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Air Visitors Pump $307 Million into Local Economy in Nine Months

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Healthy gains in visitor spending headlines a strong third quarter for the Bermuda tourism industry, according to new data released today by the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Estimated spending among leisure air visitors was up 15 percent in the third quarter and is up 22 percent through September 30th of this year.  The growth amounts to an additional $40.7 million for the local economy compared to one year ago.

Bermuda’s hotel sector is helping push spending numbers higher with the average daily rate of a room up ten percent and RevPar (Revenue per Available Room) up a robust 19.5 percent through the first nine months of the year. Occupancy is also up, gaining 9 percentage points across the island year-to-date.

“In the first nine months of the year, leisure air visitor spending has already surpassed the entire year of 2016,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority Chief Executive Kevin Dallas. “Undoubtedly the America’s Cup helped drive spending figures higher this year, and now we see from the latest data: visitor spending has remained strong post-America’s Cup.”

Leisure air visitors are estimated to have already spent $222.3 million thus far in 2017. For the entire year of 2016, the figure was $222.1 million.

Estimated Leisure Air Visitor Spending

Figures in Millions

2015 Full Year

2016 Full Year

2017 Q1-Q3

Leisure Air Visitor Spending





With all categories of air visitors lumped together, $307.4 million has been spent directly into the Bermuda economy, a $55.3 million increase (or +22 percent) when compared to a year ago.

The third quarter of 2017 represents the seventh consecutive quarter of growth for Bermuda’s tourism industry in leisure air visitor spending and arrivals.  Six percent more air vacationers flew to Bermuda between July 1st and September 30th, 2017.

Q3 2017 Leisure Air Arrivals by Month










+ 8.9%





+ 10.5%





- 4.0%


Leisure air arrivals were up healthily in July and August, but September was down four percent – attributed to a busier than normal Atlantic Hurricane Season during the month.  The quarter overall finished up.

Mr Dallas said: “Ten cancelled Bermuda-bound flights in September and the constant storm warnings` and news coverage – in some cases erroneous news coverage – caused a spike in hotel cancellations. Hoteliers went into September pacing ahead 12 percent, but finished up only one percent versus last year.

“When travellers cancel they don’t necessarily say why they’re cancelling, but it’s pretty clear decisions were influenced by hurricane season activity, even though Bermuda was not directly in the path of any storms.”

Meantime, Bermuda continues to grow impressively with younger visitors.  Through the first nine months of 2017, 90 percent of the leisure air arrival growth is driven by visitors under age 45.

The full third quarter visitor arrivals report is available for review on the Bermuda Tourism Authority website, as is the quarterly corporate report detailing the organisation’s activities. You can also watch a video of Mr Dallas presenting tourism figures to local media.