BTA eyes winter-sport travel and activities
Sport in Bermuda is to be promoted as part of a drive to boost tourism in the winter months.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority said it was working to bring sports conferences and team-training trips to the island, as well as international events.
Victoria Isley, the BTA chief sales and marketing officer, said: “We know we can never host the World Cup here, but having teams coming down and training ... we know we can play in that field.”
She was speaking at a public forum on Tuesday at the National Sports Centre,
Hazel Clark, the BTA director of sports business development, said the BTA had looked at what sports would be suited to the island, based on what sort of events could be staged, which sports were most popular in target demographics and what sports are suitable for Bermuda’s conditions.
She added that island sports bodies was a key asset, along with environmental factors like weather. Ms Clark said: “We found out that it’s very important to organisers that they have a resource to go to, so we need to make sure we have strong national governing bodies and resources they can work with.”
The BTA said it found golf, sailing, endurance sports like triathlons and tennis to be the best for Bermuda.
Ms Isley said: “There are some sports that the team can come and do something on their own, like golf. However, there are others like rugby where they want multiple teams here at the same time so they can practice against other teams.”
The BTA identified showcase events like the Triathlon World Series or the US Open that could be used to highlight Bermuda.
Other highlighted sports included rugby, football, swimming, track and field, field hockey and lacrosse.
Ms Isley said the BTA had also looked into cricket, but the sport is less popular in Bermuda’s American target market and Barbados had already established itself as a cricket destination for the UK market.
But she added that work to bring an international cricket conference to the island was under way, along with an international sailing conference in November. Ms Isley said that when the BTA aimed for a minimum of a five-to-one return on investment in events.
She added that tourism authority also considered the value of brand exposure, the level of engagement, the environmental impact, the legacy value and the inclusivity of the events.
Ms Isley said that partnerships and events that would invest in on-island sports clubs would be difficult to arrange.
She added: “There are some opportunities, and I would say they are limited, where if we brought an event with a foundation attached and their job includes diversity, inclusion and legacy, then there might be an opportunity.
“Realistically, sports bodies are looking to take out of a community. They want to come here and have a soccer field or baseball diamond that is ready for them. They want to play a sport.”