BTA To Have Increased Revenue of $5.3 Million

February 20, 2016

The Bermuda Tourism Authority grant will be increased by $1 million, and the Tourism Authority Fee, which is payable by hotel owners to the BTA, will be raised from 2.5% to 5.5% to achieve additional revenue of about $4.3 million for the BTA, Finance Minister Bob Richards said in Friday’s Budget Speech.

The relevant portion of the Budget Speech said, “Since its formation in April 2014, the BTA has made significant progress in re-setting the Island’s marketing image.

“It has finally crawled out of business relationships that were less than advantageous to Bermuda and strengthened its ability to market the Island in an extremely competitive environment.

“With a new advertising agency, a new PR firm, new social media and website platforms, the BTA is well positioned in 2016 to achieve its aggressive growth objectives for Bermuda tourism.

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“One of the keys to achieving those objectives is securing enough airline seat capacity to meet demand. In the first quarter of this year, as a result of Government working closely with airlines and prudent BTA-airline marketing partnerships, airline seat capacity to the Island will increase eight per cent.

“This will provide greater access to the Island for vacationers and greater opportunity to lure business and leisure groups – a performance area that lagged in 2015 as a result of poor group sales before the start of the BTA.”

“Mr. Speaker, group travel is critical to a healthy tourism industry, providing it with a base of business that can be used to manage favourable pricing for individual vacationers.

“It is for this reason the BTA reorganized and redeployed its group sales team in 2015 – a change that has helped get group sales on the books for 2016 and 2017. These bookings are essential to maintaining the industry’s employment levels on a year-round basis.

“More cruise ships will visit the Island in 2016, including more occasional visits to Hamilton and St. George by smaller ships that attract visitors with deeper pockets. The schedule projects a 10% increase in visitors and a 12% increase in spending for an estimated $91 million in total spending.

“In keeping with its mandate to grow the tourism economy, the BTA in 2016 will allocate about $1 million to support entrepreneurs whose product ideas promise to enrich the on-Island experience for visitors and stimulate spending.

“To support its activities, the Bermuda Tourism Authority grant will be increased by $1million. In addition, the Tourism Authority Fee, which is payable by hotel owners directly to the BTA, will be raised from 2.5% to 5.5% to achieve additional revenue of about $4.3 million for the BTA.

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Comments (35)

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  1. Everett says:

    Hopefully the increased funding won’t be used for providing bonuses to staff for non-performance or for less than flattering tourism results

  2. stunned... says:

    doing less with more -

    • JAWS says:

      “”"”"”"”"”"“One of the keys to achieving those objectives is securing enough airline seat capacity to meet demand. In the first quarter of this year, as a result of Government working closely with airlines and prudent BTA-airline marketing partnerships, airline seat capacity to the Island will increase eight per cent”"”"”"”"”.

      Hate him :( or love him :) but didn’t X Premier aka Dr.Brown already do this! So can some email the BTA bonus crew so they know. I’m tired of the BullS they write.

  3. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    When will Richards stop the BTA paying their staff unearned bonuses?

    When will the BTA commence paying their own way rather than depending on taxpayer funding?

    • hotcrossbuns says:

      This is not taxpayer funding. It’s the visitors paying for this….you may not like them, but get the facts straight.

  4. Evie says:

    FFS stop throwing money at the BTA. Bill please go home tell Bob the experiment failed . Stop taking the taxpayers money. Also tell Bob don’t build the stupid airport there will not be a serious influx of tourist coming here maybe he will listen to you after all you are a old rich man lol lol SMH

    • bermygal says:

      This man came here to help this country clean up a serious mess and that’s the thanks he gets?? Bermudians are so ungrateful people! Bermuda is in the funk its in thanks to our politicians not Bill Hanbury.

      • bermygal says:


      • Only in Bermuda says:

        NO he came here to collect his $300,000 plus a year and laugh at your dumb statement!

        • bermygal says:

          So how much do you think CEOs make annually worldwide??? Then tell me how far from the mark he is??? Or as i will suspect is not???

          • somuchless says:

            The man is under performing. What don’t you understand?

            • bermygal says:

              How can you say that? The numbers i see says he stopped a decline after only a year of being in operation which to me is progress. Some more time then u can say he is or isnt underperforming

              • LOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

                Can you show me where you are getting your number from please?

      • Grizz says:

        If he came here to help get this island out of a mess I don’t think the bonus should have been a requirement to his contract! Let him EARN that hefty salary he’s getting! Bermudians are so ungrateful? What may I ask is your heritage…. Soon as people disagree with the heavy handed tactics of Bob we’re ungrateful!SMH…unbelievable!

  5. mixitup says:

    You can’t make this stuff up…smdh

  6. flikel says:

    More money…..more bonuses for poor performance.

  7. Whimisical says:

    A Private entity, funded by Tax Payers dollars receives an increase after UNDER producing…..Hmmmmm…okay……

  8. jrsmith says:

    please sir I wants some more….

  9. Jus' Askin' says:

    BTA hiring? ;-)

  10. somuchless says:

    Hambury and his team have failed thus far. First they get bonuses while the tourism numbers continue to drop and secondly they get an increase in funding. This is just backwards. Hanburyneeds to go. The only thing he’s done is collected a paycheck.

  11. voltage says:

    I do hope the BTA can continue to support and initiate wonderful experiences for our visitors and locals. They appear to be very active with the Railway Trail Project, Sports Tourism, Sailing, Americas Cup and Beach Development.

    Will the awarding of the Horseshoe Bay Beach contract generate revenue for the BTA and will when the terms of the contract awarded be made public?

    There are some posts being made on Facebook that raise serious questions about the terms, process and legacy of the Horsehoe Bay Beach contract.

  12. We must do better says:

    Can we as the taxpayers REFUSE to DONATE to the politicians pockets? How do you take from the already poor? This government does not have the peoples best interest at heart. If they did they would start with a pay cut.

  13. swing voter says:

    Billy Griffiths is over in Barbados increased their tourism intake by 15 percent. Probably earning about 125k salary. BTA seems to be overated but it seems not to matter as they all got bonuses for what?

    • somuchless says:

      Billy was actually visiting the other day. Things a much better in Barbados there than here.

  14. Grizz says:

    Can we see an increase in the Education Budget please? Did they get more money in this year’s budget? Constantly saying the children and education are the future…PROVE IT!

  15. some beach says:

    Which is payable…


    Me….give it to me….bta wants it but give it to me!

  16. some beach says:

    I want it more than them!

  17. some beach says:

    For five mil…I’ll sit on a corner in Manhattan and inform prospective vacationers how nice Hamilton princess is…ond reefs!

  18. Oh,I see now says:

    This BTA experiment is too little too late pull the plug already instead they throw good money after bad.Beep beep beeeeeeeeeeeeeep….someone please record the time of death.And yes,the PLP dropped the ball big time but two wrongs don’t make a right.

  19. Pravda says:

    How can one expect the BTA to make things happen fast enough when we are not offering all we need for our visitors.
    AMERICAS CUP won’t save us…. keep repeating that!

    CASINOS – when / where OBA ?
    When people come up with solutions in the interim it gets shot down. A floating casino would be perfect in the interim whilst awaiting any casino build.

    Bermuda is being passed by, so many of our our visitors cannot rent a small car. Even Sir Russell Coutts of the Americas Cup was heard on a British TV program: Russell Coutts (team manager for Oracle Racing) commented on a sailing program aired in the UK that a major drawback of being a visitor to Bermuda is that you cannot hire a car.

    On a recent TV show BTA chief Bill Hanbury said Bermuda has amazing beaches but our offerings & amenities were way behind that of our competition.
    The BTA had plans to completely rework Horseshoe Bay and after spending $120k on plans, the Minister of Works Craig Cannonier decided he would put out an RFP on the beach concession, completely overriding the BTA plans. Seems like some communication breakdown there. What was that all about ???
    Besides Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda needs to really step up the amenities.

    Local hotels are dragging their feet on entertainment offerings. In most cases it is shockingly presented with musicians having to set up in the corner of a room hoping to find a plug for their equipment. Entertainment is the last thing hotels care about and it shows with their utter lack of investment in properly presented entertainment.

  20. The Real says:

    The only reason they have increased the budget for them is because they already know there are going to be more tourist this year because of the pre America’s Cup festivities. That extra 1m is to cover their bonuses this year and next year I bet the BTA gets more. While our education system suffers.