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Government announces Bermuda beach ‘vision’

Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Public Works have produced a “Beach Vision” for the island, charting the direction for development.

The “vision”, based on the results of surveys and focus groups carried out by the two bodies, states that the Bermuda beach experience should be “iconic, memorable for its natural beauty complemented by cleanliness and casual amenities that are culturally authentic — true to the island's attitude of unpretentious relaxation and warm hospitality”.

Craig Cannonier, Minister of Public Works, said that the surveys had indicated that the cleanliness of the beaches and restrooms was paramount, along with a lack of overcrowding.

“Our aim is simple,” he said. “To deliver a beach experience that lives up to this vision, with a focus on five public beaches in particular — John Smith's Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Shelly Bay, Tobacco Bay and Clearwater.

“The main tenet of our plan is to improve the facilities at beaches that already have infrastructure in place, as opposed to creating new infrastructure at beaches where none currently exists.”

A statement by the ministry said that surveys of potential and past visitors to the island, based in the US East Coast, found the ideal Bermuda beach is clean with “abundant beauty and powdery sand”.

They also sought casual dining options near the beaches and moderate prices for food, beverages and services at public beaches.

Focus groups in Boston and New York similarly found that participants showed a preference to beaches that were easy to access with a “relaxing energy” and many available services. They expressed interest in basic amenities, with clean bathrooms listed as a necessity.

Parks officer Craig Burt said: “When reviewing the beach vision for Bermuda, we considered aspects such as sustainability and the protection of natural assets.

“It's about enhancing what's already there, without changing it drastically.

“The National Parks Act permits only minimal development on beaches in order to ensure that they are not exploited.”

Mr Cannonier added: “Every good plan starts with a vision. The beach vision is by no means set in stone; it continues to be a work in progress.

“Ultimately, these beaches belong to the people of Bermuda so we need the public to let us know if we got this right, whether our plan for the future is one they can be proud of.”

•Anyone who wishes to provide feedback on the beach vision can do so by e-mailing beaches@gov.bm

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Published May 16, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated May 16, 2016 at 8:17 am)

Government announces Bermuda beach ‘vision’

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