Created: August 13, 2022 07:54
Tourism in Bermuda is still below 2019 levels, but is showing a rebound from the low point of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to second quarter visitor numbers.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority reported strong performance in vacation rentals from April to June. Yacht visits to the island exceeded figures seen in 2018 and 2019, while superyachts have seen steady growth.
However, the BTA said Bermuda’s “gradual” recovery still lags behind pre-pandemic numbers.
Overall, the island welcomed 33,264 holiday and leisure air visitors in the second quarter of this year, almost half the number seen for the equivalent period of 2019, but still almost double the volume. of 2021.
The total number of arrivals, including flights and cruises, stood at 156,277.
The BTA noted a good increase in UK visitors, reporting “only a 23.2% drop from 2019”.
The authority attributed the figure to the transfer of air services from Gatwick to Heathrow airports, as well as a marketing push in the UK and Europe and the UK government’s “accelerated return to pre-pandemic normalcy”.
The BTA estimated that spending by air visitors was down 30% from 2019.
But spending per person managed to climb 32.3%, to just over $2,000 per person, showing that tourists were injecting more into the island’s economy than visitors before the global Covid outbreak. -19.
Visitors are also booking longer stays, vacationing in Bermuda 11.4% longer than in 2019.
The BTA said family travel rebounded and weddings rose from the 2020 tourism plunge – dropping to 32.3% below 2019 levels.
Visitors who said they came to the island to see family, friends or relatives showed a “strong” recovery at 6,197, down 27% from 2019.
The second quarter recorded 123,013 cruise passengers, 44.2% less than in 2019.
Sailing showed a strong comeback, with races from Newport and Annapolis, the opener of SailGP’s third season, and Bermuda serving as the host port for the Clipper Round the World Race.
Superyachts made 66 calls to Bermuda, surpassing 2020 figures after the Superyachts and Other Vessels (Miscellaneous) Bill came into effect.
Big boat: the 70-meter superyacht Elysian (file photo)
Luxury charter vessels are estimated to bring in $1.9 million between April and June, bringing revenue for the year to $2.3 million so far.
Vacation rentals had an occupancy rate of 74.2%, with an average stay of over a week. The sector recorded a growth of 19.3% in 2019.
While hotel occupancy lagged 2019 figures by 11.8%, the BTA said revenue per available room exceeded 2019 figures by 16.5%.
The average daily hotel rate increased by 32.1% compared to 2019.
Tracy Berkeley, BTA’s acting chief executive, said the authority prides itself on being “data-driven”.
“This report reveals growth opportunities, identifies underperforming categories and highlights evolving trends,” she said.
“Our team has been focused on executing our strategic tourism recovery plan and while we will not see an immediate return to 2019 numbers across the board, we are encouraged by the additional gains across the board and progress towards our goals.”