Bermuda tourism industry in full bloom
Travel numbers for 2012 continue to show promise.
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Wednesday February 15, 2012 – Bermuda tourism officials are reveling in the country’s recent success as it recorded the second highest number of visitors in its history last year, and a 12 per cent increase over 2010 figures.
A total of 655,236 visitors went to Bermuda last year, of which 236,038 were air passengers, an increase of two per cent of 2010 figures. The 415,711 cruise passengers recorded was up more than 67,000 or by a 19 per cent increase on 2010 numbers.
However, Minister of Tourism Wayne Furbert said the remaining passengers were those visiting the island by yacht and showed a 31 per cent decline over 2010 figures due to the absence of the bi-annual Newport to Bermuda race.
Tourism statistics also showed that visitors from the US and Europe increased, while those from Canada and the UK declined. Furbert attributed the four per cent drop in visitor arrivals from Canada to a reduction in flights from Toronto during the summer months.
He added increases in air arrivals were because of a number of conventions being held across the island. He explained convention visitors surged by as 116 per cent to 6, 119, while vacationers increased by 1.22 per cent to result in 144, 513 visiting Bermuda for vacation. The number of business arrivals also increased by 0.34 per cent to represent 45, 456 people going to the island to conduct business, while the number of people visiting friends and relatives dropped by 4.81 per cent to represent a figure of 36, 288.
Hotel occupancy across the island also reflected the positive results in tourism figures, with a three per cent increase being recorded in the first quarter, nine in the second half and five in the last quarter.
Furbert also indicated visitor arrivals for January 2012 are up, and hotel occupancy for the month of February is already looking positive, with the possibility of a five per cent increase.
However, the tourism minister noted that the number of bed nights visitors spent on the island declined by 0.9 per cent, along with the length of stay which fell by 2.5 per cent to 6.06 nights from 6.21 nights in 2010.
In light of the increases within the sector, Furbert said he was “excited and eager” about the future of tourism in Bermuda.
But, at the same time he expressed concern that there were still too many people overseas who did not know about the country, or feel there was a need to visit. “It is those individuals who present the challenge, and I am here to tell you that there is nothing I like more than a challenge,” he said.