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Bermuda ‘not in the same arena’ as Cuba

New opportunities: relations have thawed between the US and Cuba

Bermuda has nothing to fear in terms of tourism competition from Cuba, as the Caribbean giant emerges into the market after decades of being frozen out by the United States, according to tourism minister Senator Michael Fahy.

Mr Fahy made the assertion during the Upper House’s debate on the Throne Speech. “We have never competed and never will compete with a jurisdiction like Cuba,” Mr Fahy told the Senate. “We are simply not in that arena and never will be.”

The Minister characterised the Cuban product as reliant on all-inclusive resorts, adding: “We are a destination that is high-end, that provides high-end excursions and opportunities in a safe place.” Turning to aspects of the Opposition’s Reply, Mr Fahy dismissed the notion that using concessions and government guarantees to draw developers amounted to “a false economy”.

He maintained that competitors offered more sweeping concessions, which developers had come to expect — and noted that the Government would bring a Tourism Incentives Bill to Parliament during the session ahead, to replace the present hotel concessions legislation. Mr Fahy also said the Reply had erred in calling for an end to the use of public buses for tourist sightseeing — saying he had ended that earlier in the summer.