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Tourism arrivals up in August

Horseshoe Bay (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Tourism figures were up 7.9 per cent in August, according to statistics released this afternoon by the Ministry of Tourism and Transport.

A statement by the ministry said that 94,555 people visited Bermuda for leisure this August, compared to 87,646 last August and 80,267 in August 2014.

“The biggest increase in category of visitor was cruise ship visitors which went from 59,562 in August 2014 to 70,854 in August 2016,” the statement said.

“Air vacation and leisure visitors increased from 20,705 in August 2014 to 23,701 in August 2016.

“Out of the total number of air visitors to Bermuda in August 2016, the most common purpose of their trip to Bermuda was vacation and leisure which made up 77 per cent of the total, while 12 per cent of air visitors were visiting friends and relatives, and business travel made up 10 per cent.”

Business arrivals also increased year-on-year, with 3,042 people arriving in August compared to 2,977 during the same period last year.

“One of the largest increases in total air arrivals came from the United States, with 20,926 coming to Bermuda from the US in August 2014 and 24,242 coming to Bermuda from the US in 2016,” the statement continued.

“Also, there was a 46.7 per cent increase year over year in the total number of air arrivals from Asia for the month of August.”

Hotel occupancy was also on the rise, with 76.9 per cent occupancy in August compared to 71 and 6.73 per cent in August 2015 and 2014 respectively.

Michael Fahy, the Minister of Tourism, Transport and the Municipalities, said he was impressed and encouraged by the results, adding: “It really bodes well for next year with the America’s Cup getting under way and provides us with strong momentum heading into the off-season in Bermuda.

“There is much still to do but these numbers are certainly an indication that Bermuda is getting traction once again with travellers.

“I want to congratulate the Bermuda Tourism Authority for their efforts to attract visitors to our shores — efforts which are clearly paying off.”