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BTA hopes Bermudian firm wins rebranding contract

Crowds of people flood Horseshoe Bay (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Bermuda Tourism Authority will put out a request for proposal to rebrand the island’s tourism industry, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee.

The report, tabled in the House of Assembly, said it was hoped that a Bermuda firm would secure the contract.

The BTA previously announced that it had hired Boston-based firm Proverb, which is headed by Bermudian Daren Bascome, to conduct a brand study to guide the “next iteration of the Bermuda brand story for the international market”.

The PAC report added that Charles Jeffers Jr, the BTA’s CEO, said the island must continue to market itself despite the challenging economic climate.

The report said: The CEO stressed the importance of playing the long game with our tourism marketing.

“He emphasised that he would not recommend reducing marketing to zero dollars and advised to continue with a presence in the market place.”

The report added: “There were concerns about Bermuda being too expensive for some visitors, but the CEO stressed that it’s all relative and it is Important for Bermuda to provide value for money to our visitors.

“High quality service levels, visitor experiences and top flight guest facilities are key.”

The PAC said that “all-inclusive type vacation packages” for a whole on-island experience could be crafted, and that Mr Jeffers had said the limited amount of entertainment and nightlife on the island was a “missing element”.

The report said that Mr Jeffers intended to focus on the visitor experience and ensuring that it was “authentic”.

“The BTA and new CEO are anticipating hospitality industry growth and jobs improvement, and more fee revenues, with a tourism rebound,” the report continued.

“They also plan to focus on business visitors and to host more business events/activities in Bermuda.”

The BTA said it would bolster its social media presence and promotion of the island while working with tour operators who can steer more people to Bermuda.

The quango also said it was working to “change the culture” of the BTA to make it more inclusive and diverse with a greater focus on the community.

The report also highlighted sport events organised for the island, including the PGA Tour Bermuda Championship, and the potential for further growth in the superyacht market.

The report said the BTA was considering possibility of superyachts home-porting in Bermuda.

The PAC report was sparked by concerns over the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which hammered the international tourism industry.

Bermuda’s borders were temporarily shut in March 2020 and, while tourism has begun to bounce back, surges in Covid-19 cases had hampered recovery efforts.

Despite these challenges and a sharp decline in revenue, the PAC found that the people of Bermuda were getting good value for money from the BTA.

“Your committee was also very satisfied with the austerity measures implemented by the BTA, and we believe that these measures were balanced to an extent such that they did not cripple the organisation and its effectiveness, the report said.

“It should be noted that the BTA has also received a clean bill of health on its financial reporting and internal controls, with an unqualified opinion issued by the Auditor-General of Bermuda on her audit of the Authority’s Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year ended December 31, 2020.

“Your committee now looks forward to eventually meeting with officers from the BTA once again for further updates on their strategies and plans for moving forward.”

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Published October 06, 2021 at 7:33 am (Updated October 06, 2021 at 7:33 am)

BTA hopes Bermudian firm wins rebranding contract

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