Chamber issues warning about strike’s potential impact on tourism
Visitors may not come back to Bermuda if they feel inconvenienced by the bus strike, Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Todd warned yesterday.
Mr Todd pointed out many tourists rely on public transport to get around, while local businesses will also lose out on productivity and employee time because of the action.
Meanwhile the story has been picked up by the British press, with Cruise Critic website reporting how Bermudians provided transportation for tourists left stranded by the strike.
Mr Todd told
The Royal Gazette: “It is unfortunate that it hasn’t been possible to resolve the issues between the Ministry of Transport and the Bermuda Industrial Union without having the general public, our visitors and all parties who rely on the availability of public transport as their primary means of travel having to be inconvenienced as a result of the bus strike.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we can have a timely resolution to the bus strike as it will and does have an impact on the economy.
“In the near term it impacts the commuters in terms of having to find alternative means of getting to and from their places of employments, and in certain instances adversely impacts productivity and lost employee time due to delays that are outside of their immediate control.
“Potential long term implications centre around the reliability of our public transportation services for visitors who have been inconvenienced by the strike and form the opinion that Bermuda may not be their destination of choice for future vacation and leisure travel if they cannot be assured that they can rely on this form of convenient transportation to travel throughout the Island.
“It is our hope on behalf of our members that this matter is resolved as soon as possible and all effected parties resume their normal duties in providing an essential transportation service to the general public.”
Cruise Critic reported: “Bermuda’s cotton-candy-pink buses have disappeared from the Island roads following a driver strike that began Wednesday afternoon.”
The article said six cruise ships are scheduled to visit Bermuda over the next few days, adding the buses are a popular way for tourists to get around.
It reported alternative transportation options include taxis and ferries, adding that locals are “providing transportation for those left stranded by the strike”.
“There are few details pointing to when the bus strike might end,” stated Cruise Critic. Meanwhile, citizens have organised to protest the stop in service and to urge [Jennifer] Harvey to take the drugs test.”
It is the latest in a series of articles in the international press about the tourists’ experiences of Bermuda transportation.
Useful websites: www.bermudacommerce.com, www.cruisecritic.co.uk