The Bermuda Tourism Association (BTA) presented its overall strategy ahead of the country’s general election today – and superyachts were one of five key areas highlighted. The BTA has suggested legislation that supports further tourism investment and increased superyacht visits.

The BTA has already drafted Bermuda’s Tourism Investment Act and it is this approval that is now being sought. The act seeks to gain additional tourism sector investment prior to the island hosting the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit in November.

The BTA’s manifesto lists five key areas as follows:

  • Tourism Investment Act
  • Beach Economy: Updated, small business-friendly legislation is necessary to support Bermudian entrepreneurship and improve the visitor experience along the island’s shoreline
  • Superyachts
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Film Commission

Under the Superyachts section, the BTA, working with the Ministries of Economic Development and Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, has gathered valuable research that informs on the kind of legislation required to build a vibrant superyacht tourism sector for Bermuda, while protecting local charter boat operators. A successful superyacht tourism sector would have a significant positive impact on small businesses and visitor spending.

A BTA statement says: “At the Bermuda Tourism Authority we work hard to establish bipartisan support on issues critical to tourism because we want all of Bermuda to buy-in, and benefit from, the tourism resurgence that is under way. To keep that positive momentum going, it’s important for the next government to advance the following bipartisan issues before the year is over.”

The BTA also called for legislation that will encourage superyachts to return to the island while protecting local charter boat operators. “A successful superyacht tourism sector will have a significant positive impact on small businesses and visitor spending.”

The five specified areas are by no means a complete list of the items the BTA will be working on, says the statement. "We also look forward to collaborating with the next government and all of our stakeholders on the next chapter of the National Tourism Plan, including lessening our organisation’s reliance on government funding and ensuring fairness in the application of fees across the tourism economy.”