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Team effort to promote East End

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Business owners in St George are joining a team effort in the East End to market new features the town has to offer while also embracing its history.

The Hub 1 Steering Committe, which involves multiple oganisations in promoting the cultural and visitor attractions of St George's and St David's, has garnered significant buy-in from the business community.

Kristin White, the Hub 1 tourism manager of St George's, discussed the importance of each business and their role in telling their own historic story to enhance the unique experiences the town has to offer.

“The new generation of people coming along and some of the old ones who are already here are now seeing the town differently,” Ms White said.

“We are ushering in an era of celebrating stories in a new way. I think that's what's making St George's and what's to come really exciting.”

Entities such as the Corporation of St George, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation are all involved in making the town more marketable for both visitors and locals.

With transportation being identified as a problem in the past for both St George and Dockyard, the Corporation of St George has moved to address the issue.

“The Corporation has stepped up by investing in Hunter's Wharf, by creating a transport hub, which will be a space for multiple ferries, a space to sell tickets for guests, and new initiatives there,” Belcario Thomas, chief experience officer of Beach Boys Ltd, said.

The BEDC supports the east, as parts are within the economic empowerment zone with its microloan programmes, entrepreneurial workshops and business advice.

Historic signage and event calendars for visitors will be placed to identify the history of buildings and discover St George's in a 360-degree view including being able to know what events and entertainment will be in the area.

“There is plenty to do in St George's,” Ms White said. “We have different tours such as my Bicycle Food Tour, where I take a group around St George's and teach them about the culture and history of the island while sampling different foods.

“Belcario is doing tours that walk you from the town to Tobacco Bay which gives you history and the beach. Wild Herbs and Plants does a tour as well.”

Besides the tours the town has more to offer including new shops, a weekly calendar of events such as daily horseback riding and jet skiing.

“The BTA has been really helpful to the destination as well. There are activities for everyone, adventure seekers, active families, and the luxury market. St George's can meet all the demands,” Mr Thomas said.

Facilities have been upgraded at Clearwater Beach, where there is now wi-fi availability, improved restrooms and a gift shop.

When asked what makes St George's different, Ms White said: “St George's is both a huge residential and visitor area. Tourists say we don't want to go where the visitors go, we want to go where you go.”

She added: “People who drive the industry live and work at their business in the town. The owners are very involved within their shops and restaurants. It's a different energy. You don't find that in other places.”

Mr Thomas added the area was fertile ground for start-ups.

“St George's is a great place to kick-start people's hobbies and turn them into a business,” he said. “We want more residents here in St George's. You don't have to have all the answers, you can come live here and have a hobby that you can turn into a business.”

The friendly nature and support of the St George's community is evident and they would love to see more locals enjoy the experience as well as tourists.

“You can ‘staycation' on island if going away is not within your budget. It is a good getaway,” Mr Thomas said.

Ms White added: “The amount of places down here you can go — I think people are not seeing the full potential of St George's.”

Kristin White: leading a team effort to attract more visitors to the East End (Photo Supplied)
Belcario Thomas: owner of Beach Boys Ltd (Photograph supplied)
History and beauty: St Catherine's Beach
Upgraded facilities: Clearwater Beach in St Davids
Unique attraction: the Unfinished Church in St George's

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Published May 03, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated May 02, 2018 at 9:02 pm)

Team effort to promote East End

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