Bermuda To Host Three World Triathlon Events

December 15, 2016

[Updated] Bermuda has been chosen to host three International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series events in 2018, 2019, and 2020, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism announced today, calling this a “huge win” for the island.

Speaking at a press conference, Tourism Minister Michael Fahy said, “I have some very exciting news to share with the people of Bermuda.

“We found out this week that Bermuda has been chosen to host not one, not two, but three International Triathlon Union World Series events in April 2018, 2019, and 2020.”

23-minute video of the full press conference:

“This is a first for Bermuda, and a huge win for all of us,” said Minister Fahy, who added that events are expected to bring approximately 1,200 competitors for each event, and the races “will be broadcast around the world.”

The BTA coordinated the bid’s particulars in partnership with the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Triathlon Association and other relevant parties, with Bermuda’s own Flora Duffy — the reigning ITU World Champion — supporting the bid. Edmonton was selected to host the 2020 Grand Final.

Flora Duffy speaking via phone at the press conference:

BTA CEO Bill Hanbury said, “It’s a very, very special time for Bermuda from a tourism perspective. We’re now in the eleventh month of continuous growth in the tourism economy. This announcement today is just going to add to that.”

World champion Flora Duffy spoke, via phone, at the press conference, saying: “It’s going to be incredible. I grew up watching the race that Bermuda had in the 90s; for it to come full circle and for me to be racing on the roads of Bermuda in a couple of years time is really incredible.”

This video, showcasing the island, was shown as part of Bermuda’s bid to host the events:

BTA Chief Product & Experience Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn said, “In just three years, Bermuda has transformed from an emerging sports tourism destination to a pre-eminent sports tourism destination.

“This successful bid for three years of World Triathlon Series events is one big part of a much bigger whole when it comes to sports and adventure tourism.”

Update 11.49am: Minister Fahy’s full statement follows below:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for joining me today where I have some very exciting news to share with the people of Bermuda…

We found out this week that Bermuda has been chosen to host not one, not two, but THREE International Triathlon Union [ITU] world series events in April of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

This is a first for Bermuda and a huge win for all of us. These world series events bring with them 1,200 competitors to each event which includes 150 elite athletes, not to mention their friends, family members and supporters.

We all recall the fanfare around the arrival of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in October 2015, and I think it caught many of us off guard just how much of a buzz was generated.

I don’t think we fully realized until it got here just what to expect, and I would say it far surpassed many people’s expectations. I think we all felt the excitement – it was in the air.

It impacted our businesses, our economy, our tourism, afforded opportunities to entrepreneurs testing their wings before the big event in 2017…and it was exhilarating to watch right in our backyard.

Picture that – for three consecutive years – and that’s what we have just won – except in the world of triathlons, instead of sailing this time.

These week-long world series triathlon events will be broadcast around the globe, including the United States where NBC Sports is the broadcast partner. This will ensure coverage of Bermuda on televisions around the world. The proposed courses for the triathlon will highlight Bermuda’s natural beauty on both land and sea.

Also, from a tourism perspective, April is a month where we have room for growth, so these events will offer a huge boost for the island in that month and will result in significant visitor spending on-island.

Put simply, this is the biggest event Bermuda has landed since the America’s Cup. This will take Bermuda to the next level of sports tourism and is a wonderful way to follow in the wake of the America’s Cup.

But what makes the icing on the cake, is that we will be able to watch our very own Flora Duffy, the ITU World Triathlon Champion, compete here, in her homeland. I look forward to cheering her on every step of the way. Flora is a wonderful ambassador for telling Bermuda’s story as a perfect destination for athletes and adventure travellers.

Getting to this point has been a cross Ministry partnership between the Ministries of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, Economic Development and Social Development and Sports who all assisted in preparing Bermuda’s bid for these events. So I want to thank all those involved for making this possible. It has taken a lot of hard work but we got here…and the view looks pretty good from where I’m sitting.

To Pat Phillip-Fairn and Philipp Schmidt, I want to say ‘thank you’; it was a pleasure working with you in Madrid as we submitted our bid for the 2020 International Triathlon Union World Grand Final.

While we did not win the bid for the 2020 Final, we learned a lot from the bidding process and taking part in these events has solidified Bermuda as part of the ITU family.

I can also announce today that we will be bidding for the grand final in 2021, taking onboard what we have learned from the previous bidding experience.

Bermuda’s blessings of a temperate climate, seaside beauty and iconic geographic location have certainly made us a coveted playing field for some of the world’s greatest contests.
Thank You.

Update 11.49am: BTA Chief Product & Experience Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn’s statement follows below:

Good Afternoon,

In just three years, Bermuda has transformed from an emerging sports tourism destination to a pre-eminent sports tourism destination.

This successful bid for three years of World Triathlon Series events is one big part of a much bigger whole when it comes to sports and adventure tourism. Let’s take 2017 for example which will be a colossal year for the island… easily the biggest in Bermuda’s history as a sports destination.

  • Already there are 27 sports tourism events on the 2017 calendar – and that’s just in the first six months alone
  • One of those events is the 35th America’s Cup, which is five weeks of sailing activities and excitement that will solidify Bermuda’s position as the Sailing Capital of the Atlantic
  • Of the $800,000 in investments the BTA will make to support the ideas of local event planners and entrepreneurs next year, at least 30 of those visitor experiences are in the sports and adventure category
  • And sports training is an area we have seen an explosion of demand – particularly among high school and college athletes. We expect that demand to grow even more next year

A couple of weeks from now we’ll welcome 100 visiting swimmers who will train at the National Sports Centre aquatics facility. There is similar demand among other sports including lacrosse and rugby, track and golf.

Without question these advances are exceptionally important because we’re attracting younger visitors to Bermuda, critical to the sustainability of the country tourism industry.

And we’re growing business in the shoulder season, a period when we need high volumes of travellers to keep those working in the tourism industry on the job year-round.

Three years of international triathlon events in April is consistent with the BTA’s overall sports tourism strategy and is consistent with the objectives of the National Tourism plan.

Today I hope the tourism community, and the country in general, are proud of the progress we’ve made in sports tourism and, more importantly, I hope they’re excited about where we go next as a truly world class destination for sports and adventure travel.

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Comments (22)

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  1. wahoo says:

    What is in this for Onion Juice?

    • With de new Government in place, this will be very welcoming, de Bermudian taxpayers want to thank you for spending our money wisely.
      Cant say much fir de airport.
      Ya @$$€$$are still gonna get voted out.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Which would speak to the anti-intellectualism of blind nationalism. It would be foolish to vote out a government that has helped turn around the economy, created the vehicle that is revitalizing our tourism and has reigned in the uncontrollable government spending; just to vote back in the party that ran everything into the ground to begin with, just cause they say they are ‘Bermudian First’.

        • PBanks says:

          Is it really, exclusively, ‘blind’ nationalism and ‘anti-intellectuism’, as you describe it? Isn’t it dangerous to blanket-label a section of people who may be otherwise frustrated with OBA-actions/policy, as being merely blind (or driven solely by emotion) if they even consider switching their vote?

      • Wahoo says:

        PLP spent over 30 years in oposition and learned nothing about running this little island…in 14 years you f@!ked it up and you think you will get back? You are dumber than the name you have given yourself.

        BWAH HA

      • Walla Walla says:

        I hope you are wrong Onion Juice. We cant afford to have another few thousand Bermudians out of work, and we don’t have another 1.2 B to overspend and we still have not been able to find the 800M that was accounted for during the PLP years.

      • Walla Walla says:

        @Onion Juice,

        Here is a challenge for you. Since you are a big fan of the PLP and know so much about them, and since you just thanked the OBA for spending our money wisely.; can you think of one construction project , sports event, marketing campaign or any tourism project where the PLP spent our money wisely:

        PGA Golf / AKA Browns Quest to meet Tiger

        Port Royal Golf Course?
        Dockyard Pier?
        Grand Atlantic?
        Bda Hospital?
        Bda Emissions?
        DLBE Building?
        Global Hue contracts?
        Faith Based Tourism?
        Beyoncé Concert Tourism Project?
        Diaspora Tourism?

        C’mon there’s got to be something.

      • Gustav says:

        Onion Juice ,
        you are just a poor little hater without any clue !

  2. Jus' Askin' says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Flora for putting BERMUDA out front :-D

    • Walla Walla says:

      Awesome news. Ive never really been one to participate in any kind of sport but I always enjoy watching our athletes like Teresa Perozzi, Nhaki Wells and Flora Duffy (to name a few) on TV. I was able to watch Ms. Perozzi fight live at SHP, and saw Nhaki at Bradford and I now look forward to seeing Ms. Duffy on home soil.

  3. myview says:

    The Government needed some refreshing news. Well done BTA!
    A few more epic deals and Government may actually have a shot at the next election.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Dreamer. Like the ungrateful would ever vote based on performance of the OBA. They would much rather be part of a smoking pile of economic ashes.

      • Toleratate says:

        sadly I agree with you. And that’s just from making the rounds and listening to conversations.
        OBA could give a bar of gold to every person in BDA and the same haters would complain it was too heavy.
        The economy can recover…. there could be 4,000 jobs…

  4. Clare says:

    Go team Bermuda!!!

  5. Family Man says:

    Well this is a big improvement over the faith based tourism scheme that the last government came up with isn’t it?

  6. Lennie says:

    Well done Minister Fahy, Flora Duffy and the whole team involved. This is fantastic news and something to build on moving forward Proud of you all and thank you.

  7. Terry says:

    Someone ask OBA Supporter if I can comment on this.

  8. Mary says:

    great news life is great under the OBA the one time Beyonce PLP unprogressive anti equality anti everything party failed at success and drove us into unspeakable debt never again

  9. Tulani O. Bulford says:

    This is fantastic news! Kudos to everyone involved in brining this world class series of events to Bermuda. LET’S MAKE BERMUDA GREAT AGAIN !!!

  10. Terry says:

    This is good news.
    I look forward to February 2017 and our MP’s getting into the House and vote on things relevant to this and other things without hindrance.


  11. Francis says:

    Well done Fahy and BTA and Flora and co. Fahy gets a bad rap but is the minister to get it done! Quadricycles, casinos, and now this. Gibbons too, America’s cup and his satellites. Maybe the haters don’t like their styles? Results matter!!!!!