Tourism employment on rising trend

  • Wayne Furbert (File photograph)

    Wayne Furbert (File photograph)

Direct employment in Bermuda’s tourism industry rose by more than 200 jobs in 2018, while visitors spent $544 million purchasing tourism products on-island, a report released yesterday revealed.

The Tourism Satellite Account Report shows that direct employment in the industry accounted for 3,204 jobs in 2018, up from 2,996 in 2017 and 2,607 in 2016.

Spending by tourists was up by $75 million, or 16.1 per cent, over 2017 figures.

The sector paid out $279 million in wages during the year, up almost 5 per cent from 2017. This employment was spread across various industries including accommodation services, restaurants, transport, recreation services and retail trade.

Tourism contributed $166 million, or 16 per cent, of total government revenue for 2018.

The direct contribution of the tourism industry to Bermuda’s gross domestic product was $386 million, representing 5.3 per cent of GDP in current prices, up 12.5 per cent from 2017, the report says. The top three industry contributors to “tourism direct gross value added” were accommodation, transportation and retail trade.

The gross operating surplus of the tourism industry more than doubled to $51 million in 2018. This growth, the report says, primarily reflected an increase in the value of the services produced, which exceeded the rise in costs to produce these services.

Meanwhile, Bermuda residents spent an estimated $332 million on foreign travel in 2018, a decrease of $30 million, or 8.3 per cent, from 2017.

Kevin Dallas, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said: “Today’s Tourism Satellite Account release reiterates what we already know — that 2018 was a bumper year for tourism.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is especially heartened to see increasing visitor spending translating into expanded local employment, a trend that we expect to continue with the opening of the Azura, Bermudiana Beach Resort and the St Regis Bermuda in the next 18 months.”

He added: “It is also worth noting that taxes paid directly by visitors vastly exceed the Government’s annual grant to the BTA, demonstrating that tourism is a net contributor to the Consolidated Fund.

“The one area of worry contained in the 2018 report is the significant reduction in outbound resident travel, which is a concern as we think about sustaining and growing Bermuda’s air service capacity.”

Wayne Furbert, Minister for the Cabinet Office, released the report, which was compiled by the Department of Statistics.

Mr Furbert said: “Compared to other industries, the tourism industry was the fourth-largest employer in Bermuda in 2018. For employment of Bermudians specifically, the tourism industry ranked third behind retail trade and public administration.”

Zane DeSilva, Minister of Tourism and Transport, said: “The higher level of spending was directly attributable to a rise in cruise passenger arrivals and stay-over visitors as well as an increase in average per-person expenditure by both.

“Employment growth in the tourism sector is also great news, and with the opening of new hotels in 2020, these numbers are expected to increase even further and provide more Bermudians the opportunity to secure employment and build successful and fulfilling careers.”

Mr Furbert added: “The Tourism Satellite Report highlights the direct, indirect and induced effects of the tourism industry on output, employment and wages in Bermuda. The public is advised to read the concepts and definitions on the last page of the report prior to reviewing the data.”

The 2018 Tourism Satellite Account report can be seen on this webpage under the heading of Related Media

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Published Dec 13, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 13, 2019 at 8:22 am)

Tourism employment on rising trend

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