2012 College Weeks’ numbers top 200
College Weeks exceeded expectations according to the Tourism Department about 250 visitors were drawn by the event’s relaunch.
Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert had earlier expressed hope that as many as 200 students from universities and colleges in North America would attend.
John Jefferis said his South Shore hotel, Coco Reef, drew an extra 30 to 40 guests during each of the four weeks of activities.
“I’m hoping for double or treble these numbers next year,” he said. “It’s a really good number for the first year. From my perspective, it was a great success.”
Coco Reef has already secured booking from Syracuse University for next year, Mr Jefferis added.
The veteran hotelier said he was “a little disappointed” more hotels hadn’t promoted College Weeks.
Occupancy at Coco Reef was up 16 percent compared to the same period last year, he said.
College Weeks ran from February 18 to March 16.
The Department of Tourism organised cruises and parties at Horseshoe Beach; Coco Reef also wooed visitors with $100 “spring break passes”, and college-friendly accoutrements like a mechanical bull on the hotel terrace.
“We gave a really low rate to get this thing off the ground,” Mr Jefferis said. “The real plus of this business is getting them to return.”
Recalling the heydays of College Weeks, Mr Jefferis said Bermuda had historically tended to attract visitors who were “less wild than at spring break in other destinations”. He said he had high hopes for positive word-of-mouth.
“In synopsis, I’d say it’s been a great event, helping occupy hotels and providing people with employment that would not normally take place in the month of March,” he said.
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