BTA’s Glenn Jones On Reaching Black Travelers

June 29, 2020 | 8 Comments

Bermuda Tourism Authority Interim CEO Glenn Jones recently spoke to Skift about how tourism marketers can reach Black travelers, with the publication saying that Bermuda does this by “highlighting the nation’s Black cultural history in their marketing collateral and working with Black celebrities and influencers.”

The story said, “Glenn Jones, the interim CEO for Bermuda Tourism Authority told Skift that “representation is obviously important, but I think it’s also important to extend the invitation. I’m a Black traveler and I certainly respond well when I feel I’m being invited to a destination and there’s a deliberate attempt to do that.”

“Bermuda began doing just that in 2018 as part of their National Tourism Plan. Their goal is to double the amount of self-identified African American air travelers who come to the country by 2025, from 4 percent to 8 percent of their inbound market.

“They do this not only through representation in campaigns, but also by highlighting the nation’s Black cultural history in their marketing collateral and working with Black celebrities and influencers.

“Jones of Bermuda notes that while the diverse and welcoming campaigns are undeniably important, “the potential false narrative here is that the public rewards or scolds brands based on a few words on social media” instead of challenging destinations for a more holistic commitment to de-centering whiteness from the inside and out.

“As such, Jones said, Bermuda’s tourism authority is “trying to have a committed effort of representation, to articulate the island’s culture authentically, to permanently extend an invitation to Black travelers.”

“Bermuda was one of the DMOs that responded to the Black Travel Alliance’s scorecard metrics, reporting that Black people comprised 40 percent of senior management team members, and that 55 percent of people featured in their top five ad spots in 2019 were Black.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. aceboy says:

    Formerly known as the Platinum Period of Tourism, this policy has already shown itself to be a failure. But it all sounds nice these days.

    • wahoo says:

      Yes we did try this before and sounds like we have to try again just to be sure. It sounds like a good idea and I am sure it appeals to some people but the simple truth is that it isn’t that big a market – especially when you consider how expensive Bermuda is. Oh well, so much for the non political entity BTA, because this sounds more like politics than good business.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      But it WAS the platinum period . Back then we only had 1.5Bn in debt .
      aaah , the god ol’ days .

  2. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Front page, Late – 90’s Jennifer Smith, “Bermuda must attract more African American tourists.” It was the headline that spoilt this optimistic PLP supporter’s naive faith they’d do the right things when elected for the first time.

    Bermuda needs American tourists of all walks. Marketing to a specific race seems, well, racist. Asses in seats, barstools and beach chairs opening their wallets is the need. Wallets are found in pockets and purses, does Bermuda really care what race holds it?

  3. Can’t believe it says:

    So sad. A predominately Black Country acting as if black people are just after thoughts. We should have reached out to black tourists not only in America but around the world years ago. We are so brainwashed.

    • wahoo says:

      Damn straight YOU are. What does it matter where the tourists come from or what they look like? When they come smile and welcome them.

  4. Noel Ashford says:

    Why do we care what color our tourists are… oh wait the PLP has made it OK for racism & prejudice because after all, it can’t be racism if its against white folk right? What a BS double standard by some folk. We need tourists with $ – period, whatever color they are…. “All Tourists Matter” in this case.

    I still see fellow Bermudian’s are scared to post with their real names… are they still afraid LF & team might harass you? How little we have evolved on this rock.

    This island will be left behind and already has been in many ways from the rest of the world.

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