‘Momentum Must Be Maintained And Expanded’

August 10, 2016

“After a 49 year low in air arrivals, the news that the second quarter of 2016 saw increases in air arrivals and visitor spending, is good news for our tourism sector,” and “this momentum must not only be recognized, it must be maintained and expanded upon,” Shadow Tourism Minister Jamahl Simmons said.

His comments follow after the BTA announced that vacation air arrivals were up 10 percent through the first six months of 2016 after two strong quarters of growth, saying the “68,462 leisure air passengers landed in the first half of the year make for the largest volume of air vacationers since 2008.”

Mr Simmons said, ”After a 49 year low in air arrivals, the news that the second quarter of 2016 saw increases in air arrivals and visitor spending, is good news for our tourism sector.

“It is our position that this momentum must not only be recognized, it must be maintained and expanded upon.

“We must ensure that our new visitors become return visitors, our business travelers become leisure travelers alongside their families and that visitors drawn by tourism events are enticed to return when those events are not occurring.

Mr Simmons said, “The best way to achieve that is to:

  • Continue to develop, enhance and modernize our product
  • Continue to expand air lift giving visitors more options
  • Expand support to our rental homes and guest house industry to diversify our stock of accommodations, increase bed numbers and provide lower cost options for visitors
  • Ensure that our beaches, our parks, our railway trails and other attractions are clean and ready for business throughout the year
  • Most importantly, we must ensure that our best and most unique asset; Bermudians, are supported and encouraged to participate in our tourism economy at every conceivable level.”

The BTA’s Q2 2016 Tourism Measures Public Report follows below [PDF here]:

click here banner Bermuda tourism

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Comments (29)

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  1. John says:

    … I’m confused, Aren’t the PLP the ones that were so adamant on rejecting the new modern airport, and so insistent on denying rental cars? Talk about continuing “to develop, enhance and modernize our product”

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      They also were responsible for years of failed tourism initatives and critical of the OBA Tourism Authority initiative. Guess what Mr. Simmons, you don’t need to make your suggestions, the BTA have already been doing all you said and more, and they were doing it from the beginning and with substantially smaller budgets than any of the PLP tourism ministries ever worked with over the last decade plus. They were doing these and more when you and your predecessor shadows were criticizing them as being a failed experiment and being a waste of money, and unfit for their pay packages. And now you still can’t admit you were wrong and are trying to make it look like you actually have ideas… Unlike the PLP initatives, the BTA actually knows what they need to do and it is because the OBA unhinged them from government meddling that they can do it.

      • All we need is love says:

        Yeah! but they don’t have Flip Flop going to London and singing “Bermuda is another world”.
        Surely that boondoggle resulted in additional visitors?
        On second thoughts, maybe not!

    • AD says:

      Oh it gets better.

      “Bermuda needs more tourists on our shores and in 40 months the OBA have not been able to deliver…”

      This is a direct quote from Jamahl Simmons that was made in April of this year.

      Oh and while we’re at it let’s just have a quick recap on Marc Bean’s thoughts on the BTA:

      A PLP Government would ditch the new independent Tourism Authority and take its work back in-house or make it find its own funds, said Opposition leader Marc Bean.

      “The current arrangement with the Tourism Authority will change and change immediately,”

  2. Man what says:

    Is this what it takes to be a politician? Bleddy hell mate, I could have said that.

    • Hey says:

      He has to put in a rebut for his boss to see, in order to keep that pay check flowing into his bank account.

  3. Zevon says:

    Another Earth-shattering observation from Mister Freakin Obvious.

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    I swear politicians open their mouths most of the time just to hear themselves make a noise. There is enough hot air over the Island without Simmons adding to it.

  5. Justin says:

    I think you can add another point in order to continue the momentum:
    - That the OBA wins the next election

  6. Peter says:

    Bermuda is a one time vacation for most folks being an expensive destination to get here firstly, then stay and dine is costly , most of our visitors come for special occasions i.e.weddings (which we failed to expand on by denying same sex marriages),to visit family residents and to attend events sporting and the like,race meets,sailing etc.

    • Bermudian Thinker says:

      Actually that is not true, Bermuda has one of the highest repeat clients and has for quite a long time. Though I think because the BTA are attracting newer audiences then this could decrease because it is their first time.

      • Django Tango says:

        So, why has Bermuda’s visitor numbers fallen off so dramatically in the past 20 years??

  7. I heart 441 says:

    It’s encouraging to see the Opposition Tourism Minister stating positve messeges of the current state of tourism. Looks like Hansbury is worth the large contract after all. I always said, by year three of his contract ( which is this year) if there isn’t a drastic improvement of our tourism product, he needs to go.
    Looks like money well spent. Kudos goes to him and his team.

    • Tomas says:

      Is visitor numbers in 2016 that are basically the same as 2013 a drastic improvement? BTA likes to compare 2016 against 2015 which was really a down year it makes them look better. What caused the 5,726 drop in cruisers in June? That drop should be ringing a lot of bells! NYC and Boston accounted for the majority of the air arrivals increase what about the other US markets? Hotel occupancy just barely showed an improvement and length of stay declined. If you want too see what ROI the BTA is giving you, you have to compare the right data.

      • Bullnose says:

        It’s more than 2013, not the same.

        More than any year aince 2008. Things are turning around and you absolutely hate it.

        • Tomas says:

          The Q2 2013 air arrivals = 75,013 and Q2 2016 air arrivals = 75,730. Can’t look at just the total visitor numbers we all know it is air arrivals that make up 85% of the visitor contribution to the Bermuda economy. Analyze the correct data before you hand out bonuses.

      • Man what says:

        If you hate to see your country thriving again, maybe you should just move somewhere else and take your twisted attitude with you?

  8. UNREAL says:

    My word, Air arrivals up.. Guess they’ll be more marching complaining about that;;LMFAO

  9. Unbelievable says:

    Who cares what the Shadow Tourism Minister has to say – we all know the game he’s playing at. Where is the actual Tourism Minister?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Getting actual work done, rather than blowing into the wind to hear his own voice.

  10. steve says:

    “people may hear your words, but the feel your attitude”

    • inna says:

      Next week he will be lambasting the govt for something else!

  11. Sage says:

    He’s as useless as a wet towel, and not much smarter.

    • Pride says:

      Wet towels are useful for putting out fires.
      Didn’t this guy mention watching things burn?

  12. Four says:

    Needs a fire extinguisher when he tàlks..

  13. Warlord says:

    Well thanx Jamahl for your 2 cents, now go away

  14. jt says:

    Forest Gump has words for this guy.

  15. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    you have just got to love the PLP !!! When the figures are good they predicted it and when the figures are bad they predicated it !!! When did they get so smart?

    They and their supporters say NO to any and everything that is put forward to enhance the “Bermuda product” yet they state “this momentum must not only be recognized, but it must be maintained and expanded upon”….. !! WOW – you can’t make this stuff up !!

    YES PLP – in spite of your continuous negative discourse, behaviour and rhetoric, Bermuda is slowly rising from the PLP ashes.
    You have gotta love it.