Island’s tourism industry records a $9m loss – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Island's tourism industry records a $9m loss

The tourism industry as a whole made a $9 million loss in 2009, according to a report released by the Department of Statistics.

Yesterday the Department released the Tourism Satellite Account, a look at the industry's direct impact on the Island's economy.

“In 2009, the tourism industry's share of total GDP (gross domestic product) stood at four percent, which is slightly less than the 4.5 percent share held in 2008,” it stated.

The report added that approximately 90 percent of the money made within the industry was used to pay wages and salaries and the industry's “losses amounted to $9 million”.

In 2008 the tourism industry made a $24 million profit while the industry made a $55 million profit in 2007, the report stated.

Approximately nine percent of Bermuda's workforce was employed by the tourism industry in 2009, down from 13 percent in 2008. In total, 77 jobs were lost in the industry that year. The industry is the largest private sector employer of Bermudians, who account for 70 percent of tourism's workforce.

“A decline in visitors during the year resulted in job losses by workers in the industry,” the report stated. “Lower demand for tourism services led employers to cut operational costs and scale back the number of industry workers.”

The report also stated that visitors spent $350 million on the Island in 2009, down from $425 million from 2008.

Business Development and Tourism Minister Patrice Minors, said the lower figures were a result of a poor economy.

“Some of these stats show a slight drop from the 2008 data. Obviously, Bermuda has not been immune from feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown brought about by the global financial crisis.

“This has had trickle-down effects on many areas, including international business, the real estate market, the construction industry and yes tourism.

“Yet I believe that despite the challenges, Bermuda can position itself to enjoy a stellar year.”

Mrs Minors announced a new Tourism Board yesterday, which she said she hoped would be a step in the right direction in turning around the industry's decline.

“If we are to succeed, then we must explore and embrace different options if we are to remain viable.

“We have a great opportunity having the twin pillars of our economy under one umbrella in order to ensure that Bermuda reaches and surpasses this success.”

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New look Tourism Board, see story on Page 5.

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Published December 31, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 31, 2010 at 7:10 am)

Island's tourism industry records a $9m loss

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