Thursday 3 December, 2020

Bermuda unveils 'Inside-Out' plan to boost tourism

[iStock.com/andykazie]

[iStock.com/andykazie]

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bermuda Tourism Authority is determined to do everything possible to stimulate the economy.

The Inside-Out initiative boasts an impressive calendar of events which was conceptualised with this in mind.

The BTA's interim CEO Glenn Jones said the plan is to host a series of events meant to entice tourists and encourage local spending.

Jones said if all goes according to plan the events and marketing promotions scheduled for the coming months will give a needed boost to the number of visitors to the island.

“These are events we hope either inspire travel or delight a visitor who discovers them after they’ve already chosen to come here. Just as importantly, we hope these promotions inspire residents to take part. It’s an inside-out approach designed to help our industry get back on its feet," he said.

The BTA events and promotional initiatives include:

Racquet Week [Aug 28–Sept 4]—pays homage to Bermuda’s tennis heritage leading up to the US Open, for which Bermuda is the tournament’s exclusive tourism partner. A special courtside reception & exhibition event will be kick off the week this Friday evening at the WER Joell Tennis Stadium, where top local players will play exhibition matches on Court One. Tickets for Tennis: The Bermuda Legacy are available via Ptix.

Bermuda Staycation Month [September]—Residents are invited to take a relaxing break and experience their favourite hotels. Whether it’s a mid-week getaway or a weekend retreat, with or without the family, 10 participating hotels island-wide are offering locals-only rates. Visit gotobermuda.com/staycation for exclusive resident-only offers starting at $175.

Alfresco Dining Festival [Sept 17–26]—Stretching end-to-end, the festival aims to drive residents and visitors into local restaurants and encourage them to eat outside. Some three-dozen establishments have signed up so far, and the BTA is partnering with stakeholders in the City of Hamilton and the East and West End to hold special events, including a closed-street, pedestrian-only experience along Bermudiana Road, Hamilton; a celebration in the Royal Naval Dockyard’s Victualling Yard and at multiple restaurants around the historic venue; and dinner under the stars at Fort St Catherine, St George’s.

World Tourism Day [Sept 27]—This internationally recognised day aims to raise awareness about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural and economic value. The BTA plans to leverage the opportunity to encourage visitors and residents to experience tourism activities and will highlight local businesses offering deals and discounts.

Yacht & Catamaran Week [Oct 23–31]—Celebrating the island’s maritime heritage, this promotion will showcase Bermuda’s nautical tourism appeal during the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup, a World Match Racing Tour regatta. Spanning the period of the PGA TOUR Bermuda Championship, it also seeks to engage local catamaran operators in a special weekend festival.

Spa Month [November]—Mirroring the BTA’s popular annual February promotion, this will bring back special deals for R&R—for visitors and locals—at the island’s spas.

Jones, CEO of the Tourism Authority said part of the objective is to show the local community and the world that Bermuda is capable of creating and executing meaningful experiences in a safe environment.

CEO of the Bermuda Hotel Association Stephen Todd said: “All these promotions, including staycations, will stimulate spending, push up hotels’ occupancy levels, and help get people back to work in our industry—the strategy marks a positive road towards recovery."

He said staycations also provide an opportunity for Bermudians to see and experience all that the facilities our hotel properties offer—locals can then promote them to friends and family overseas, creating a spinoff benefit to the overall economy.”

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