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A ‘make-or-break’ tourism year

Next year will be a “make or break” year for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, according to its CEO, Bill Hanbury.

The Authority, which officially began work in April, played a key role in helping the island to secure the 2017 America's Cup.

And Mr Hanbury believes a “new energy” in the tourism industry bodes well for 2015 when the focus will be boosting air arrivals and attracting cruise liners to St George and Hamilton.

“You can not deny the fact there is a new energy in the tourism industry.

“That is a simple fact,” Mr Hanbury told The Royal Gazette.

“We should feel good about that.

“Bermuda has rejoined the global tourism economy and that is good news.

“There shouldn't be a lot of naysaying because there will be new traction that will be beneficial to the Bermudian economy.”

Since his appointment at the beginning of the year Mr Hanbury said the BTA had made significant progress in a range of areas including brand awareness and marketing.

He predicted that the authority's new focus on sophisticated business intelligence and tourism technology would also bear fruit in the new year.

Mr Hanbury said: “In 2014 we are going to have a flat year — I am not happy about that.

“We have to live up to the fact that all the things we wanted to happen did not happen.

“We are still in contracts with PR firms and ad agencies that were made before our time. If we look back on the last eight months a lot of good things have happened.

“We are proud of the work we have done so far and the work we contributed towards the success of our America's Cup bid.

“2015, for better or for worse, will be a defining year of whether the BTA and the concept works.

“People can judge whether we have been successful on our performance next year.”

He added: “I have been doing this kind of work for 35 years and have done it successfully. We are doing it successfully here.

“I am not going anywhere — I fully intend to see this for a huge success for Bermuda because I love this country and have been embraced by many people.”

Mr Hanbury was quick to praise the work of his “dedicated team”, which is made up of 90 per cent Bermudians.

He said: “Through new hotel developments that have been announced recently, the creation of the BTA and of course the America's Cup we are showing an ability to adapt and find a new way to survive in a very competitive global marketplace.

“We should be proud of that.”

Next year will be the Bermuda Tourism Authority's make or break year, according to its CEO, Bill Hanbury. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published December 16, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 16, 2014 at 3:13 am)

A ‘make-or-break’ tourism year

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