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Visitor spending more than $40m in first quarter 2023

Tourists and locals enjoying Horseshoe Bay Beach (File photograph)

Tourists spent more than $41 million in Bermuda in the first quarter of the year as tourism figures continued to bounce back after Covid-19.

Vance Campbell, the Minister of Tourism, told the House of Assembly yesterday that air visitors in the first three months of the year spent an estimated $36.2 million, while cruise visitors spent an additional $5.3 million.

The figure is a $20 million increase over the same period of 2022, although Mr Campbell noted that there were no cruise visits during the first quarter of last year.

“As expected vacation and leisure visitors remained the biggest component of total air arrivals, contributing 55 per cent, followed by business visitors contributing 28 per cent,” he said.

“There was also growth in the visiting friends and relatives category, contributing 13 per cent of the arrivals during the period.”

Earlier this month, the Bermuda Tourism Authority announced that leisure air arrivals for the first quarter were up 88.1 per cent compared with 2022.

Last year the authority reported 7,172 air leisure and holiday arrivals for the first quarter of 2022, compared with 13,507 in the same period this year.

Those figures are still significantly below pre-pandemic numbers, with 24,088 air visitors reported in the first quarter of 2019.

Total air-visitor spending for first quarter of 2019 was more than $48 million.

Mr Campbell said air capacity during the quarter was up 9.9 per cent year-on-year, and airlines sold 54,288 seats or 74.2 per cent of that capacity.

Yacht arrivals also increased year on year, with 25 super yachts visiting the island in the first quarter of 2023 compared with 22 last year, resulting in an estimated $1.72 million in economic impact.

Mr Campbell said the figures “bode well” for the revival of the island’s tourism sector and noted efforts by the Bermuda Tourism Authority to promote the island through creative advertising campaigns.

“Notably, they became the first destination marketing organisation to utilise 3D billboards, situated in New York’s bustling Times Square, effectively capturing the attention of the passers-by,” he said.

“Their successful ‘Lost Yet Found’ campaign has garnered widespread recognition, showcasing the authenticity of the island and its unique offerings.”

He added that the BTA sales team has been hard at work to re-establish business connections and attract new opportunities and the Government would continue to work with partners to encourage hotel development, build air capacity, maintain cruise partnerships and improve visitor experiences.

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Published May 20, 2023 at 7:48 am (Updated May 20, 2023 at 7:48 am)

Visitor spending more than $40m in first quarter 2023

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