BTA report hails new approach to tourism
The Island's new tourism offerings reflect the “fresh approach” brought by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, according to the group's 2014 annual report — which remains insistent on the imperative of boosting stagnant air arrivals.
The BTA's new marketing strategy for the Island has been a “seminal milestone”, according to chief executive officer Bill Hanbury, who said the selling of the Island had shifted to a focus on experiential travel. “These are bold changes that we hope can get us out of the rut we were in, of not listening to what Bermuda's customers really wanted,” wrote Mr Hanbury, in his CEO's letter.
Bonuses awarded to BTA staff and top brass have repeatedly drawn fire from the Opposition, while Tourism and Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell has defended the salaries awarded to tourism officials as being in line with those of other countries.
The annual report tabled yesterday showed that Mr Hanbury received a salary of $225,000 to $295,000 last year, with a performance incentive payout of $31,000 to $88,000
Salaries for directors range from $130,000 to $150,000 for Bermuda-based staff and $115,000 to $130,000 for out-of-island employees. Bonuses in that department ranged from $14,000 to $16,000.
Mr Hanbury has stated on several occasions that the success of the investment made in the BTA would rest on this year's air arrival figures.
“As we move into 2015, the entire team is focused on three primary objectives, all of them growth oriented: increasing air arrivals, increasing visitor spending into the local economy and increasing room nights in hotels and vacation rentals,” Mr Hanbury wrote.
“We trust our new marketing strategy will help us grow leisure air arrivals and room nights, while visitor spending will go up as we improve our arsenal of unique, authentic on-island experience and culinary offerings.”