Minister DeSilva Speaks At Tourism Summit

October 17, 2019

Minister Zane DeSilva welcomed the 300 attendees to the Bermuda Tourism Summit held by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

Speaking at the Summit, Minister DeSilva said, “I’m delighted to open this 2019 edition of the Bermuda Tourism Summit: it’s encouraging to see such a diverse gathering of stakeholders—from industry, Government and entrepreneurial ventures—coming together to brainstorm here today.

“You are the key to the future of Bermuda’s tourism industry. Your energy, ideas and vision will help us forge the way forward in sustainable, inclusive, progressive ways that benefit Bermuda and Bermudians.

“To those who are attending for the first time, thank you. As former Premier Alex Scott always said, Bermuda works best when we work together!

Bermuda Tourism Summit Opening Session

“Collaboration is our competitive edge—in tourism and everything else we do—and I know it matters to all of you. Working in partnership is imperative. Our Government, including my Ministry, understand that, and it’s why we act as a key partner alongside the BTA to help progress the National Tourism Plan. The Government is an essential piece of that puzzle, as are all of you, and each of us has a critical role to play.

“We take that responsibility very seriously. Let me highlight a few recent examples of the power of partnership—ways in which our Government has played a leading role to help Bermuda advance the goals of the National Tourism Plan:

“The first is ground-breaking work the Government carried out this summer to pave the way for a new sector that promises significant economic benefits to our island.

“A warning: I’m going to say the ‘S-word’! Superyachts…

“The economic contribution of this industry—through onshore spending and job creation—are clear. Importantly, it’s also a sector that ties in neatly with one of four target audiences identified by the BTA as representing the biggest potential for Bermuda’s tourism growth. The Tourism Plan calls them ‘Jetsetters.’

Tourism Summit Bermuda Oct 2019 (2)

“This summer, our Government passed a landmark bill—’The Superyachts and Other Vessels Act.’ Among other provisions, it will allow boats 24 metres or larger to acquire transit, cruising and charter permits depending on their length of stay.

“It also waives duty for Bermuda resident owners of these-sized yachts if they want to bring them here for less than six months. It’s worth noting that part of the legislation also delivers tax relief to our local commercial boat operators, many of whom are among you here today.

“This legislative reform takes effect January 1st and it really underscores the way Government can add practical value to a strategic plan. The legal framework that’s been created is forward-looking and allows us to start competing as a bona-fide cruising and chartering destination.

“I took the opportunity to promote Bermuda in this sphere by speaking to superyacht owners, captains and brokers at the recent Monaco Yacht Show. Again, it was ‘Team Bermuda’ in action, with Government, private industry, and public-private agencies working side-by-side to achieve a national win—and we look forward to seeing Bermuda reap the benefits.

“Another example of the Government’s commitment to tourism priorities will be on full display up de country at the end of this month. I’m talking about Port Royal Golf Course, where the prestigious PGA Tour: Bermuda Championship starts on Oct. 31st.

Tourism Summit Bermuda Oct 2019 (1)

“The Government has teamed with the BTA, the PGA Tour, and operators Bruno Events, to bring this world-class tournament to Bermuda and make it a multi-year success.

“Again, it aligns with one of the missions set out in our National Tourism Plan to attract key sports relevant to Bermuda—and golf is one of them. Being able to leverage this top-rated public course as the staging ground for a championship that will capture the world’s attention is something we’re very proud of.

“Hosting this historic tournament here in Bermuda also gives 4 of our Bermudian golfers the opportunity of a lifetime. We have a Bermudian only Qualifier this week, which will see 18 Bermudians – 13 pros and 5 amateurs compete for three spots. Dwayne Pearman, our long time ambassador, and a past champion in just about every golf tournament held here in Bermuda will get an automatic spot.

“A final example of the value the Government can bring to the tourism table revolve around transport and infrastructure reform. As you know, my Ministry has ambitious goals to improve our island’s transportation network, and we set those out in a Green Paper that was tabled in Parliament this past spring.

“Today’s Summit also represents a robust example of the synergy I’m talking about—bringing together the combined energy and talents of the Government, of small and large businesses, of public-private agencies, of individuals and global thought-leaders, across demographics, for the good of Bermuda tourism.

“I thank you all—and a special thank you to the BTA for hosting today’s event. Our economy is expanding and our Government encourages you to explore new opportunities created by some of this collaborative innovation.

“With that said, I wish you an inspiring and productive conference—and I look forward to working with all of you to take our tourism industry to new heights. Thank you.”

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Comments (16)

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  1. toadinthehole says:

    Our economy is expanding …… really? where?

  2. question says:

    I’m sure Zane did this to the best of his ability. Like how he sorted out the buses.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Who wrote that speech for Desilva? Working together? The picture speaks a thousand words.

  4. potato juice says:

    Hanky Panky a joke!
    How come he didn’t promote his bus service!

  5. wahoo says:

    Who is the guy next to Kevin?


    May the Government & the B T A work together more & keep working together to help more tourist come here. It is a competitive tourism world out there, and that’s where we the public come in. We must do Our part once they get here & some of that is good service, friendliness & safety. They come back for them too.

  7. somuchless says:

    “A warning: I’m going to say the ‘S-word’! Superyachts…” Zane so you’re all for it or are you full of it? My guess goes to full of it. This is crazy. You and your gang were against these kinds of people protesting etc and now you change your tune. Boy how the world turns.

  8. Ringmaster says:

    There are no charter opportunities here for superyachts. Charterers of this type involve locations where you can visit different places on different days with predicable weather. Why would anyone spend tens of thousands of dollars to go from Hamilton to St Georges and back again? Where else can yo go? AC 2017 was a draw for superyachts and they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bermuda which benefited all Bermudians. However the PLP dissed the AC for political reasons.
    Now the best we can offer is a second rate golf game which will cost Bermuda dollars, not benefit Bermuda. Watch for the free tickets to get the “crowds” for TV.

  9. Question says:

    So now they want us to take The Long View? Three years ago they were “ Are people are hurtin we ain’t got time for the long view. We need jobs now”.

    Now they’re have with 31 jobs every two and a half years and everything’s all fine with that. Ten jobs a year.

  10. Joe Bloggs says:

    “A warning: I’m going to say the ‘S-word’! Superyachts…

    “The economic contribution of this industry—through onshore spending and job creation—are clear. Importantly, it’s also a sector that ties in neatly with one of four target audiences …”

    Hey, OJ! Where are you? Your Minister of Tourism has gone rogue and is talking heresy!

  11. Pangaea says:

    The Almighty SUPER YACHT.

    The plan has not been well thought out as the whole island need to get on board and that will never happen, to many farmers and not enough sailors.

    Why is Bermuda is alway 10 years behind the rest of the world.

    Super yachts need to have a 101 justifiable reasons to come here, which has to be better and offer more than any other destination, at best all we can call our selves is a gas station for trans Atlantic crossings. We have no or very little infrastructure to cater to them, we have to have the door wide open for every service imaginable.

    Are even their owners on board ? No they fly in just for the week end !

    The question is. Do they need another destination ?

    Bermuda offers very little services, just like any thing else around here, we are seasonal, with a few Hurricanes added in, in other words what do they do if they come here, rent an electric car or same as or cruise ship passengers. Zilch !

    They stay out in the harbour for privacy .
    Were are the mechanics?
    Who can haul a 100 ft yacht.

    We can not say to them come here in bring your check book they will soon smell a rat .
    Super yacht owners/ corporations are very smart prudent group of people just holding green Banana under the noses does not work.

    May be we need to treat each individual super yacht super special ,one at a time, if and when they come here.

    I would like every one to realize how much work time an effort it took by hundreds to put on the America Cup, do we or can we or want to do it again ?, only to have our noses rubbed in it. The damage has been done. ” It takes a village”.

  12. Pangaea says:

    Don’t them two ! understand that you don’t tell the corporation / owners of a Super Yachts what to do, and when to do it, with a bunch of dictatorial Regulations and half baked concessions.

    You ask the Super Yacht, what can we do for you ? ***** In other words you spoil them !

    “When you invite some one to dinner and they want to eat the table cloth, you let them”.

    Have they not heard ” He who holds the gold ! ” all them two can do is put out the door mat because we don’t have a red carpet.

    What else is on the shelf collecting dust?’

    Never ask a doctor for advice and then don’t take it.

    It takes money to make money”.

    We don’t have any rainy day money , that went !

    If you throw bread on the water it may come back as buttered scones”

    It takes a smile to get a smile”.

  13. Pangaea says:

    If I can rent part of my home as AirBnB. Why can’t I rent my car as such ?

    You can fool some of the people some off the time but not all the people all the time.

    Never promise the moon when it is not yours to give.

    As I have said many times watch out for the decoys, distractions, and moving goal posts.

    Watch our for the smoke an mirrors, it is a circus act.

    Small minds think small things.

    Not feeling well ! Change your diet.

    Senior citizens are the wealth of all Nations as they know how to make sacrifices.

    The more you put in the pot the more someone will take away.

    9.99 % of most populations are lazy.

    it is better to look after what you have than to spend your hard earned money on junk.

    “Naive”.( of a person or action) showing a lack of experience,wisdon ,or Judgement.

    Treat our visitors like Family.

    Time has come for our leaders to get off the Town Hall couch.