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Smooth passage for superyachts

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Super spenders: superyachts can pump up to $127,000 a week into the local economy (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Long-awaited legislation to encourage superyacht visits to Bermuda has been applauded by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

Kevin Dallas, the BTA chief executive, said the Superyachts and Other Vessels (Miscellaneous) Bill 2019 tabled in the House of Assembly on Friday could support a branch of tourism primed for growth.

Mr Dallas said: “It drives fresh opportunities to our stakeholders and partners, including Bermudian entrepreneurs who will service this high-end tourism sector as it grows.

“Not only do the vessels consume high volumes of products and services locally, but our research indicates their captains, crews and charter guests spend far more per person than any other kind of visitor — benefiting our economy, from retail and restaurants to small businesses like taxi operators, chefs, and florists.

Mr Dallas added: “After the America’s Cup, we highlighted a new legal framework for superyachts as critical to the advancement of Bermuda’s tourism economy.

“We applaud legislators for moving in this direction and look forward to the realisation of this AC35 legacy because it makes Bermuda more competitive with other jurisdictions, stimulates spending in the local economy, and creates increased job opportunities for Bermudians.”

The Bill, as tabled, creates new transit and cruising permits for pleasure craft and superyachts, along with charter permits for superyachts.

It also removes passenger departure tax for pleasure craft.

Similar regulations designed to allow superyachts to charter out while docked in Bermuda were relaxed for the America’s Cup, but the changes were temporary and ended with the conclusion of the competition.

The BTA previously expressed hope that the superyachts — which can each pump as much as $127,000 a week into the economy — would make Bermuda a regular stop.

Super spenders: superyachts can pump up to $127,000 a week into the local economy (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)