Economic blow from cruise and air hits $180m

  • Economic impact: cruise ship cancellations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic means Bermuda will not see an estimated $33 million of on-island spending by ship passengers in April, May and June (File photograph)

    Economic impact: cruise ship cancellations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic means Bermuda will not see an estimated $33 million of on-island spending by ship passengers in April, May and June (File photograph)


Tens of millions of dollars that might have been pumped into Bermuda’s economy by tourist and business visitors this month have been lost because of cruise ship cancellations and the closure of the airport to commercial flights in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cruise ship industry has a massive economic impact on the island’s tourism industry.

At least 60 ships scheduled up to the end of June have cancelled — with the loss of at least $45 million that would have been injected into the economy.

Cruise ship passengers would have spent an estimated $33.3 million on the island over April, May and June.

The Government is also expected to miss out on $12 million in revenue from cruise ship passenger departure tax and transport infrastructure tax.

The figures are based on the projected loss of 148,778 cruise visitors, the expected average passenger numbers from the cancelled ships as shown on the 2020 cruise ship schedule, and from the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s 2019 estimated average spending of $224 per passenger.

Businesses in Dockyard will be among those hardest hit by the loss of much of the cruise season, as the majority of ships tie up at King’s Wharf and Heritage Wharf.

West End Development Corporation, which operates Dockyard, has said it would monitor the situation.

It has already given business tenants a rent deferral for April and said it awaited a decision by the Government on the possible reopening of businesses next month before it made a decision on next month’s rental payments.

It is more difficult to quantify the likely economic impact of the huge drop in air visitor numbers because of the fluid situation around how long the airport will remain closed to commercial flights, how soon carriers will restart service and how many people will opt to visit.

But leisure and business air visitors spent a combined total $134.9 million on the island from April to the end of June last year — broadly in line with the same quarter the previous year.

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Apr 29, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 29, 2020 at 2:18 pm)

Economic blow from cruise and air hits $180m

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts