Bermuda’s Tourism Industry Celebrates Third Straight Year of Growth

NEW YORK – It’s a three-peat for Bermuda. According to a report out this week from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, year-end visitor arrival statistics for 2018 show strong gains, capping three straight years of uninterrupted growth for the island’s tourism trade.

“By every imaginable definition, Bermuda’s tourism industry is on a sustained path of economic recovery,” said Kevin Dallas, Bermuda Tourism Authority’s chief executive.

“Our team put together a totally fresh tourism approach as we began our work in 2014 and 2015. Stakeholders believed in that vision and helped build on the new foundation. That two-step process is the reason the country’s tourism has progressed so impressively.”

In addition to the years-long growth, last year’s performance was historically significant in many areas:

  • Record-breaking number of total vacationers for second consecutive year
  • Highest number of leisure air arrivals since 2002
  • Total visitor spending into Bermuda’s economy climbs past $500 million
  • Cruise passenger arrivals jumped 34 percent during non-summer months
Bermuda’s Tourism Industry Celebrates Third Straight Year of Growth

Hamilton, Bermuda

Back-to-back record-breaking years propelled Bermuda’s streak of tourism growth to 12 consecutive quarters – dating back to January 2016. Over that time period, key performance indicators are up sharply:

  • As of December 31, 2018, leisure air visitor spending was up 67 percent compared to 2015 year-end
  • As of December 31, 2018, leisure air visitor arrivals were up 46 percent compared to 2015 year-end

“These stellar results represent real men and women in Bermuda’s hospitality industry who have seen positive impacts on their lives – whether they own a small business or call someone else the boss,” Dallas said.

The employment of Bermudians in the hotel industry, for example, is up 23 percent between 2016 and 2018, according to government statistics.

In 2018, total visitor arrivals surged to 770,683, an 11 percent increase over the previous year and a new record for Bermuda. Air leisure arrivals finished up 12 percent year-over-year and spending from this audience jumped 11 percent. The 203,697 vacationers to arrive by air in 2018 is the best performance in this category in 16 years. Back in 2002, 218,248 visitors flew to the island for leisure travel.

The steadily rising number of leisure travelers is driving greater direct spending into the local economy. With air visitors up 12 percent and cruise visitors higher by 16 percent in 2018, total leisure visitor spending surged 28 percent year-over-year. Per person leisure spending fell slightly for air visitors in 2018 – not unexpected in the wake of America’s Cup – but because the amount of these travelers was sharply higher, total spending grew.

 

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