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Call for ideas to improve beach amenities

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A beach identity chart created by the BTA’s Beach Economy Working Group

Bermuda Tourism Authority is encouraging entrepreneurs to come up with ideas that will bring new “amenities and experiences” at five of the island’s public beaches.

The five locations for the BTA’s Beach Economy Vision are Horseshoe Bay, Shelly Bay, John Smith’s Bay, Tobacco Bay and Clearwater Beach.

A new CITV programme available on YouTube and a BTA presentation available online aims to guide entrepreneurs on the types of amenities and experiences best suited for each of the beaches while more information will be shared during Entrepreneurship Week between November 14 and 21.

“For the better part of a year, our Beach Economy Working Group has been co-ordinating with government departments and collaborating with a variety of stakeholders.

“Thanks to the input of many, our plan has wide support,” said Glenn Jones, chairman of the BTA’s internal team working on beaches.

“Five beaches now have a clearly defined identity, based on their natural attributes and appeal.

“This will lead to economic opportunities for Bermudians. Local entrepreneurs can study our research and use it to develop new, forward-thinking ideas that align with the vision.”

“The Ministry of the Environment is working closely with the BTA to realise a beach vision that balances economic opportunity for Bermudians with important environmental sensitivities on our shoreline,” said Minister of the Environment Cole Simons. “Focusing on five public beaches — just 12 per cent of total beaches — is a smart way to achieve balance. And we agree, assigning identities as the BTA has done gives us a clear vision that will streamline the permitting process for small business owners.”

For example, an “identity” for John Smith’s Bay is health and wellness. Next year, the BTA will ask the Parks Commission to recruit entrepreneurs for John Smith’s Bay that can deliver a health and wellness experience.

In turn, the BTA will use its marketing channels to drive visitors to John Smith’s Bay if they’re looking for a health and wellness experience.

Mr Jones added: “What we’re doing is matching the persona of the visitor with the identity of the beach. When we get this right it should mean more jobs for Bermudians, more visitor spending into our economy and a better experience for beach goers — visitors and locals alike.”

The BTA formed an internal working group to consider enhancements to Bermuda’s beach economy tasked with three primary objectives: create beach economy jobs; increase visitor spending on public beaches; and improve the beach experience for visitors and locals

The association’s work also focuses on cleanliness, facilities maintenance and ancillary job opportunities like the ones that may emerge in the transport sector.

Some beaches on the Beach Economy Vision target list already have concessionaires in place under government lease agreements.

The BTA will work with existing beach entrepreneurs and new ones to encourage them to offer amenities and experiences that live up to the beach’s identity and deliver on visitor expectations.