Market Reports

Bermuda Announces Highest Number Of Visitors In Recorded History

Previously, 2007 was the industry's high mark; Additionally, year-end hotel occupancy passed the 60 percent mark for the first time since 2007.
Bermuda - Aerial View
Bermuda Announces Highest Number Of Visitors In Recorded History

Travel Industry Wire

2017 "brought the highest number of visitors to the island in recorded history," the Bermuda Tourism Authority said, adding that "the 692,947 total arrivals is the best statistical performance dating back to 1965."

Previously, 2007 was the industry's high mark; Additionally, year-end hotel occupancy passed the 60 percent mark for the first time since 2007.

Leisure Air Visitors: Arrivals & Spending

 

2016

2017

# CHG YOY

% CHG YOY

Spending

$266.6 million

$320 million

$53.4 million

20%

Arrivals

164,321

182,439

18,118

11%

"Bermuda's tourism industry achieved its most impressive performance in a decade last year with the number of leisure air visitors and the money they spend on-island surging to double-digit percentage growth," the BTA said.

 

2007

2016

2017

# CHG YOY

%CHG YOY

Air

306K

244K

270K

25K

10%

Cruise

354K

398K

418K

20K

5%

Yacht

4K

4K

5K

1K

31%

TOTAL

663,767

646,465

692,947

46,482

7%

All key performance indicators for the tourism industry finished higher in 2017 when compared to the previous year:

  • Air leisure spending up 22.5% 
  • Cruise spending up 7.6% 
  • Leisure air arrivals up 11% 
  • Hotel occupancy up 9.2%

"Beginning in 2014 the Bermuda Tourism Authority began a multiyear strategy to restore the island's tourism industry to prominence. Last year was a major stride forward on that journey," said Bermuda Tourism Authority Chief Executive Kevin Dallas.

Further driving optimism is the number of visitors under 45 years old, which continues to power the Bermuda tourism industry comeback. About 83% of the growth in leisure air arrivals in 2017 is from visitors younger than 45.

It's an audience that also had spending power in 2017. The total estimated amount directly injected into the island's economy by visitors in 2017 is $431 million, which represents a sizeable 20% increase over the previous year.

Bermuda's tourism industry has been resurging since 2015, particularly over the past two years where the island has enjoyed eight consecutive quarters of leisure air arrival growth and increased leisure visitor spending. In 2017, the 35th America's Cup played a critical role in driving demand and higher visitor spending, not only in May and June but throughout much of the year.

Vacation Rental Market Performance

"The number of visitors who chose vacation rentals when they traveled to Bermuda surged 133 percent in 2017 versus 2016, according to Airbnb data shared with the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Meantime year-end hotel occupancy passed the 60 percent mark for the first time since 2007.

Shawn Sullivan of Airbnb said: "Bermuda represents an incredibly important and growing market for Airbnb. Through our partnership agreement with Bermuda's government and tourism authority we have significantly grown our supply and increased the number of visitors for Bermudian homeowners. In 2018 we plan to further develop our partnership in Bermuda and engage the community with more home sharing educational seminars across the island."

"With all vacation rentals factored into the equation, 10 percent of total visitors chose vacation rentals last year.

Hotel Market Performance

Simultaneously, the hotel sector island-wide experienced a strong growth year with occupancy climbing 9 percent to 63 percent for the year. While the Bermuda hotel sector as a whole requires further growth to reach sustainable profitability levels, the performance in 2017 was the best in a decade.

On the revenue side, performance was even more impressive for local hotels with revenue per available room going up 19.5 percent and the average daily rate moving 9 percent higher. The 35th America's Cup in 2017 played a critical role in driving demand and higher visitor spending for the hotel sector, not only in May and June but throughout much of the year.

Meantime, a sizable increase in hotel inventory is in the pipeline for the first time in a generation. By New Year's Day 2018, Azura, Caroline Bay and the St. George's Resort all had shovels in the ground, and in some cases, structures taking shape. When work is completed Bermuda will have 240 additional hotel rooms to join up with a growing vacation rental inventory which surged 96 percent in 2017, among Airbnb listings.

A full year-end statistical report on tourism industry performance in 2017 is available on the Bermuda Tourism Authority website. A report detailing fourth quarter activity at the BTA is also available online.

The full Year End Visitors Report 2017 PDF here



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