“BTA Is Recalibrating 2021 Marketing Activity”

February 15, 2021

“With less airline seat capacity and fewer hotel rooms available in 2021, high volume tourism will be very slow to return” and the BTA is “recalibrating 2021 marketing activity to leverage this luxury traveller trend’ as jetsetters “is a traveller segment Bermuda can win.”

These were some of the points made as the Bermuda Tourism Authority explained their 2021 outlook for tourism following after the past year’s unprecedented declines in tourism due to the worldwide pandemic.

Major Declines In 2020

“The crisis that beset our tourism industry was prolonged and decimating, and as predicted, the recovery is slow and gradual,” BTA Interim Glenn Jones said, adding that “our organisation is motivated to find green shoots within the industry and leverage those opportunities to accelerate the destination’s recovery in 2021.”

Mr Jones’ comments come as the BTA released the 2020 Year-End Report, showing that the pandemic caused a major decline in tourism, with total leisure visitor spending down 88.7% compared to 2019, total air visitors down 84.4%, and cruise visitors down 98.3%.

Uncertain Start To 2021

The section of the report entitled ‘Outook 2021′ said, “Heading into the New Year many of the struggles from the prior year linger, setting up a very uncertain start to 2021. While vaccinations are underway in the countries that matter most to Bermuda, the rollout is slow and cumbersome. Variants of the coronavirus are emerging and proving more contagious than the highly contagious disease that decimated economic activity last year, particularly in tourism.

“Additionally, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada continue to implement new, tighter restrictions on their citizens and their borders in an effort to discourage travel. This has a direct impact on demand and the number of seats airlines are willing to put in the air.

Reluctance To Travel Due To Health And Safety Concerns

“Reluctance to travel due to health and safety concerns and restrictive protocols remain enormous barriers in 2021, at least for the first half of the year. However, these barriers should subside as the months tick by, giving reason for cautious optimism beyond spring.

Jetsetters Is A Traveller Segment Bermuda Can Win

“In the lead up to Bermuda’s commercial air corridors reopening to regular traffic, the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] believed high net worth travellers would be the first to seek leisure trips once deemed safe to do so. Jetsetters, as the BTA calls this audience, is a traveller segment Bermuda can win.

“The exit survey data from July 2020 [when regular commercial air service resumed] through December 2020 reveals a larger than normal share of air visitors was earners with annual household income above $250,000. This was predictable. However, the surprising statistic is travellers with income above $500,000 per year—growing from 7.5 percent of total visitors to 14 percent.

 High Volume Tourism Will Be Very Slow To Return

“With less airline seat capacity and fewer hotel rooms available in 2021, high volume tourism will be very slow to return. And while Bermuda is forced into a situation of lower visitor arrivals, it has a tremendous opportunity to attract consumers who will spend more per person and stay longer.

 Leverage This Luxury Traveller Trend

“Between Rosewood Bermuda, The Loren, Azura, the soon-opening St. Regis and other luxury properties around the island, Bermuda has the hotel inventory necessary to meet the needs of this audience. The BTA is recalibrating 2021 marketing activity to leverage this luxury traveller trend. Experience development will need to pivot as well.

“Executing well with this travel segment will accelerate the country’s tourism recovery. British Airways’ London service shift from Gatwick to Heathrow in late March should also help to accelerate the tourism recovery. The BTA has readied itself and stakeholders for this moment. The first step is securing marketing resources on the ground in the UK market, the first time Bermuda has done so in several years.

London Has Now Been Elevated As A Geographic Focus Area

“The conditions warrant the change as the destination pursues an increased share of leisure visitors from London and surrounding areas. London has now been elevated as a geographic focus area in the National Tourism Plan, which paves the way for more European travellers to consider Bermuda too because they are more conveniently connected to the island through Heathrow.’


“The BTA is also leaning into the stimulative opportunity presented with the season two start of SailGP. Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club is a globally televised made-for-TV sailing event in April.

“It will bring valuable exposure to the destination, and as long as it’s safe to allow spectators, it should drive high-spending visitors to the island as well—re-establishing tourism-related income for small business owners, hotel workers and others. Bermuda Grand Prix is likely to attract superyacht owners among its spectators.

“At the start of 2020, Bermuda enacted new policies and legislation that make the island more competitive at attracting this kind of luxury travel business.

Superyacht Visitors 

“The BTA is planning 2021 sales and marketing activity in this space to drive a greater number of superyacht visitors and charter guests, proven to be a sizable economic stimulus for the destination. In every aspect of tourism business for 2021, the mantra to follow is quite simple: quality over quantity.

“An open-air, uncrowded travel experience is what consumers will covet as they ease back into normality and pent-up travel demand is converted into mouse clicks.

Strategy Will Be Targeted On Extended Stays And Higher Spending

“In the leisure traveller business and in the group travel segment [like sport competition and destination weddings], the BTA strategy will be targeted on extended stays and higher spending. It’s Bermuda’s surest route to accelerating a tourism recovery that is due to unfold slowly and gradually.”

The full BTA 2020 Year-End Report follows below [PDF here]:

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The BTA is also leaning into the stimulative opportunity presented with the season two start of SailGP.”

    And that is probably why the PLP government wants Glenn Jones gone, because he is successfully leveraging the hated AC35 success.