PLP Thanks BTA’s Bill Hanbury For His Service

May 15, 2016

The Board of Directors of the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] recently announced they 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.

In response to the announcement, Shadow Tourism Minister Jamahl Simmons said: “The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party takes note of the news that Mr. Bill Hanbury will not be renewing his contract as CEO of the BTA.

“While we have questioned his performance regarding transparency and for generating record lows in air arrivals, we thank him for his service to Bermuda and wish him well in his future endeavors.

“As BTA Chairman David Dodwell referred to a “succession plan” in his statement announcing Mr. Hanbury’s departure, we anticipate that Bermudian candidates for this post have not only been identified, but have been groomed to step into this vacancy.

“With the conclusion of Mr. Hanbury’s tenure, there is an opportunity to select new, fresh, dynamic leadership and it would be appropriate for a capable, qualified Bermudian to take the lead on turning around Bermuda’s Tourism performance.”

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  1. Luis Suarez says:

    Hilarious hypocrisy! 18 months ago they said Bermuda Tourism was ‘in crisis’ (Tourism expert Zane Desilva).

    Ok, we’ll say it again, PLP…YOU CAUSED THIS.

    Just another opportunity to make a miserable political point where none was needed.

    • Its me again says:

      Can you read?

      He didn’t say anything about the guy doing a great job he simply thanked him for his service.

      Even David Moyes got a thank you when he got the sack..

    • Teresa says:

      My God really a thank you.I have never heard one possible comment in 3 years from the PLP.
      It would be better to say nothing.

    • rightt says:

      Suarez you missed the goal by a mile. PLP didn’t cause that… Dreamer

    • 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. This shouldn’t be about politics. It’s the future foundation for Bermuda to build on or tear down.

  2. Verly says:

    A very gracious statement from the opposition.

    • steve says:

      @verly-I will agree the headline alone would imply a mature send off by a responsible political party. However when you read the article,the PLP appears.

  3. Lois Frederick says:

    Thanks?? How insincere. Seems about 7 months too soon.

    • Longtail says:

      Exactly – clearly the PLP want to see Hanbury out the door and the sooner the better. Perspective’s post says it all: the PLP do not want Bermuda tourism to succeed under the OBA’s watch.

  4. steve says:

    Hey Simmons- why are you offering an insincere ‘best withes?ie: “despite lack of transparency and generating record low air arrivals” I have a suggestion- why dont you for once withhold the parting shots and instead use this opportunity to put forward that experienced,brilliant 50K a year CEO you have been grooming that will return tourism to the golden years. Or at least offer something constructive ,like an idea for example.You are an empty vessel

    • Its me again says:

      So he can’t say thank you?

      • Onion says:

        He didn’t say “thank you”. Read what he wrote. More deplorable behaviour from the PLP.

        • Its me again says:

          “While we have questioned his performance regarding transparency and for generating record lows in air arrivals, we THANK him for his service to Bermuda and wish him well in his future endeavors.

          You didn’t read what he wrote

          • Toodle-oo says:

            The art of euphemisms is being able to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they will look forward to the journey.

            Some people can recognize it , others don’t have a clue .

          • Onion says:

            I’d like to thank you for your comment. It’s a shame that like so many of your other comments it both missed the underlying message and added nothing to the overall discussion. We are all dumber as a result of your choice to post and wish you all the best in your posting future.

      • Just the Tip says:

        If some one is doing a s#!t job why the hell would you thank them? How sincere is that? like come on really

    • Bermy says:

      I agree that was way more of a parting shot than a genuine thanks. Also it was just a way of saying that the next BTA CEO better be Bermudian or the PLP guns will be firing.

      On the other hand, we say revitalizing tourism is an important part of this countries long term success. So the organization charged with rebuilding a key part of the country’s economy that will provide jobs to many people should choose its leader from a limited pool. Why? How does it make sense to provide one job to a Bermudian rather than find the best person to rebuild this pillar of the economy?

      Personally, as someone genuinely interested in Bermuda’s long term success that doesn’t have a political agenda, I’d rather pick from the best of the best globally for this key job. I’d go so far as to make it exempt from any work permit requirements.

  5. You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

    Jamahl, where were you words of concern regarding transparency during the original PLP Jetgate conspiracy? Why were you so silent when Dr. E. Brown took a seat on a fellow alumni members private jet prior to the awarding of the Department of Tourisms contract? Why were you so quiet after GlobalHue was awarded that contract? Why were you so silent after GlobalHue was awarded that contract for a second term despite dismal results (worst in 30 years) and more importantly, without that contract going out to tender!? You can’t plead ignorance, it was on CBS and Business Insider. Just Google it. You know what, let me save you the time.

    I await your reply.

    • James R says:

      He’s just warming himself up for when someone is hired in place of Glen Jones. That’s what he’s hinting at.

      Please don’t get me wrong, Glen Jones is excellent at what he does but does he have what’s needed to run the BTA, without running himself into the ground and continue to do the excellent work he is doing right now?

    • Hurricane says:

      Can’t fix stupid and your stuck on it……

    • Its me again says:

      You know he was in the UBP then right?

    • Rhonda says:

      Obaers red meat…the truth is not in them..

    • Marge says:

      Jamahl,is ajoke…. and most Bermudians know all about his switching from party to party !!!!!

  6. You Cant Fix Stupid. says:

    As a fellow Bermudian with children, I would love to see a Bermudian at the forefront of this group. However, I would much rather have the best person for the job.

    Why is that some people are thrilled when we hear that Bermudians fill top positions overseas but spew hatred when someone takes a position here?

    Do you think that there are no people in the UK, the US and Europe that can kick a football? Many Bermudians are getting paid very well for taking jobs that locals in those regions can fill. Many Bermudians are given scholarships for a variety of reasons at many schools overseas. Shouldn’t they be given to local kids?

    We have (or have had)Bermudians earn opportunities in the NFL , NBA, USSF, UK Football, on Broadway, the Culinary Arts, hospitality in Fashion, Media, Music, Business and more. Why? Because those individuals worked very hard to set themselves apart from others. They were picked because they earned it, not because of a perceived birthright. You see top companies and organizations want the best talent they can find. Many companies, have talent scouts or relationships with trade schools, colleges, Universities and other organizations to ensure they get first pick.

    Jamahl, if you truly cared, when Mr. Hanbury was hired to help us to climb out of the disaster the PLP put us in you would have been encouraging Bermudians to step up their game, educate themselves, broaden their horizons, improve themselves so that every jurisdiction (not just Bermuda) will be seeking our local talent to promote their destination. Instead, you have taken another cheap shot, and low blow.

    We are getting tired of your cheap shots. Its getting old. yawn. Going sleep now.

  7. campervan. says:

    Bill Hanbury worked very hard for Bermuda and rose above the cheap shots that have been aimed at him throughout his tenure.
    The above statement by Jamhal is merely the latest unimaginative and played-out example of a cheap shot.

    Thanks Bill for all your efforts.
    Thanks for nothing Jamhal for your snarky comments.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    You’re kidding me right?

    Talk about hoodwink? It’s the PLP right here. You’d have to be blind to think they are genuine at all in this instance.

    The PLP is playing pure games.

  9. Eve says:

    I believe Jamahl is telling the BTA Board of Directors they better replace Hanbury with a Bermudian.

    • aceboy says:

      Yup. That is exactly what he is doing. It is close to a threat.

  10. mmm says:

    If someone did a graph on the number of hotels and guest houses that began closing in the 1990,s to this date along side of arrival figures, year by year, the whole of Bermuda can have a better idea of how things have been going. Lantana, Willowbank, 9 Beaches, Sonesta, Mermaid, Banana Beach, Cora l Island Hotel, Palmetto Bay Hotel, Holiday Inn, I can,t remember them all but um sure there are at least a further 20 including Glencoe and Inveruri e. Ask the owners of these properties why they closed, also what are the challenges to the present owners. Blue Horizons and Harmony Hall are no lon ger tourist accomodations. Some properties did close before this recession began. Renovations can be very expensive, plane fares very expensive, where is the live entertainment? Where are the local acts. What can we do to make Bermuda a better choice to our USA and Canadian , than other islands? I remember someone won a car because they came up with the best slogan for road safety. We want to be known as a quality destination, friendly people and a rich culture. The BTA may want to host a talk show from time to time where they can invite folks to call in with their ideas on improving the tourist product.

  11. SUNFISH says:

    Put a cork in it PLP!

  12. Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

    You can’t fix stupid I agree with everything you said except that it is easy for Jamahl to plead ignorance…very easy…

  13. aceboy says:

    What Bermuda needs is another Platinum Period. Or a 100 day turn around. Wow. I can just Fell the Love.

  14. O.M.G says:

    Ya like he really means it. Give me a break those lot talk out of both sides of there mouths. You and your party need to spend more time finding ways to help get your people back to work instead of being so negative all the time. You lot chased the people out try chasing them back if what you all say you are for the people.

  15. Average Bermudian says:

    fey ?


  16. yes i know says:

    I think bob Marley wrote a song for you..
    I definitely think hes trying to switch sides of the house. Something s are better not said.

  17. Coffee says:

    Bill ,Who ?

  18. frank says:

    simmons was a bad choice for the party the guy is not loyal he will sell his soul to the highest bidder I don’t trust this guy

    • Marge says:

      Simmons,is not a trust worthy guy….. and most people who have had dealings with this joker know what he is all about…..

  19. wahoo says:

    The plp are truly a sinking ship if this is the best that they have. What a crock, doesn’t the taxpayer pay you (Jahmal) a similar amount and what have you done to earn it?

    How many visitors were effected by the recent civil disobedience? plp did nothing for tourism when they were in charge and are managing to hinder it when they are not in charge. You need to get some better talent or we will not have an opposition.

  20. Rhonda says:

    OBA propaganda fool me once shame on you…..

  21. Awake says:

    This guy continues to make a complete fool (I wanted to use other, more fitting words) of himself, although, he’s just showing how much sense he seriously lacks. Anyone can read between the lines here…even the blind! The PLP would be wise to get rid of him ASAP. He has done no favours for them or for Bermuda for that matter!

  22. Triangle Drifter says:

    How shallow can you get! Better to stay silent & not say a word than to clearly show yourselves to be hypocrites & offer meaningless thanks.

  23. Unbelievable says:

    You’re kidding me right?

    Talk about hoodwink! It’s the PLP right here. You’d have to be blind to think they are genuine at all in this instance.

    The PLP is playing pure games.

  24. Cow Polly says:

    Mr Hanbury has done an amazing job for Bermudian tourism and anyone who knows what a dismal state it was in, will agree. What he has managed to do in his tenure is truly phenomenal. However, instead of resting on his laurels and hanging around to reap the rewards, he’s handing it over to another (probably Bermudian) to collect all the kudos.
    Quite honestly, I’m amazed that Mr Hanbury has hung around so long given the venom he has had to deal with by the very same people who are now thanking him.
    Yeah…… how transparent is that Jamahl?

    • Coffee says:

      Are you one of Dunkley’s cow ?

      • Cow Polly says:


      • wahoo says:

        need milk?

      • Anbu says:

        Thats all u got coffee? I hope the next one is from a country as far away from bermy as possible just to stick it to u pee el pee trolls. Get crackin simmons we all know what this guys really about anyway. What a chip bag

  25. obasellouts says:

    Terror across the world has begun to do wonders for Bermuda tourism.

    BTA is riding the wave.

    That’s the true reality.

    • Unbelievable says:

      What planet are you living on?

      • obasellouts says:

        Old Earth.

        Take a look at tourism figures across Europe , then come back.

  26. Pathetic Politricks PLP says:

    We see right through this–at least you can say that the opposition’s rhetoric is transparent!!!!!

    As a Bermudian I would like to SINCERELY thank Mr. Hanbury for blocking out the noise of the opopsition and keeping your focus on the end game.

    You have achieved a great deal and the opposition know you did and they hate it as tourism died on the vine under their leadership. Bermuda’s tourism prodct is now in gentle recovery thanks to YOUR leadership.

    Thank you for not letting our small mindednes get in your way.

    You are and have always been a true gentleman and are a friend to Bermuda.

    Thank you.

  27. Unbelievable says:

    The PLP don’t know what they are talking about. Ever. They expected the BTA to produce positive results so quickly it was ridiculous. It didn’t help that Hanbury said he could produce those results in 6 months but there you go. The BTA have been trying to turn around a country’s tourism image that was in decline for so many years but they don’t care about that. They just care about writing some kind of false narrative.

  28. Bermuda says:

    Here I was anticipating a breath of fresh air in the form of something positive finally coming from the PLP, but the statement actually reads more along the lines of “good riddance”. Personally, I think that Bill Hanbury has worked incredibly hard to begin building a brand for Bermuda and I think this is one of the few posts for which an “expat” view (or certainly the view of one very well travelled and cultured Bermudian who has spent significant time overseas) is best suited. We wasted years trying to turn ourselves into what we as Bermudians look for in a travel destination during which time we continually degraded our unique selling points as this is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what our key tourism markets are looking for. People want something DIFFERENT to what is on their doorstep. I sincerely hope that Mr. Hansberry’s successor also appreciates this fact and continues to build upon his hard work.

  29. Double S says:

    They didn’t seem to care about a Bermudian heading up the DoT when they had foreigners running it for years in the form of Anne Schutte and Billy Griffiths.

    That’s right PLP, play on your base’s xenophobic hatred.

    It is doing wonders for your support, but nothing for Bermuda. But then again you only care about the former as this particular MP has already stated it might be ‘fun to watch Bermuda burn.’

  30. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Talk about a ‘thank you’ with the back of your hand, it is evident from the entirety of the statement that the PLP doesn’t mean ‘thank you’, so why did they even try to say they are saying it??? It is also evident that the PLP are trying to rubbishy exactly what has been taking place since the BTA got up and running. Were they in the lead as soon as they got out of the gate… no. What they have been doing, and what the BTA executive have been shaping the BTA to do, is redefine how we market ourselves. It has taken time to fruit, and so long as the next CEO can embrace and keep this momentum of positive innovation in the BTA going, hopefully these positive first quarter results can keep going. The BTA has embraced social media in a greater fashion than the BDoT ever even tried to come close to, they have looked to actual tourism markets like sports. They acknowledge the fact that we can’t compete in the mass market tourism, so they have targeted the quality market tourism. And now that we are just be seeing the fruits of those labours, all the PLP can say is that there now needs to be a Bermudian to turn things around… I would love for it to be a Bermudian, but I care more for Bermuda to say that whoever gets the post next needs to be equally innovative, understand the international tourism markets and well connected to the international tourism markets. To do what’s best for Bermuda, nationality must be the last consideration to their qualifications.

    • Was Mr. Griffiths a Bermudian? says:

      Please correct me if I am wrong–wasn’t the previous senior person at the BDoT a non-Bermudian?

      If not–then what’s all this fuss about now??

      Doesn’t seem to make sense.

  31. hotcrossbuns says:

    Hanbury should get an MVP award for putting up with the BS from all sides. Most people wouldn’t have lasted three days let alone three years. Go ask Bermudians in the tourism industry if the business is turning around. The answer is “hell yes”. Thanks Bill for helping make that happen. I know how much the unions and the PLP will thank you also for putting their members back to work.

  32. O.M.G says:

    This island was highlighted so much last week at the Americas cup in New York. Really who cares who is getting our island back on it feet. You should be bloody happy so it will help put people back to work. How much money did we spend on adviser when the PLP were in and what did we get from them a big fat 0.

  33. some beach says:

    Please stop thanking people…we’re just getting on our feet from your graft.