Bascome calls for focus on ‘nostalgia tourism’
St George's MP Kenneth Bascome has called for a push towards “nostalgia tourism” targeting potential visitors who served on the island's former base lands.
“This week alone I have encountered numerous people who were stationed on the base here with their children who were born here,” he said. “I have had at least 15 or 20 people see me and recognise me from when I used to be at Tobacco Bay.
“The same way we used to do College Weeks, I believe we should do nostalgia weeks. We get people who used to live here like former police officers and all the people that were stationed on the base and their families. Thousands of people were born here.
“We need to create a marketing tool that calls on people to come back and relive their memories of when they lived in Bermuda. We are still here; the water is still pristine.
“I believe Bermuda has so much to offer, but we are not tapping into all of the resources that are out there for us to get us back where we were as the premier destination for tourism.”
He said such a proposal would be ideal for the shoulder season, suggesting that events be held in November or March when the weather is cooler.
“We can put on special activities to encourage people to come here,” he said. “Using the base as an example, we could do things at Clearwater Beach because that was specifically owned by the American government.
“We might think it's too cold for swimming, but many of them don't.”
Mr Bascome noted that some of the visitors he has spoken to had remained in contact through Facebook groups, and so it should be feasible to spread the message, adding that the US consulate could also play a role in helping to promote the island and events to those who have served in Bermuda.
“I believe they could play a major part,” he said.
“I have had a conversation with one visitor who suggested I go to the Pentagon, but they might not be willing to disclose that sort of information, but I believe with the modern technology we have today, we should be able to create a programme that targets all the people that once worked here, particularly the young people who were born here.”
Mr Bascome added that he has already spoken to the Bermuda Tourism Authority about the potential initiative.