. How hard was that.

  13. Kim Smith says:

    My father used to always say that when you are pointing your finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you!

  14. Justin says:

    Bill Hanbury costs us taxpayers much less than Ewart Brown ever did!

    • Eve says:

      So what if Hanbury costs taxpayers less than Ewart did does that mean he gets a passing grade for failure? You have no idea what BTA spends so in today’s cost the BTA could be costing more that Ewart. Taxpayers paid for Ewart’s failures and are fine with paying for the BTA to “stay at the “wicket…rediculous! No wonder Bermuda is in trouble on more fronts than tourism.

    • somuchless says:

      Bill hanbury is also laughing all the way to the bank

  15. serengeti says:

    He wants to borrow more to give money to overseas consultants. It’s 2008 all over again.

  16. jmz522 says:

    When most hotels are $400+ a night with zero all-inclusive resorts, and rental housing/AirBnB/HomeAway rentals are scarce, people will search elsewhere for a vacation.

    When there’s only a handful of direct flights to the east coast of the US/London and connections make a trip to Bermuda last 24+ hours, people will search elsewhere for a vacation.

    When scooters are the only non-walking autonomous mode of transportation and people can not rent cars, and have to pay 3-10x what they would pay elsewhere for cab fare, people will search elsewhere for a vacation.

    When only mid-sized/small cruise ships can dock in town/St. George’s, and people coming on the larger ships have to take mini-buses 45 minutes to experience Hamilton, people will search elsewhere for a vacation.

    The government has to focus on fixing our infrastructure to fix tourism.

  17. Sony says:


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