The Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT) and the Bermuda Hotel Association (BHA) joined forces to show tour operators, travel agents and the media that Bermuda has ‘So Much More’ to offer at this year’s UK road show.

From 16th-19th April, BDOT and BHA hosted a series of events in Manchester, Birmingham, and London to educate tour operators, travel agents and the media about what Bermuda offers visitors. The road show took place to raise awareness in the UK of Bermuda as a world-class destination in a bid to increase air arrivals and meet the aggressive goals set out in the National Tourism Plan.

Open discussions and networking events were held to encourage tour operators to promote sales, marketing and PR strategies to proactively drive further sales to Bermuda. The events were attended by more than 200 qualified agents and more than 120 media representatives.

The members of the BHA who co-hosted the events with BDOT were: Fairmont Hamilton Princess and Fairmont Southampton, Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa, The Reefs Resort & Club, Grotto Bay Beach Resort and Rosedon Hotel.

The Hon. Shawn J. Crockwell J.P., M.P., Minister of Tourism Development and Transport joined the group for the road show flagship events on Wednesday and Thursday where he met with key media and trade travel representatives.  Since becoming Minister in December, Minister Crockwell has had three very positive meetings with British Airways executives and commented: “The UK market produced an estimated economic value and visitor expenditure of $35 million in 2012.  We have ambitious growth targets with our partners in 2013.  In particular, this market has significant potential to deliver throughout our shoulder periods, working towards making Bermuda a 12 month destination, as well as increase the length of stay which is typically twice as long as the US visitor.”

Keith Chuter, sales manager for British Airways said in response to a recent interview on island: ”We are all aligned in terms of the way forward and committed to doing everything we can to put competitive tactical airfares in place to support the aggressive goals and achieve the agreed objectives. We see Bermuda as a quality and attractive alternative to the established competitive destinations of Dubai and the Indian Ocean. We believe and are confident that Bermuda can increase its market share out of the UK and look forward to a productive 2013 together.”

Minister Crockwell continued: “We are currently executing the new brand campaign in the UK which targets a wider audience of visitors by showing that Bermuda can offer ‘So Much More’ than just beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. We have since invested in PR, advertising, sales and marketing strategies within the media marketplace to raise awareness and encourage people to visit this wonderful destination. We have had excellent engagement and fruitful conversations and ideas from all of our trade partners that will be implemented in the coming weeks and months. I would like to thank all our partners for their on-going commitment and support in the UK and look forward to celebrating our combined sales results in coming months. We are already seeing an increase on pacing which is encouraging indeed.”