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Tourism board to be restructured

Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert announced Government will restructure the Tourism Board to allow more people directly involved the industry to sit on it.

At a press conference yesterday, the Minister said: “These individuals will be given more authority over how the sales, marketing and promotional dollars are spent.”

But he said the restructuring plans is not an admission that the board, in its present form, is not up to standard.

Mr Furbert also announced the formation of two new committees the Business Development Committee (BDC) which will consist of the heads of Business Bermuda, and a new group, Bermuda Investment Managers Association (BIMA).

BDC will be headed up by Ms Carol Folger, the chairwoman, who will be joined by Sean Morris of Appleby.

Together they are charged with creating more synergy between the existing groups that receive government funding.

According to the Minister: “They will sit down and look at how they are each operating so they can each work more effectively, and be more efficient in our spending.

“These committees are tasked to produce and get new business in Bermuda. We also will be putting together a group called the Business Sustainability Committee (BSC).”

Mr Furbert added: “We are on a mission, the mission is simple but challenging to increase GDP and job through increased tourism arrivals, grow jobs in existing international business and encourage new businesses to come to our shores.

“We will move our Island in the direction of a bigger and better future. There are those who believe in austerity, we believe in growth.

“There are those who believe that the glass is half empty, we believe the glass is half full. I believe the best is yet to come.”

Mr Furbert also disclosed that the National Tourism Plan will be completed by early spring to outlay the vision for Bermuda’s Tourism Industry for the next five to ten years.

“This interim report will be produced in the early part of March and I’m expecting the authors to communicate with the public in general.

“That way we get a buy-in from the public going forward, so when the final report is written, its not their report, its not my report, it's a report from all of us.”

When asked by

The Royal Gazette to expand on the prospects of a new hotel development mentioned by the Premier in the Budget last Friday, the Minister replied: “The Premier will be making that announcement in due course.”

Premier Paula Cox told parliamentarians last week that “recent negotiations spearheaded by the Tourism Minister with a developer and the Bermuda Industrial Union provides reason for cautious optimism that ground will be broken on a luxury brand hotel this year.”

Asked for his take on the relaunch of college weeks this year, Mr Furbert said the Ministry has already exceeded their expectations.

“We expected 200 college students during the course of college weeks, we had more than 100 the first week, even more for the second, and I’m sure we will exceed our initial expectations.”

Commenting on the fiscal allocations for the year ahead, Mr Furbert said: “The Ministry will get $38 million this year, $5 million will go to business development and the headquarters.

“Tourism will get $28 million, the Registrar of Companies will get $3.5 million and E-Commerce will get $1 million.”

Mr Furbert declined to say however which advertising firm will get the tourism contract for advertising. “The announcement,” he said, “will be made very soon.”

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Published February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am (Updated February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am)

Tourism board to be restructured

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