Tourism officials in Bermuda have welcomed an increase in visitor arrivals to the island in the third quarter of 2015 but say they are not satisfied with the pace of progress.
Chief executive officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) Bill Hanbury described the 5.6 per cent rise in cruise, yacht and air visitors between July and September compared with the same period in 2014 as “positive news”.
“The numbers are tracking in the right direction, but we are not satisfied,” Hanbury said.
“We are not happy with the pace of progress, it has been frustrating. But we believe we have done the right thing in thinking about the long-term solution rather than looking for a quick fix.”
But Hanbury said major investments in Bermudian entrepreneurs to improve “product and experience” as well as the millions ploughed into a state-of-the-art web site and new rebranding architecture would pay dividends in the long term.
He revealed on Wednesday that the BTA would be handing out a further US$800,000 in grants next week as part of its drive to improve and increase activity options for visitors.
Between July and September vacation air arrivals saw a small increase of 0.31 per cent compared to last year, but for the first nine months of the year leisure air arrivals are down 0.80 per cent on 2014.
The latest BTA statistics show that airlift capacity to Bermuda has dropped by eight per cent or 34,000 seats in the first three quarters of the year. However, the first quarter of 2016 is forecast to see a 14 per cent year-over-year increase in airlift capacity.