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BTA puts emphasis on sports training

The Bermuda Tourism Authority wants the tourism industry to do more to attract youngsters to visit the island for sports training — particularly in the shoulder season.

The BTA's chief product and experiences development officer Pat Phillip-Fairn explained to Hamilton Rotarians how the island's appeal as a sports training destination has grown significantly in the past 18 months.

In 2016, 3,600 visiting athletes flew to the island and filled 19,600 room nights. The BTA expects 2017 to be a strong growth year for sports and adventure tourism.

Ms Pat Phillip-Fairn highlighted a partial list of sports training groups in the pipeline for this year, all happening between November and March:

• Tabor Academy Sailing Camp — the first school to visit Bermuda for a preseason training camp in sailing since the BTA's sports tourism efforts began about three years ago;

• St. Andrews College and Germantown Academy — school swimming programmes returning to Bermuda for a second consecutive year;

• Calvin University and Florida State University — first-time visitors for swim training.

“Clearly we have reached a milestone in the training category of sports tourism. For example, in December 2017 we have multiple swimming camps already booked at the National Sports Centre,” said Ms Phillip-Fairn.

“Bermuda is now on the radar for coaches and other decision- makers in our target markets.

“To grow from here, we need our stakeholders to raise their hands and tell us they're ready to leverage this opportunity for their businesses and cater to this audience.”

Catering to sports teams could mean meeting special dietary requirements or providing group rates for hotel rooms, transport or excursions, she explained.

Fairmont Southampton, Grotto Bay Resort, Coco Reef, Titan Transport, GAR Transport, Flanagan's and Dolphin Quest are among the local businesses that have developed programmes catering to the sports training audience.

If additional businesses want their offers in front of sports teams they should contact the BTA's assistant product development manager for sports, Daniel Johnson at 441-279-5597 or e-mail djohnson@bermudatourism.com.

To review Ms Phillip-Fairn's presentation to Hamilton Rotarians, visit the BTA's corporate website. Included in her presentation was a sports tourism calendar for 2017.

Pat Phillip-Fairn, BTA Chief Product and Experience Development Officer

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Published February 21, 2017 at 6:38 pm (Updated February 24, 2017 at 7:12 am)

BTA puts emphasis on sports training

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