The perfect opportunity to showcase our #Bermunity – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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The perfect opportunity to showcase our #Bermunity

May 26. America's Cup. Sailboats moving at twice the speed of the wind. The start of the world's greatest sailing race is around the corner. And we will be able to watch it all in the Great Sound.

Not a sailing enthusiast? What's important to understand is this: there is no event that Bermuda could ever host to raise the profile of our island and have the eyes of the world upon us like the America's Cup. Only 22 square miles and 60,000 people, yet we will have hundreds of millions of people around the world watching this island that we call home — in person, on television and streaming through smart devices.

What an opportunity to showcase the beauty of our island and the friendliness of our people. So what will America's Cup success look like to me? Like it does every May 24, every parade and every Cup Match — when we are one community with no black-white, management-labour, OBA-PLP, Bermudian-expat divide; when we all treat each other with warmth and with respect, the way strong communities do.

The event that is about to unfold is so much more than a few weeks of great sailing and parties. If we get this right, and there is every reason to believe that we will, we can forge a legacy that improves the fortunes of many in the community.

Since the global events of 2007-08, Bermuda has had to learn to adjust to a harsh reality. It has not been pleasant for many. The retail sector, for example, which is absolutely critical to Bermuda's future, has had to undergo job losses and increased taxes. This America's Cup, if we genuinely work together to make every visitor's experience the best that it can be, people will want to return — again and again and again. If this happens, not only will we be able to save jobs in retail, we will also create new ones.

We can make this happen. We are all in this together. Just think of the pride we will have showing our Bermuda to the world.


•John Wight is the president of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce

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Published May 15, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 15, 2017 at 8:15 am)

The perfect opportunity to showcase our #Bermunity

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