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Island’s gems highlighted in US magazine

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Joy Barnum describes how Spittal Pond inspires her

Bermudians have revealed their favourite Island hideaways as part of a video project for an award-winning US travel magazine.

The magazine, Afar, which was featured on Martha Stewart’s show for its launch in 2010, focuses on experiential travel — stories told through the eyes of those experiencing it.

The format forms part of a marketing campaign by the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), which commissioned the videos.

Afar’s website has the first three of a series of videos that tell Bermuda’s story from the perspective of Bermudians.

Singer Joy T Barnum, designer Rebecca Hanson and flyboarder Mike Swan are among the local characters selected by the BTA so far.

Ms Barnum takes viewers to Spittal Pond, introducing it as a haven where she finds inspiration for her songs.

Mr Swan visits the beach during the winter, saying: “The beach is all mine — a beautiful day at this time of year beats a good day in the summer, any time.”

The films were predominantly made by a New York production company, The Molecule, but local video and media production company Method Media hosted the crew while they filmed here during the week of the Rugby Classic. Method Media also provided local crewmembers to contribute towards the final result.

Milton Raposo, owner of Method Media, said: “We all live on the internet these days, whether we are looking for information or advice on the best schools, buying a car or travel. The BTA is using local talent, of which there is an abundance.”

Chief sales and marketing officer for the BTA, Victoria Isley, said: “We aim to tell Bermuda’s stories authentically through different lenses, both on-island and off-island, and different channels to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation of intrepid travellers.

“It really is an integrated marketing and storytelling strategy that is told through paid, owned and earned media. We are working with partners/media outlets/talent that have audiences or followings that align with the Bermuda traveller, and the next generation of travellers to Bermuda. Individual people are connecting with the video stories and sharing them through their own social channels.”

The Bermuda Tourism Authority plans to create and release more storytelling in various forms and has teamed up with multi-channel network Tastemade. The network, which has 15 million subscribers on YouTube and Google, has sent three of its personalities to the Island to document their experiences.

When Afar was featured on Martha Stewart’s show, its co-founder Joe Diaz said: “Afar is a magazine devoted to experiential travel that connects us to the authentic essence of a place. We travel as a way to inspire people to connect with the people and cultures of the world to really understand the perspectives and travel like a local.

“It gets you off the tour bus and puts you at the kitchen table to really experience the heart of the destination.”

Afar has a circulation of 250,000 and the website has 500,000 unique users a month.

To see Afar’s guide to Bermuda, visit www.afar.com/travel-guides/bermuda/guide

To view Tastemade’s Bermuda videos, visit www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLX98sAmndWt2ZsP44BR2zAuplpTTfQ9zQ

A man tries flyboarding through Mike Swan’s Coconut Rockets company