Bermuda’s Official Travel Resource

New Marketing Efforts Cement Sports as Key to Tourism Recovery

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) will leverage new marketing tools to further propel sports groups and events in the island’s tourism recovery.  A new safety video targeting sports organizers, a robust sailing race calendar and a plan to develop November as golf month, along with other tactics, are part of a strategic plan to leverage Bermuda’s pandemic safety record and healthy outdoor spaces to win more sports business.

In last year’s arrival numbers, sports emerged as a silver lining for the tourism economy, with 784 air visitors selecting sports as the primary reason for their visit in October. That figure represents a 30% increase over October 2019 – a remarkable achievement considering the pandemic slump.

The recent success with sports tourism will be used as a template for further growth, starting this month with revised sailing content on the web and a video highlighting Bermuda’s expertise at maintaining sports tourism activity while keeping its community safe.

“Sports is not a new focus area for the BTA. It has been a crucial part of the National Tourism Plan since 2018,” said Glenn Jones, BTA Interim CEO. “However, the focus sports in the plan – golf, tennis, sailing and endurance sports – have proven particularly purpose-built for this moment because they are non-contact sports where physical distancing of athletes and spectators is possible.” 

The 2021 sports tourism calendar further reflects this reality (all subject to change).

Event

Category

Date

Bermuda Grand Prix

Sailing

April 24 - 25

Annapolis Bermuda Race

Sailing

June

Marion Bermuda Race

Sailing

June 18 - 26

Edward Cross Comet Long Distance Race

Sailing

June 21

Bermuda Triple Crown

Fishing

July 3 – 27

Bermuda Racquet Weekend

Tennis

July 24 – 25

Cup Match Classic

Cricket

July 29 – 30

Carifta Games

Track & Field

August 13 – 15

International One Design Worlds

Sailing

September 12 – 17

Bermuda Gold Cup

Sailing

September 27 – October 2

Courts & Shorts

Tennis

October 2 – 3

World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championship

Endurance

October 15 – 17

International 505s World Championship

Sailing

October 26 – November 5

Keelboat Nationals

Sailing

October 23 – 24

PGA TOUR Bermuda Championship

Golf

October 25 – 31

Bermuda Black Golf Summit & Championship

Golf

November 2 – 7

World Rugby Classic

Rugby

November 7 - 13

Junior Bermuda Championship (AJGA)

Golf

December 9 – 12

Round the World Clipper Race

Sailing

December 20 – 30 

Visiting sports groups must seek the approval of local officials at the Ministries of National Security and Health before they can proceed. It can be an arduous process in a fluid environment. To make the process of seeking approval more seamless, the minister responsible for tourism, Premier David Burt has convened a task force made up of the relevant government ministries and the BTA. The objective is to

create a clearer process for sports groups and enable the BTA to convert more sports leads into on-the-ground, revenue-generating business for Bermuda.

In exit surveys, 98 percent of travellers said they felt "safe" or "very safe" from COVID-19 while in Bermuda between July and December 2020. 

BTA Director of Sports Business Development Hazel Clark said: “Bermuda’s heath safety record is very attractive to sports groups looking to compete and train on the island, but if the process to get here isn’t easy to understand with clear decision-making timelines, team leaders give up.”

The task force aims to provide guidance for Bermuda residents who want to play alongside visiting athletes. However, in some cases, a visiting sports group will be required to confine themselves to a bubble sealed off from the community, as was the case for Bermuda Championship’s professional golfers and will be the case for the professional sailors of Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess.  As sporting events take hold, the BTA can nurture additional tourism experiences around them like April’s Catamaran & Yacht Week and November’s golf month and Bermuda Black Golf Summit & Championship.

2021 Bermuda Sailing Race Calendar

2021 Bermuda Sailing Race Calendar

About Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA)
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) is an award-winning, accredited destination marketing organisation that promotes Bermuda internationally and works to empower our tourism industry stakeholders. Explore Bermuda’s National Tourism Plan at BermudaNTP.com.