With a new set of luxury hotels due to open next year, Bermuda holidays look well on their target of positioning themselves into the luxury holidays market. According to Bermuda’s Premier and Tourism Minister, Dr Ewart Brown, these new luxury Bermuda hotels will be marking a significant turning-point for the island, which for many years had stood resistant to further tourism development.
“Developers can see evidence that the government is welcoming developments on the island. Previously it was a complicated process o get the necessary permission to open a new hotel. Now we have a dedicated person in a dedicated department. We are open for business,” - Dr Brown said when speaking exclusively to Breaking Travel News.
With the first ever Four Seasons Bermuda hotel due to open in May 2010, preceded by a new St Regis in the capital of Hamilton, the first of new luxury hotels in Bermuda will start with a Park Hyatt, which will be the first international five-star property to open on the island after the new plans for Bermuda holidays to go upmarket.
Looking back, it was only in April that the island’s first five-star property, Tucker’s Point, opened as it played host to the Queen’s official visit to mark Bermuda’s 40th anniversary of independence. Bermuda holidays are also hoping to entice and stimulate tourism from the UK with the launch of a special money-back offer for UK visitors taking Bermuda holidays next year.
This new offer will be valid for bookings between 22nd December and 26th January 2009 and for travel between 1st April and 31st October, 2010. For this purpose the government will give $650 (£398) off accommodation costs at 11 luxury hotels on the island. While the very same initiative ran last year, it did cost the Bermudan government a total of $4 million.
“That may seem like a lot of money [banking and finance is the first], but tourism is the second pillar of our economy and one we are committed to rebuild.
“Rather than spend money on TV commercials on CNN we want to encourage tourism in a more direct way.” – Dr Brown added.
Dr Brown explained how Bermuda holidays had badly suffered after the collapse of the low-cost carrier Zoom: “It really hurt us. We saw a 22% fall in visitor numbers fm the UK.” At present, just British Airways flies to the island from the UK.
Dr Brown will be meeting with BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh this week in a bid to persuade him to discount fares to the island in order to better promote Bermuda holidays to UK holidaymakers. Brown is also hoping to attract other carriers to the island, which is about 6.5hrs flight time from the UK – significantly less than the Caribbean.