Cultural sites to get BTA focus

  • Glenn Jones, the chief experience development officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, addresses stakeholders at a presentation on cultural tourism plans (Photograph provided)

    Glenn Jones, the chief experience development officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, addresses stakeholders at a presentation on cultural tourism plans (Photograph provided)

  • American tourists Emily Hancock and husband Jesse take a picture of the Sally Bassett statue in the grounds of Cabinet Office in Hamilton (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    American tourists Emily Hancock and husband Jesse take a picture of the Sally Bassett statue in the grounds of Cabinet Office in Hamilton (File photograph by Akil Simmons)


The Bermuda Tourism Authority will launch a new initiative to draw visitors to cultural sites — and encourage the sites to stay open.

Glenn Jones, the chief experience development officer at BTA, said the Discovery Days initiative will focus activities in St George’s, Hamilton and Dockyard on different days, which will help volunteer-staffed museums and attractions be open at the right times.

Mr Jones said: “It can be labour intensive and expensive for a cultural tourism site to be open all the time.

“For the most part they are managed by volunteers, and when we started to dig into this problem volunteer shortage was the main barrier to a good cultural tourism experience at our museums, galleries and other sites.

“Sometimes visitors would be sent to a cultural site or museum and it would just be closed. And the person who sent them there really had no way to know it would be closed.”

He added: “There’s no way really to recover from a concierge sending someone to that museum.

“The trust breaks down and the concierge stops sending visitors to that museum because they don’t want to disappoint anybody and we are in a vicious cycle.”

Delivering a presentation to stakeholders on Wednesday evening, Mr Jones said the Destination Day initiative would put focus on Hamilton on Fridays, St George’s and St David’s on Saturdays and Dockyard on Sundays, with the goal of ensuring attractions are open on those days.

He said: “We are not saying stay closed on the other days of the week, but especially focus on these days of the week to put a good foot forward.”

The BTA also announced that it would roll out a number of tour options that focus on Bermuda’s architecture, heritage and culture in response to the demands of visitors.

It will launch walking architecture tours in Hamilton, St George’s and Dockyard in October, timed to take place during the Destination Days in those areas.

Tours will also be launched to highlight day-to-day Bermuda culture, taking visitors into residential neighbourhoods, Government estates and Bermuda National Trust properties.

These tours will also be aligned with Destination Days, focusing on the western, eastern and central parts of the island and will end at iconic Bermuda properties such as Aberfeldy in Somerset.

Another cultural option will help visitors explore “secret artefacts”, providing unique experiences to guests at the National Archives, the National Gallery, the Freemason’s Lodge and the National Museum.

Another set of cultural experiences will focus on the island’s black heritage and the African Diaspora Trial.

In October, the BTA will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Sally Bassett statue at the Cabinet Office with a series of nightly events, including a theatrical performance at the Cabinet Grounds. Other cultural tours will be launched in Dockyard and St George’s.

The BTA also said it will introduce more Bermudian culture into Restaurant Weeks 2020 with a series of special dining opportunities in unique cultural locations.

Restaurant Week 2020 will launch on January 16 with a luxury rose garden picnic at the Waterville Rose Garden.

And on January 24 Eric Adjepong, a celebrated chef and former Top Chef contestant, will create a meal intended to tell the story of the African slave trade in a dinner near the historic Cobbs Hill Methodist Church.

Restaurant Week will also feature a fish fry at the Transportation Museum in Dockyard, which will boast live music, local beer and Bermuda fish, including lionfish.

David Skinner, the head of the Bermuda Festival, added that the 2020 festival will also find ways to educate and inspire as part of the BTA’s initiatives.

Mr Skinner said Naturally Seven, an acappella group, will also entertain crowds at the rose garden picnic.

Alda Dizdari, a classical violinist, will partner with local performers for shows in Dockyard and St George’s.

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Published Aug 10, 2019 at 12:01 am (Updated Aug 10, 2019 at 12:07 pm)

Cultural sites to get BTA focus

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