Bermuda’s Tourism Summit Brings New Strategy, New Success from New York

HAMILTON, Bermuda – Autumn visitor numbers from the New York market increased following the Tourism Summit convened by Premier and Minister of Tourism and Transport Dr. Ewart F. Brown in August.

At the summit a collection of industry partners agreed on a strategy to enlarge the marketing spend and penetration in New York, Bermuda’s number one Tourism market.

In November 2008 the number of visitors from New York increased 18.5%, from last year’s 2,815 to this year’s 3,336.

In October 2008 the number of visitors from New York increased 10.2%, from last year’s 3,611 to this year’s 3,979.

In September 2008 the number of visitors from New York increased 10.9%, from last year’s 3,298 to this year’s 3,659.

The Premier said: “In a U.S. General Election year and an economic downturn that has hit New York especially hard, it is truly outstanding to see the New York visitor numbers go up. I think this is a testament to a good strategy solidified by focus and hard work.

“The challenge before us now is to take this success in New York during September through November and translate it to other months of the year. It may be difficult to accomplish this during a U.S. recession, but we’re determined to transform this short term success into a long term strategy.”

Bermuda Tourism launched a new advertising campaign on television in the summer of 2008 which was cross-marketed with advertising on ferries, commuter rail trains and heliports through the fall. Target consumers were reached in their homes and on their daily commutes.

Additionally the buzz generated in the lead up to the 2008 Bermuda Music Festival produced an effective platform to create awareness of Bermuda as a premier travel destination. New York market radio and magazines were utilized.

Premier hands out “feel the love” t-shirts during a Mets game at Shea Stadium on September 22nd, 2008.

Bermuda Tourism market awareness in the late summer and fall were also boosted by the following media placements and events in the New York area:

– NBC’s Today Show – Segment on fall travel aired on Wednesday, August 27th. Bermuda was one of three destinations featured

– NY1 News – Travel segment that aired on September 14th “Beat Fall Blues With A Trip To The Pinks Sands Of Bermuda”

– Bermuda Night at Shea Stadium – Bermuda Idol Larrita Adderley sang the U.S. National Anthem and Warwick Gombeys performed on September 22nd at Shea Stadium where fans were given Bermuda Tourism branded merchandise

– CW 11 Morning News – Promotion of Bermuda Night at Shea Stadium, tickets to the game given away

– New York Daily News – Feature ran on August 17th “Isle do for Two.” Guide to Bermuda that included hotel and restaurant mentions

– New York Post: Thursday, September 18th, The Reefs included in an article about fractional ownership

– New York Sunday Times: On September 14th the 2008 Bermuda Music Festival included in the Datebook column of the travel section

September, October and November are the only months in 2008 to see an increase in visitors from New York. Year-to-date New York visitor numbers (through November 2008) slumped 5.73%.

Overall visitor air arrivals in September 2008 were up 3.28% versus the same period last year, while October 2008 air arrivals were down 2.63% and November air arrivals remained steady, up by 0.03% versus the same period in 2007.

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