The Bermuda Tourism Authority hopes to use the America’s Cup to attract a younger demographic.
Reintroducing the island to a younger generation of tourists will be the most important legacy of Bermuda hosting the 2017 America’s Cup, says Bermuda Tourism Authority chief executive, Bill Hanbury.
“Bermuda has a reputation for being old and stodgy,” he said. “But the reality is that it is a glorious destination for the next generation of adventure travelers, with activities from snorkeling to cliff-diving. America’s Cup fans trend younger than our demographic, and we want to be on their consideration lists.”
Bermuda beat off competition from San Francisco, Chicago, New York and San Diego to host the competition in May and June 2017.
In addition to the 35,000 extra visitors who will come to the island during the race, it’s estimated that worldwide viewing figures of the television coverage will be around the one billion mark.
It’s this opportunity to showcase Bermuda that Hanbury hopes will put the island back on the map for many tourists.
“Bermuda used to be one of the pre-eminent luxury destinations in the world. We lost that position as people started thinking about Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Caribbean. We fell off the radar, but this is a chance for us to have British consumers re-identify with Bermuda.”
Hanbury hopes to increase UK tourism numbers – currently at around 20-25,000 per year – by 10-15%.
The BTA will be targeting agents with fam trips and other activities this autumn, to help reintroduce the island to the trade.
Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will all station ships in Bermuda during the race, and there are a number of small hotel developments in progress to help increased room stock on the island.
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