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BTA Releases 2021 Visitor Arrivals Report

The BTA released the 2021 Visitor Arrivals Report – which showed the total number of leisure air visitors was down 71.2% from 2019 – and said that while there are “reasons to be optimistic”, the “absolute reality is that a return to 2019 levels is not expected for the next few years. »

A spokesperson said: “The 2021 Year-End Tourism Measures Report released today by the Bermuda Tourism Authority outlines the impact of two years of global disruption on the Bermuda tourism industry. Isle.

“While there was significant upward movement from 2020, year-end 2021 statistics highlighted steep declines on crucial metrics from 2019 baseline numbers. With the rollout vaccines in early 2021, the travel industry felt the first ripples of a comeback.

“Bermuda’s tourism sector was ready to resume operations, but faced several Covid-induced setbacks, including three local outbreaks that moved Bermuda to CDC Level IV designation in spring, summer and winter 2021 .

“Business travel has been exceptionally hard hit, with arrivals down 87.1% from 2019 figures, representing a 34% drop even from 2020 figures. Despite the loss of the direct service from some gateways, total air service capacity consistently exceeded 2020 figures, but was 59% below 2019 figures.

  • Total leisure air traffic down 71.2% compared to 2019
  • Total air capacity down 59.1% compared to 2019
  • Total air visitor spending down to $122.57 million[69.3% less than 2019]
  • Cruise arrivals down 97.6% from 2019

Charles H. Jeffers II, CEO of BTA, said, “The stark reality is that a return to 2019 levels is not expected for the next few years. And while the industry as a whole has endured a difficult environment since 2020, there is cause for optimism, especially with news of changes to border protocols and the growth of the European market.

“Our team has renewed its objective of generating business opportunities for the group. We’ve positioned ourselves as a smart choice for meeting planners in key markets and have seen a spike in interest in group business for 2022 and beyond. “

The BTA added: “It was not all bleak as the sector saw glimmers of hope with increased length of stay, higher per capita spending by air visitors and increased volume of superyachts calling at Bermuda.

  • Length of stay for holidaymakers increased by 27.7% to an average of 6.92 days compared to 2019
  • Spending by air leisure visitors per person increased by 13.9% compared to 2019
  • Superyacht calls increased by 6.5% compared to 2020*[*Superyacht legislation came into effect in 2020]

“Overall numbers were in line with expectations due to an interplay of factors ranging from global travel trends to international border restrictions and three local Covid surges with their associated CDC downgrades. Together, they have helped reduce the influx of visitors over three seasons.

“Over the past twelve months, a fluid public health situation has resulted in the postponement, repositioning or reduction of several large-scale events. In fact, the SailGP season opener took place during an outbreak-induced lockdown in April. While the island was still able to support the running of the Grand Prix competition, public health restrictions resulted in the cancellation of the hosting components.

“The reduction in SailGP visitor numbers has resulted in a sharp drop in spending on the island. Nonetheless, the infusion of SailGP into the economy has had a welcome impact of $5.7 million. from WTS Bermuda was a loss necessitated by the devastating impact of the Delta variant-fueled surge in September.While local outbreaks impacted some events, national travel restrictions limited travel from Canada and UK throughout the year.

“Even with the array of challenges, Bermuda’s tourism industry was preparing for the expected rebound with collaborative recruitment and training efforts, property renovations, media relations, community outreach and marketing activities.

“The Tourism Training and Standards Division launched several key programs during the year

  • Accessibility awareness training to raise the level of understanding of individuals and organizations. The training was piloted with various frontline workers
  • Youth Tourism Awareness – CedarBridge High School, The Berkeley Institute et al
  • Learn to Earn Hospitality Training Program – BTA, Bermuda College, Department of Workforce Development [DWD]and partner restaurants
  • Hotel recruitment campaign – BTA, BHA, DWD

“As an organization, we have dedicated significant resources to supporting our industry for recovery through standards and training initiatives to improve customer service, accessibility awareness, as well as help staff hospitality workers with the skills to thrive in the space,” said BTA Chief Administrative Officer Tracy Berkeley.

“We worked with the Bermuda Hotel Association, Bermuda College and the Department of Workforce Development to organize a recruitment campaign that received over 200 applicants for a myriad of positions available for the 2022 season from the respective partner hotels. Now is the time to start preparing our workforce for the rebound in tourism and restoring the exceptional standards of tourism service that our visitors have come to expect from us.

Charles H. Jeffers added, “This year has tested our agility and resilience as an industry. We continue to engage with our stakeholders, hoteliers and island investors while supporting initiatives that drive interest and bookings through media initiatives and sales promotions.

“In 2021, we supported tourism entrepreneurs with financial grants and marketing assistance through our Visitor Experience Investment Program. We are focused on preparing a steady road to recovery and the outlook is bright. promising.

The report on visitor arrivals follows below [PDF here]:

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