Bermuda’s tourism industry (www.gotobermuda.com) benefited from an increase in air travel in the third quarter of 2013, according to the Hon. Shawn G. Crockwell JP, MP, Minister of Tourism Development and Transport. The island welcomed a total of 82,819 visitors arriving by air da during this period, which encompassed the months of July, August and September. This number is up from 80,852 in the third quarter of 2012, equating to a 2.4% total increase.
“We’re very happy to share this Visitor Arrivals Report and detail these signs of positive improvement,” said Crockwell. “The increase in air travel to Bermuda is especially encouraging.”
The United States continued to dominate the market share for air travel, representing 75% of total arrivals to Bermuda. The report also found that the New York market was once again the best achieving area of the greater United States market, showing a 13% increase in the third quarter and an 11% increase for the year to date when compared to 2012.
Minister Crockwell largely credits tactical airline expansion for the increase in visitors from the Northeast, as Delta Airlines recently added service to Bermuda from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
“We are grateful for the strategic addition of Delta service out of LaGuardia that has helped to spur this growth.” Crockwell said. “It validates our decision to allocate promotional dollars to this all-important market, as it continues to pay dividends.”
Minister Crockwell also noted that the island is trending positively for future visitors over the next six months, citing the Bermuda hotel industry’s Pace Report.
“Total rooms on the books for the next six months are pacing up 6% vs. last year and transient rooms on the books for the next six months are up 8% vs. last year, with large increases in the months of December and April,” said Crockwell. “Group rooms on the books for the next six months are up 20% over last year, with the most significant increases in the months of November, December and April. Tour Operator rooms on the books for the next six months are up 13% vs. this time last year, with a very large increase in December.”
Bermuda is currently gearing up for its highly anticipated Marathon Weekend, with races held on January 17-19, 2014. The island, which attracts runners from all over the world, will host four races: The KPMG Bermuda Invitational Mile, the HSBC Bermuda 10K & 10K Walk, the HSBC Bermuda Half Marathon and the HSBC Bermuda Marathon, allowing runners of all skill levels the chance to race in a warm, scenic, yet challenging setting. The island will also sponsor the Bermuda Triangle Challenge for runners who endeavor to complete three of the four races in three days.
January also signals the start of Bermuda’s Restaurant Week, slated to begin on January 17 and continue through February 13, 2014. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the island’s culinary scene for an incredible value as 38 restaurants will offer special three-course dinners beginning at $29.99 per person.
“We are especially looking forward to Restaurant Week, Marathon Weekend and other upcoming opportunities to show how our island offers So Much More than anywhere else,” said Crockwell. “We are excited about the continued growth in the tourism sector and look forward to welcoming more visitors to Bermuda in the future.”
Just under two hours from East Coast gateway cities, Bermuda stretches for 21 miles along turquoise waters and is surrounded by a 200-square-mile coral reef plateau. The destination’s accommodations range from luxury resorts to intimate guest cottages and family-run inns, all incorporating the sophistication and hospitality unique to the Bermuda experience. The island includes more than 150 restaurants to fit any traveler’s budget, from simple and inexpensive to elegant and special dining. Bermuda’s diverse activities offer an array of vacation options all year round, including more wreck dives and more golf per square mile than anywhere else in the world, renowned deep sea fishing, luxurious spas and smooth pink beaches.