A plan of action to take us forward

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Welcome to my regular update to share information and involve the people of Bermuda in the progress of the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Success in tourism affects us all, and that success is dependent on us all.

This week I want to focus on the National Tourism Plan.

You may have heard about the plan when it was unveiled last year and, you’ll continue to hear about it as the BTA begins to implement the recommendations laid out in the plan. The plan is core to setting the priorities of the BTA.

I want to emphasise that the National Tourism Plan is not a static document. It will be reviewed continually and modified to meet changing circumstances. It will always give us targets for the future and help steer Bermuda towards success in tourism. A summary of the National Tourism plan is available on the new Bermuda Tourism Authority website and I invite you to take a look.

But what is the plan? And how will it improve our tourism offering?

Above all else, the plan is about increasing tourism revenues for Bermuda, and about creating new and additional jobs in Bermuda

The National Tourism Plan was commissioned by the Government of Bermuda in October 2011. The plan was completed in 2012 and was immediately set into motion with short term goals. Of all the recommendations, there is one significant one that has changed, and that is in how our tourism efforts are managed.

The Government determined that the management of tourism should be placed in the hands of an independent authority, with long term priorities, and hence the Bermuda Tourism Authority was created.

The plan outlined a list of eight strategic objectives as follows:

1. Build a unique and competitive positioning:

Create a unique positioning — authentic and unique Bermuda

Differentiate from the competition (Caribbean).

2. Reduce seasonality and create new demand:

Reduce seasonality in the shoulder months from September to March

New product development

Create destination hubs

Niche segment marketing

3. Rebalance air versus cruise:

Realign air and cruise arrivals; grow yacht marketing

4. Increase visitor spending:

?Increase total visitor expenditure from $421 million in 2011 to $595 million in 2015 and $1,468 million in 2022

?Increase air arrivals expenditure from $1,511 per trip in 2011 to $1944 per trip in 2015 and $2,814 in 2022

Focus on luxury segment:

5. Improve quality throughout the Tourism Value Chain:

Ensure international standards

?Create value for visitors

?Build competitiveness

?Improve physical facilities

?Develop human capacity

6. Build pride and create jobs:

Increase jobs in the tourism sector from 9% in 2011 to 15% in 2022

?Make working in the tourism sector attractive

7. Business development and attract investment:

?Stimulate small and medium businesses

Engage private sector

Attract and secure international investment

8. Build economic, social and environmental sustainability:

?Create economic value, social value and environmental value

In order to implement these objectives, five areas of focus have been identified.

1. Global Governance — This will address policy, investment attraction and facilitation, public-private partnerships for tourism development and safety and security. The governance model requires strategic and operational support, increased inter-ministerial collaboration and a public-private partnership. As part of this process, we have already created the authority — independent from political influence — and have begun the transition from a government department.

2. Sales and Marketing — This will include sales & marketing strategy and implementation under the direction of the new Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. This will include the development of a strategic sales & marketing plan, branding and positioning, local awareness and sales. We are in the process of identifying a candidate for this vital role and will be filled by a highly qualified and experienced expert.

3. Product Development — This aspect will develop the “right experiences” through seven tourism products, plus luxury, events and groups sectors. The seven identified tourism products are:

a. Cultural tourism

b. Business and meetings, incentive, conferences and events (also called MICE)

c. Sports tourism

d. Leisure and entertainment

e. Nautical tourism

f. Eco-Beach and nature

g. Cruise tourism

The presentation of the tourism products will be organised into five distinct tourism hubs on the island:

1. St. George and St. David’s

2. City of Hamilton

3. South Shore Bermuda

4. Royal Naval Dockyard

5. Offshore Bermuda

4. Total Quality Management — Quality is essential to re-establishing the long term attractiveness of Bermuda to visitors. We need to be able to guarantee the quality of both the physical infrastructure and of service. We must create value for our visitors with minimum standards of service. We will restore the pride associated with working in the Bermudian tourism industry. Everyone can and must be a steward of tourism.

5. Infrastructure Programme — This will ensure that the infrastructure is in place to accommodate and appropriately service visitors to our Island. This includes water management, non-renewable resources management, transportation and resource management.

This plan is the framework from which the Bermuda Tourism Authority will work. A lot of thought, effort and expertise has gone into the development of this plan and it is important that we live and breathe these objectives to achieve our goals: the re-emergence of Bermuda as a world-class tourist destination resulting in more jobs and more opportunities. We look forward to working with all of Bermuda to make this happen.

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Published Jan 9, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 9:16 pm)

A plan of action to take us forward

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