DeSilva’s Monaco trip cost $6,000

  • Promoting Bermuda: Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, speaks at the Bermuda Breakfast in Monaco

    Promoting Bermuda: Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, speaks at the Bermuda Breakfast in Monaco

A trip to Monaco by the tourism minister to sell Bermuda as a superyacht destination to billionaires last month cost taxpayers more than $6,000.

Zane DeSilva travelled to Monaco from September 21 to 26 at a cost of $6,052.37.

A breakdown of the trip spend showed that air travel cost $3,209.80 and accommodation was $2,842.57.

Mr DeSilva was part of a six-person delegation that attended the event to tout the Superyachts and Other Vessels (Miscellaneous) Act, which passed in July, to encourage superyacht visits to Bermuda.

He was joined by Roland Andy Burrows, the chief executive, and Lynesha Lightbourne, the business development manager, both from the Bermuda Business Development Agency.

Aideen Ratteray Pryse, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Transport, Nicholas Sansom, the chief business development officer at the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority, and Mark Soares, the owner of Bermuda Yacht Services, also attended the event.

Details of the trip were posted on the Travel Calendar page of the Government’s website.

Mr DeSilva delivered a speech at the Superyacht Finance Forum on September 24 and co-hosted the Bermuda Breakfast, an event hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Transport and the BDA in collaboration with luxury yachting lifestyle magazine Boat International the next day.

The event was held at the Monaco Yacht Club.

A question about the cost of the event sent to Government and BDA representatives earlier this month was not responded to.

A ministry spokesman said this month that Mr DeSilva “was able to lend valuable insight to the superyacht community” through the two events.

He added: “Previously, the Superyachts Act made amendments to a series of Acts to create a tourism product that makes Bermuda more attractive as a destination for yachting, and for superyachts in particular.

“Implementation of the Act is intended to move superyachts from vessels that attend a single event for a limited time to vessels that stay in our waters and, in that way, create a charter industry ...”

“Bermudians will benefit from the growth of the yachting industry through jobs associated with businesses that support the charters, and from fees that will go into the consolidated fund.”

The spokesman said that the Bermuda delegation had been “very well received with keen interest expressed by those in the superyacht industry to learn more about opportunities to charter here”.

He added: “The ministry is aware that superyacht captains have pressed for Bermuda to participate in the charter industry, and believes that Bermuda has a winning formula for success.

“This is a new beginning for Bermuda’s superyacht industry, and adds to the diversification of the tourism industry.”

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Published Oct 29, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 29, 2019 at 6:34 am)

DeSilva’s Monaco trip cost $6,000

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