BTA Welcomes Superyacht Incentives Boost

July 8, 2019

A new framework of incentives born of hosting the 35th America’s Cup that will allow visiting superyachts to cruise and charter in Bermuda waters is welcomed by the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA].

A spokesperson said, “The legislation, tabled Friday in Bermuda’s House of Assembly, defines superyachts as leisure vessels measuring 24 metres [78 feet] or more, and establishes governance enhancements aimed at making Bermuda a cruising destination.

“The “Superyachts and Other Vessels [Miscellaneous] Act 2019” updates several related acts, setting new allowances based on size for superyachts to acquire cruising and charter permits and stay in Bermuda without penalty during transit for bunkering and provisioning.

“The bill also allows Bermuda residents to bring vessels into the island for six months or less free of duty.”

“We welcome this legislation, particularly because it drives fresh opportunities to our stakeholders and partners, including Bermudian entrepreneurs who will service this high-end tourism sector as it grows,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas.

“Not only do the vessels consume high volumes of products and services locally, but our research indicates their captains, crews and charter guests spend far more per person than any other kind of visitor—benefitting our economy, from retail and restaurants to small businesses like taxi operators, chefs, and florists.

BTA Welcomes Boost From Superyacht Incentives Bermuda July 2019

“After the America’s Cup, we highlighted a new legal framework for superyachts as critical to the advancement of Bermuda’s tourism economy,” Dallas added.

“We applaud legislators for moving in this direction and look forward to the realisation of this America’s Cup legacy because it makes Bermuda more competitive with other jurisdictions, stimulates spending in the local economy and creates increased job opportunities for Bermudians.”

The spokesperson said, “Bermuda’s successful hosting of the world’s largest sailing regatta in 2017 attracted 51 participating vessels in the America’s Cup Superyacht Programme, along with dozens more anchored or berthed around the island. Their spending amounted to an estimated all-yacht total of $14 million, according to a post-AC35 economic report by PwC Bermuda.

“Research commissioned in 2017 by the BTA from the Superyacht Intelligence Agency underscored those economic benefits, noting even the smallest superyachts typically spend as much as $18,000 a week in port with guests aboard, and the largest up to $127,000 a week.

“The study also identified a pattern of growth, both in the size of the global superyacht fleet and the average length per boat, a trend expected to continue. From 2007 to 2017, the number of superyachts worldwide jumped 60 percent to more than 5,000 vessels.

“Destination attractions included a pleasant cruising itinerary, good marina facilities, privacy, services, activities and cultural sights.”

“Bermuda ticks the boxes on all those advantages, so it makes sense to attract more superyachts to our market,” added the BTA’s Chief Experience Development Officer Glenn Jones.

“The superyacht sector aligns well with our National Tourism Plan which identifies high-net-worth visitors as one of four target segments we have set our focus on. The new laws will only help us progress on those plans.”

The Bermuda government worked closely with the BTA, as well as the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA], and other related industry stakeholders, to develop the legislation.

“The legislation is a game-changer,” said Mark Soares, of St. George’s-based boat concierge Bermuda Yacht Services, who helped shape the bill and now is receiving requests from global brokers to tour the island.

“They’re aware of what Bermuda’s doing and are starting to fly in. Bermuda has been on the superyacht radar since hosting the America’s Cup, and now that we are moving ahead, the island can better compete and become a bonafide cruising destination.”

The full Superyachts & Other Vessels Miscellaneous Bill 2019 follows below [PDF here]

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Comments (15)

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  1. Dready says:

    Good news. Finally something sensible from the govt!

    • Richard P says:

      I need to go back and read the whole article, but some questions ???? Will there have to be a qualified BERMUDA Captain on board. ? Will the Crew have to have work permits. ?
      What are they going to give in concession to the local tour boats to help compensate lost business.

      • Well at least we can recoup some of de $77Million back.
        Turn Cross Bay into medical growing garden with storm proof shelter, thats another $5 Million investment we can recoup.

    • wahoo says:

      Same ones who only a couple years ago agreed that this sort of

    • Run it says:

      Thanks to Grant Gibbons! He doggedly instigated this initiative and it’s now bearing fruit.

  2. sandgrownan says:

    So, the research was done in 2017, post the Americas Cup. Anyone with a functioning brain cell knows this was a good idea, and in fact it was presented to the incompetents multiple times.

    Why did it take them so long? Is it a tacit admission the AC might have been good for Bermuda? Fetch my fainting couch.

  3. Trump supporter says:

    I guess the A.C. wasn’t such a mickey mouse event after all.this shoulda long been done.
    Thanks OBA. How you like that zaney.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    At long last the PLP is embracing one of the OBA’s proven economic drivers. Maybe too late but at least they are trying. How’re Arbitrade’s millions coming along?

  5. aceboy says:

    Surely the PLP don’t support this!? This is just pandering to rich people and doesn’t help “the people”.

  6. Q says:

    This is just the plp pandering to rich foreigners.
    We should all go and protest the boats, make sure they know they’re not welcome in Bermuda.
    25 – 11

  7. Floyd says:

    Oh my!!! Here come all those elitist with all their money

  8. Datbye says:

    This has nothing to do with the AC, Mega and Super Yachts have been visiting the island for years. But i agree with Richard P and also need to read the whole thing. As long as the island doesn’t get taken advantage of like so many other things.

    • Question says:

      Yes, they have been visiting for years. About two and a half years.

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Thanks to the BTA for their persistence in getting this pushed through inspite of the negativity from Government. Should have never taken so long.