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BTA plans major event to attract superyachts

Welcome visitor: superyachts such as Vava II could be visiting Bermuda in large numbers next summer (File photograph)

The island will hold a major sailing event next year in a bid to attract more superyachts to the island.

Details of the event have yet to be announced, but a spokeswoman for the Bermuda Tourism Authority said superyachts that traditionally “migrated” between Europe and the US could be drawn to the island by the regatta.

The spokeswoman added that the SailGP racing tournament, expected to be held in May or June, could also bring superyachts flocking to the island for an extended stay.

The Ordnance Island marina in St George will be able to accommodate superyachts once upgrades are completed next May.

Island representatives have been on a whirlwind tour of boat shows in other superyacht hubs such as Monaco and Fort Lauderdale to promote Bermuda as a world-class destination.

The spokeswoman said: “An event like SailGP is the kind of event that fits well with the superyacht migration out of the Caribbean on to the Mediterranean or East Coast of the United States.

“Bermuda is perfectly positioned in the Mid-Atlantic for that migration and we hope to create an event that will attract superyachts to the island.

“Efforts to attract superyachts have highlighted the synergies that exist between many island partners including the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Agency, Bermuda Yacht Services and Hamilton Princess Marina to name a few.”

The spokeswoman added that a BSMA team had attended the Monaco Yacht Show and the Marine Money 2021 Monaco Ship Finance Forum to push Bermuda as a superyacht destination and shipping registration jurisdiction.

The BTA attended the Newport Charter yacht show earlier this year and made presentations to key charter brokers.

The authority has also teamed up with tourism officials in Fort Lauderdale to promote both destinations.

Bermuda co-hosted the opening party of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last month where a “Go Where The Yachts Go” campaign designed to connect both ports was launched.

Douglas Trueblood, the BTA’s chief sales and marketing officer, said: “I’m thrilled to promote Bermuda to this very important category of business and excited about continuing our marketing efforts to grow this initiative as we outlined in the national tourism plan.”

The spokeswoman added: “With our association with SailGP forged in 2021, we are developing marketing programmes around the association between Bermuda, SailGP and America’s Cup to entice the yacht community.”

When Bermuda hosted the America’s Cup in 2017, 143 superyachts visited the island.

A total of 73 superyachts docked in Bermuda the next year.

There were 67 in 2019 and 46 vessels arrived in 2020.

The spokeswoman said: “We are now discussing new opportunities and other exciting events are in the works.

“In addition to fuel and provisioning, an extended stay by a superyacht generates increased demand for local products and services and creates more exposure to Bermuda's culture, history and unique on-island experiences.

“Bermuda's profile as a superyacht destination is increasing and the island's beauty, rich history and culture, coupled with it's first-class products and services are attaining a solid reputation for the island on a global level.”

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Published November 25, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated November 25, 2021 at 7:39 am)

BTA plans major event to attract superyachts

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