Bermuda Tourism Authority To Seek New CEO

May 13, 2016

The Board of Directors of the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] will begin its search for a new chief executive officer this summer, saying that “the goal is to identify a suitable successor to current CEO Bill Hanbury by the fourth quarter of this year. ”

Mr Hanbury is concluding his three-year contract at the end of 2016.

Board Chairman David Dodwell said, “Bill’s upcoming departure was not unexpected, as his three-year contract comes to an end with the BTA. We now turn our attention to implementing our succession plan. It is time for the BTA to move into phase two of rebuilding Bermuda’s tourism industry.

“The BTA Board wants to take this opportunity to thank Bill for his leadership of the BTA staff and his dedication to Bermuda. Bill has been instrumental in creating a first class operation, staffed with an experienced and dedicated team.

“In his tenure he has demonstrated positive results and forward movement of our tourism product. Phase one of BTA growth and development has been fully achieved. The structure, staffing and directional focus of the BTA has clearly demonstrated important results for the country.”

35-minute podcast with Mr Hanbury, he discusses a successor for his position at the end of the podcast

A spokesperson said, “Mr Hanbury was the organisation’s first chief executive officer and came to Bermuda with a wealth of destination marketing experience, having led high profile tourism organisations.

“In just a little more than two years Mr Hanbury, along with a dedicated team, built the BTA from the ground up – establishing world class standards that include full accreditation from Destination Marketing Association International, an unqualified audit and a highly motivated workforce.”

“When Bill leaves us in December, it will be on a high note,” said Mr. Dodwell. “We have seen positive results since the start of 2016 and we fully expect this trend line to continue throughout the rest of year.

“The future looks very bright for Bermuda tourism as we set the table for the America’s Cup and beyond. We feel strongly that this is a testament to his hard work and the efforts of his team.”

“The BTA Board will be diligent in seeking out the very best CEO candidate to continue the strong leadership of the BTA. The Board anticipates a robust process of selection and vetting of candidates against clearly defined criteria and objectives.

“To ensure a thorough process with best practices, the Board will be working with an agency, which will be named shortly to ensure pre-screening of all applicants. The Board will seek a diverse slate of candidates for the position.

“When a suitable candidate is found, outgoing CEO Bill Hanbury will work side-by-side transitioning the new CEO designate; with the changeover completed by December 31st, 2016.

The Board noted, “Bill is fully committed to this process of handover and will continue to work diligently throughout the year. There is much work to accomplish before his official end date as the organisation remains focused on strong results for 2016, especially as preparations for the America’s Cup ramp up.

“We are confident the organisation and all tourism stakeholders will continue to rally behind him as he completes the mission he began in 2014. Bermuda and our valued visitors deserve nothing less.”

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Comments (56)

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  1. mixitup says:

    Thank you Bill..for ah….ah…hold on, gimme a second……what was he here for again?

    • Onion Juice says:

      Getting paid a S!@# load of money for doing F!@#$ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

        If you two Onion Juice and MixutUp don’t know why the BTA was formed and he is here, it makes perfect sense as you still have blinders on.

        Let me explain: In comparison, lets see what the PLP helped Tourism, the Economy, and Bermuda.

        1) More Hotels closed down during the PLP years than ever before.
        2) St Georges had no Cruise Ships, No Hotel & the only golf course in the Eastern Parishes was closed.
        3)Faith Based Tourism was a failure and led to prosecution.
        4) Beyoncé Concert cost 4M to get tourists from the US , Canada and UK to fly here to see the same concert they could see in their own cities. How many tourists came to see this concert?
        5) PGA Golf – Millions spent with the hopes that Tiger would come.
        6) Millions Paid to Global Hue (a school friend of Dr Brown)after Dr. Brown took a ride of his PRIVATE JET. On top of that , it was renewed a second time without the contract going out to tender.
        7)Port Royal contract awarded to PLP member and went tens of millions of dollars over budget and all they did was move soil around. No significant building done.
        8) PLP Minister Forgot to sign a contract with Cruise ship contract which led to the cancellation of 12+ visits per year by that same company.
        9)Dockyard Cruise ship Pier was offered to a PLP minister. We all know that work had to be redone.

        I could go on and on.

        What has the BTA done? For the first time in decades we have new hotels being built, refurbished, and renovated. We finally have Casinos coming to Bermuda, a hotel being built in St. Georges and Cruise ships back in St. Georges.

        So…if you guys want to be haters, that is fine. However, if you just don’t get it…I’m sorry because you never will. You see, you can’t fix stupid!

        I COULD GO ON

      • no name says:

        agreed…there are many Bermudians on Island and living away that could have done a much better job,it should never have gone to this AMERICAN.

      • Teresa says:


        • Bill says:

          No name


          Please give us a few names.

          This should be good.

    • perspective says:

      In less than three years time, Hanbury has led the team at the BTA to work diligently with partners to turn around a tourism industry that has struggled for decades.

      1) Vacation air arrivals were up 13.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the highest amount recorded in the first quarter since 2008.

      2) During the first three months of 2016, major travel and tourism industry indicators charted positive results when compared to the same period a year ago:

      Direct spending by air visitors in Bermuda reached an estimated $20.4 million during the first quarter, a 4 percent increase

      The number of airline seats flying to Bermuda increased 21.9 percent in the first quarter

      Total leisure arrivals to Bermuda were up 31.9 percent when cruise arrivals are combined with vacation air arrivals

      Vacation air arrivals from the United States were up 28.4 percent overall

      83 percent of the growth is attributed to travellers younger than 45 years-old, marking the first time air arrival demographics have skewed this young in at least a decade

      Hotel occupancy grew 7.4 percent

      3) Hotel pace for the next 12 months is up more than 13 percent as of April 2016

      4) Bermuda has garnered more publicity in the last three years than it has seen in a decade

      5) Investors have more confidence in the future of Bermuda due to the work of the BTA. Check with any number of developers and ask them.

      6) Hanbury nurtured and invested personally in developing the BTA and the industry, under great personal threats and prosecution, which is certainly evidenced by many of these nasty posts

      The facts in the record books will show the influence of Hanbury’s leadership. It’s the future foundation for Bermuda to build on or tear down.

  2. lifetime says:

    What a waste!

  3. frank says:

    first of all he can go now
    the man for the job is glen jones

    • Raymond Ray says:

      We all know without any doubt that the Opposition,(Progressive Labour Part) supporters will / have opposed anything positive so why be surprised when seeing soooo many Dislike?

      • Teresa says:

        I’m not surprised at all.If you have nothing nice to say … nothing.

  4. Charlly X says:

    I Reallly want this job !! I dont even need the bonuts money !!! Lol .. Dont even have to show results to get paid bigggg buckkks . !
    This comment has no reflection on Mr Handbury ! Just the wet paper bag the oo b a set up telling us it will be fruitfull .!!! Have the results changed since they set up this cash cow ????????????

  5. Raymond Ray says:

    We who do appreciate all the work you’ve done / do wish to take this opportunity in thanking you.
    Mr.Bill Hanbury you’ve been insulted and unappreciated having encountered much opposition over these years but you’d,”stayed on course”. I wish to thank you sir for the work you’ve done…

    • Raymond Ray says:

      It’s unfortunate that there’s still many that can’t see beyond the tip of their nose… :-( Sad yes, but true.

    • Onion Juice says:

      I’ll stay on course for $1,000.00 a day and an $80,000 bogus bonus too.

      • You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

        You can’t possibly devote the time and effort required to do a good job AND concentrate on your full time job blogging for the PLP.

  6. swing voter says:

    Maybe we can apologize to Billy Griffiths and woo him back from Barbados. He tripled their numbers year over year!

  7. Felix says:

    Thank Mr. Handbury for getting tourism restarted. Thank you for your help in us acquiring the America’s Cup. Thank you for you and your team’s efforts, getting Cruise Ships coming into Hamilton and St. George (23 per year) for the next 5(?) years.

    The above commentators are smarting because you have done something positive regardless of the political obstacles you had to negotiate. They want to see Bermuda fail so they can regain the feeding trough and you have been a positive thorn in their crops. Thank you!

  8. ?? says:

    Glenn Jones

  9. Tony Brannon says:

    It was a pleasure to know you. You got to witness first hand the “inner workings” of Bermuda.
    Like Felix, I thank you for your service, and friendship.

    You have not doubt seen head on the road blocks that are really Bermuda’s achilles heel.
    Bermuda has a long way to go. But you started the ball rolling after years of ineffective, rotating leadership.

    You will get to go home and see your family!

    Someone posted a suggestion above about Glen Jones as your successor. I must say, I have huge respect for Glen. I hope he gets a shot to succeed you.

    I think it is time for you to come out with the other amenities Bermuda needs to offer. But I leave that to you!

    From where I sit I would like to see the following:
    2: Cut back in port entertainment offerings on the cruise ships so cruisers get off at night
    3: Marriage Equality – there is huge LGBT tourism business for the taking
    $: Casinos opened – How much longer ??

    Tony Brannon

    • Lol says:

      Ok you and your ultimate agenda on gay marriage. There is NO conclusive study to suggest gay marriage would magically boost tourism. You have nothing to substantiate this claim but yet you and others alike seem to think it can with no evidence. Please stop using that as an excuse to get gay marriage in Bermuda. You have countless places around the globe that have not legalized gay marriage but tourism is booming, I.e. Jamaica. The most anti gay place on the planet yet their tourism is thriving. I’m for equal justice and rights for all but trying to deceive people into accepting your lifestyle is totally wrong. And also I don’t see casinos being the answer neither. The problem is Bermuda is too stuck in their old draconian ways and will not change to cater to everyone instead of just rich white golfing tourists. We have so much more to offer the world but that is not being highlighted nor used because of this old mentality of no change and more of the same…

    • Onion Juice says:

      Toronto would be a good place for you to go.

      • You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

        While I don’t always agree with everything Tony says, I do know that he has worked hard for Bermudian musicians , entertainers and dedicates many years to entertaining tourists at Hawkins Island, the Pirate Parties, BIC events and more. Onion Juice, tell us what positive thing have you EVER done? What have you contributed and what experiences have you had that makes you believe that your negative opinion is even relevant?

        I’m pretty sure most people would rather you go! I doubt that as negative as you always are, that you have many TRUE friends. I doubt that even your family would want you around . You must drain them. Please, do us a favor, get on the next flight and go as far as you can.

        • aceboy says:

          He hasn’t done squat except sat on a wall complaining about how life is hard for him.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Simply hateful disgusting individual.

      • Smh says:

        Why don’t you do Bermuda a favour and head ther yourself. I’ll even drive you to the airport….I think A LOT of us would actually.

      • aceboy says:

        You need to leave things you know nothing about to those who do. Your two cents is worth a cent.

    • Ed Case says:

      You are spot on Tony. Agree on all your points.

    • Bill says:

      Tourism car rentals???

      You cannot be serious. There’s far too much traffic now.

  10. Tom Cooke says:

    Wait till you find out how much the hospital big wigs make. . And whatever Mr Hanbury will be chickin feed compared to those guys.. just wait…

    • Onion Juice says:

      And most of us are eating S!@#.
      Ill take chicken feed anyday.

      • You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

        You have burned thru your portion of the missing $800 million already. You shoulda saved.

    • MyIsland says:

      i second Glenn Jones

  11. Golden child says:

    Mr Handbury did not acomoplish all those things alone a good leader has good advisers and a good team behind them great work BTA

  12. Coffee says:

    Well , I tell you … Bermuda was good to Hanbury . No , Bermuda was very,very good to Bill . He delivered nothing .

    • You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

      And what exactly did the PLP and GlobalHue deliver? We know what they took, now tell u what they delivered.

    • sandgrownan says:

      OK…I’m not sure I agree, but I’ll bite. What would you do differently?

      • Coffee says:

        First off, I’ll give back that huge unearned bonus …

  13. Rick says:

    We have several good candidates and I think the the younger the better I will second Glen Jones , Pat Farin, Glen Smith, Mark Stearns, Alistar Jack, Michael Branco , Kristen White and many more that are truly committed.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      There are few that would truly do the job that needs to be done. What we need is a CEO who can think and look internationally, we can’t think about what we want for tourism, we have to be able to know what tourists want and find out how we can deliver it our way. We will need a CEO who can understand the power of how to present us on social media and the online forum. If we put a local in the CEO, just because they are the most talented local, then we risk failure a gain. The next CEO needs to be the talent we need to take us forward, I’m all for local, but more for the best we can hire, the future of our industry depends on it.

  14. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    The best thing Hanbury can do before he departs is to reduce the huge empire he built, which was approved by former Minister Crockwell.
    There is far too much duplication of effort taking place simply because of his hiring too many unnecessary staff.
    To make matters worse, the BTA remains dependant on taxpayers money.

    • sandgrownan says:

      So what’s your plan then? There is a plan for the BTA to become self sufficient, doesn’t happen overnight.

      But, I’m now curious. What is your plan for tourism? How are you going to “make it happen”? What are your specific goals and methods to achieve?

      Not expecting an answer.

  15. O.M.G says:

    I would like to say thanks so much for all your hard work. And yes I agree it’s all of you in the BTA that make things happen and you have all done it congrats to all the hard working staff you have. I have just been told from a friend that was in New York for the Americas cup last weekend They said that the advertising for BERMUDA in New York was unbelievable ever corner he turned there was a a poster of Bermuda. Bermuda we are in for something so big next year that you will never forget. I hope we can handle it. Let get our heads out of the sand and make it happen and make people proud of us if you want it you will get it. It’s for all BERMUDIANS. just look at the kids I enjoying the sailing programs at each end of the island ask them how they feel about it. Good luck in your future. Sponsored by the AMERICAS CUP.

  16. Thank you?? says:

    Thank you Bill for taking over half a million dollars, thank you for traveling all over the world on our behalf and thank you for breaking the record for the worst tourism numbers in 49 years. What would we have done without you….I bet the same thing we did with you….NOTHING! Are all his chiefs leaving too as they are just as useless.

  17. Mr. Dumb says:

    Glenn Jones? I think he’s fantastic at making bad look good but as far as improving a sinking ship I’m not so sure. We have many talented Black Bermudians that can lead the BTA. Some of them are names that non of us know.

    • Jiggs Bda says:

      Where have they been for the past 30 years

      • Mr. Dumb says:

        They’ve been overlooked for the past 400 years.

  18. sandgrownan says:

    This has been one the most disgusting episodes of Bermudian behaviour I have seen – and one that makes me utterly ashamed of being Bermudian. You negative pricks wouldn’t know how to spell tourism, and here we are with lots of events driving visitors, more cruise ships, more airlift and we’re on the verge of two major hotel developments.

    None of which would have happened under the utter sh*tshow that was the 14 years of PLP nightmare.

    Disgusting personal attacks.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I’m pretty sure that like most people with his background and education he’s GLAD to be out of here and back in his home country.

      I’m also sure that he will then tell anyone who’ll listen what he learned about ‘real’ Bermudians and why our tourism was destroyed and seems nearly impossible to right again .

    • Raymond Ray says:

      You’ve “hit the nail upon its head!” A perfect discription.

  19. Scotty says:

    Let’s try a novel approach next time, an individual who is educated and qualified in the field of tourism to be the leader. You would not expect a tourism graduate to run a reinsurance company and vice versa. Bermuda needs a visionary, not someone who runs focus groups and concludes we need pristine beaches and clean toilets. An empire has been built at the BTA and whilst intentions are probably honorable it has not produced one concept worthy of sustaining our product, in a highly competitive international environment.
    Kristen White, Glenn Jones et al. are entousiasts but are neither qualified nor capable of running this show. Bite the bullet, shake up the BTA for lack of results and downsize to an effective tourism-driven group. One major benefit of an Authority is the ability to fire the players when they don’t deliver the goods. And please Mr Dodwell, hands off in the next selection process, Nine Beaches speaks volumes!