BTA: ‘Bookings Show More Promising Outlook’

February 9, 2016

“The tourism industry has reason for cautious optimism as advance hotel bookings for the year show a more promising outlook thanks to an increase in group travel and a blockbuster performance from the 2016 Pink Sale,” the BTA said today.

“The recent Pink Sale is estimated to bring $8.8 million to the local economy in direct visitor spending on the island this year after netting 4,428 bookings which equates to 19,900 room nights for local hotels – a 189 percent year-over-year increase,” the BTA said.

“The sale is a partnership promotion between the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] and the Bermuda Hotel Association [BHA].”

Example of one of the advertising creative used to promote the Pink Sale


“The latest Hotel Pace Report shows group travel up 10% over the next twelve months when measured versus one year ago. This report reflects business on the books at the island’s hotels as of January 31, 2016.

“The group travel category underperformed in 2015, largely a result of group sales not booked in 2013 and 2014. However, a re-strategized BTA sales effort and a re-organized BTA sales team is contributing to more positive results in corporate, social and sports travel for 2016.

“In 2015, the BTA team’s group sales effort booked 59 meetings that will take place in Bermuda, representing another $10.6 million in estimated spending on-island.

“As of July 2015, 164 new jobs were created in the hotel sector over the previous 12 months, according to government statistics.

“The 19,900 rooms sold in the 2016 Pink Sale almost triples the 2015 performance of 6,895 room nights sold [which was a 40 percent increase over 2014]. The increase was driven mainly by a slightly longer booking window and a larger travel window.

“Local hoteliers allowed visitors to book discounted rates further into the year than they have in the past. Typically the cut-off point for reservations is in April, but this time dates as late in the year as the fourth quarter were also available.

“The Pink Sale was originally planned to run from January 8 to January 25, but was extended to February 1, 2016 to leverage a Northeast snow storm and encourage further bookings.

“Fifteen local hotels participated in the promotion this year, the same number as in 2015. The Pink Sale offers visitors a 50 percent discount on hotel rates.”

A ‘Pink Sale’ Bermuda promotion showing following the blizzard that struck the East Coast last month:


BHA CEO Stephen Todd said: “Our members are very appreciative of the ongoing efforts on the part of the BTA to increase overall visitors to the island. We will continue to fully support the BTA as a key partner in the promotion of Bermuda as a year-round destination.

“We are starting to see the anticipated positive growth in future visitor arrivals and we applaud the ongoing efforts of the BTA in creating the overall awareness of the island in our key international markets, which will provide a much-needed revenue boost to the overall economy.”

Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Bill Hanbury said,“Group travel is critical to the profitability of hotels and tourism sector employment levels so having positive signs in this area is very important. We are cautiously optimistic because we’re climbing out of a big hole on the group travel side of the business and we have a long way to go.”

In January and February of this year the Fairmont Southampton, staved off layoffs partly because it had a solid foundation of group business, the BTA said.

“When we have group right in the wintertime it means people aren’t laid off,” Fairmont’s Regional Director of Sales & Marketing Shelley Meszoly said on the public affairs programme Tourism Forward.

BTA’s chief sales and marketing officer Victoria Isley said, “Having a foundation of business on the books far in advance greatly increases hotels’ ability to yield manage and increase profitability.

“We hope a better performing Pink Sale and a projected 10% increase in group sales over the next 12 months will lead to a stronger year for the hotel sector and the overall tourism economy.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. hotcrossbuns says:

    Let the haters begin…

    I’m sure someone will see this as very bad news for the Island. Heaven forbid that Bermuda would have a good year in 2016. That would upset someone’s political agenda.

    • mixitup says:

      I’m no fan of the OBA…. at all and I would love to see tourism numbers reach their highest…unlike your clan who refused to give Dr.Brown credit for his efforts in 2006-2009 when we hosted upward of 650,000 ppl…

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        You must have been front row at the Beyonce show! 650,000 must have been faith based tourism….

    • $1,000 a day and $80,000 bogus bonus.

  2. Tourism Advocate says:

    Kudos to whomever extended the sale to dovetail with the snow storm. The best marketing is about timing, which is why digital advertising is king.

  3. somuchless says:

    Obviously if the 50% off sale went well doesn’t that tell you that the normal prices are too high? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that answer.

    • somuchless says:

      Now Hambury is crying for an increase for his department. This guy is really sucking Bermuda dry.