What is the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) is an independent Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) formed in 2014 to drive the evolution of Bermuda as a world-class tourism destination.
What is a DMO?
A DMO is a destination marketing organisation or convention and visitor bureau that promotes a town, city, region or country in convention sales, tourism marketing and services. Such organisations promote economic development of a destination by increasing visits from leisure and business travellers, generating overnight lodging, visits to restaurants and shopping revenues. A DMO also shapes long-term travel and tourism strategies for a destination. In October 2018, the Bermuda Tourism Authority released Bermuda's National Tourism Plan, the first countrywide plan for tourism since 2012.
What is the Bermuda Tourism Authority Act?
The Bermuda Tourism Authority Act 2013 is legislation that legally created the BTA. It was tabled and passed in Bermuda's House of Assembly in September 2013, and its Senate the following month.
Is the Bermuda Tourism Authority a government entity?
No, it is an independent entity with both public and private funding and was established that way to keep politics out of tourism-related decisions. The BTA follows DMO best practices and has earned international accreditation from Destinations International, a highly coveted designation held by fewer than 20 percent of global destinations.
How is the Bermuda Tourism Authority different from the Bermuda Department of Tourism?
The Bermuda Department of Tourism was a government department, while the Bermuda Tourism Authority is a private DMO run independently by industry experts, a move which helps de-politicise tourism for the island. The belief shared across the island's political parties was that a properly structured, research-based DMO would be best suited to revitalise tourism in Bermuda.
What's the difference between the Bermuda Tourism Board and the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
The Bermuda Tourism Board (BTB) was created in 2012 as a non-political organisation to direct the Bermuda Department of Tourism’s efforts in the promotion of Bermuda’s tourism product. The BTB ceased to exist once the BTA Board was convened.
How is the Bermuda Tourism Authority structured?
The BTA is led by a Chief Executive Officer and consists of four divisions:
The BTA’s functions and services are managed within each of its divisions: Operations, Sales & Marketing; Experience; Business Intelligence & Technology. These functions are in addition to those previously undertaken by the Bermuda Department of Tourism and reflect the priorities of the National Tourism Plan.
What is the strategic vision of the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
The BTA is strategic in its allocation of resources, takes select risks and moves quickly to capture opportunities afforded by growing global tourism demand. Its five-year strategic plan is articulated in the National Tourism Plan (2019–25).
How many people work for the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
There are 37 full-time employees at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, of whom 91 percent are Bermudian or spouses of Bermudians.
The BTA empowers its team to be customer-focused, proactive, and solution-oriented and to make decisions in the best interest of Bermuda as a tourism destination.
How does the Bermuda Tourism Authority positively impact tourism?
Each of the BTA’s divisions has a specific set of key objectives designed to positively impact tourism in Bermuda:
The Sales & Marketing team is largely focused on increasing air arrivals to Bermuda because air visitors have the greatest impact on the tourism economy through spending.
The Experience team uses Bermuda’s distinct assets to create core products that enhance how visitors spend time on our island and establish a competitive advantage for the country’s tourism product.
Operations oversees all corporate functions of the BTA, from human resources to finance to IT. It is also responsible for the deployment of national service training standards and supports the development, growth and sustainability of Bermudians in the hospitality industry.
The Business Intelligence & Technology unit guides the BTA in making research-based decisions that are responsive to consumer demand and drive marketing decisions.
How is the Bermuda Tourism Authority funded?
Government provides a grant to the BTA similar to the way it funded the former Department of Tourism. The BTA also collects funds, as the former Tourism Board did, through a guest fee (4.5 percent) charged to hotel and vacation rental guests.
What is the Bermuda Tourism Authority's budget?
2018: $34.1 million = $26 million (govt grant) + $8.1 million (guest fee)
2017: $32.9 million = $25 million (govt grant) + $7.9 million (guest fee)
* The BTA fee is 4.5 percent as of May 2016
How can I get funding for an idea I have to improve visitors' experience? Does my business qualify for BTA support as a tourism experience?
Refer to the Tourism Experience Investment Process for details.
What sponsorship opportunities does the Bermuda Tourism Authority offer?
The BTA may sponsor experiences that enhance Bermuda's overall tourism product, attract visitors and give them something to do while on the island.
There are three categories in which funding may be provided:
- Sports – Sporting event/experience that attract visitors to Bermuda
- Arts/Culture – Tours/experiences that showcase and highlight Bermuda’s rich cultural offerings
- New Experiences – A unique nature/ beach/ other offering that provides a memorable, authentic Bermuda experience
Priority will be given to those experiences that are annual and highly competitive. You can ensure your programme is ranked accordingly if it has the ability to include any of the following elements:
- A unique experience
- A viable business/marketing plan
- Alignment with target visitor expectations or filling an identified product gap
- Attraction of international visitors travelling specifically for an event
- Sustainability (i.e. is not a "one-off")
- Increase in visitors' length of stay and daily spend
- Multiple sources of funding (i.e. beyond solely BTA)
- Provision of matching funds
- Letters of support (two required)
- Experiences that align with the Bermuda National Tourism Plan
- A celebrity, sporting personality, or prize-winning artist attending or participating in an event or programme
How can I receive and/or apply for support from the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
Funding requests for up to $75,000 will be considered. Applicants applying to the BTA for Experience Investment support should apply here in March or September.
What training programmes does the Bermuda Tourism Authority offer to tourism businesses?
The BTA is the driving force behind the Certified Tourism Ambassador Programme, which has almost 1,000 trained men and women on the front lines of the tourism industry as part of a national standard of excellence designed to set Bermuda apart in visitor service.
Meantime, the Experience Team holds workshops each year to support entrepreneurs with homegrown ideas as they prepare applications for investment funding.
How can I access tourism research and reports regarding the Bermuda tourism industry?
As part of the BTA’s commitment to transparency, visitor statistics are released on a quarterly a basis and are available on the Research & Reports section of our website. Meantime, monthly, annual and more sensitive research data is available to tourism stakeholders via BTAConnect.
Who runs the Bermuda Tourism Authority?
The BTA has its own Board of Directors and a Chief Executive Officer, Charles H. Jeffers II.
How do I get a business listing on GoToBermuda.com
If you'd like your business listed on GoToBermuda.com, complete one of the forms below and we'll contact you:
Since the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s inception in April 2014, it has demonstrated a commitment to transparency, and has complied with Public Access to Information (PATI) legislation.