When Pat Phillip-Fairn stepped into the role of chief product and experiences development officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) on April 14, 2014, the role was new to her, to the organization and to Bermuda.  

“I’m thrilled to be part of the BTA team.  It’s a unique opportunity at a critical time for Bermuda,” said Ms. Phillip-Fairn. “I strongly believe that BTA’s strategy and objectives are what is required to set Bermuda’s tourism industry on a path for success.” 

Product and Experience Development is one of two new Divisions within the BTA. 

The team under her leadership is tasked with ensuring Bermuda’s offerings meet or exceed the aspirations of the island’s core targeted markets. 

Her division is responsible for developing core products (cultural tourism, sports tourism and business/meetings, incentives, conferences, events), complementary products (nautical tourism, leisure and entertainment, cruise tourism and eco-tourism) and service offerings to increase the overall attractiveness and competitiveness of Bermuda as a tourism destination.

Responsibility

“There is also a collective responsibility for the people of Bermuda, whether directly or indirectly involved in tourism and hospitality, to understand their role in the successful revitalization of this vital industry“, says Ms. Phillip-Fairn.   

“Both direct stakeholders and the community at large have an impact.”  

That responsibility is felt throughout the entire organization as the BTA’s goals and objectives are directly tied to the National Tourism Plan.   

Performance

The BTA’s drive to maintain a performance — driven culture includes a pay structure which aligns employee performance with the BTA’s business strategies and rewards employees who demonstrate superior performance. 

A portion of each team member’s compensation is based on his/her ability to successfully achieve individual objectives. 

This structure applies to every team member, including senior managers.

“Leading this great team to successfully meet clearly defined goals and objectives while delivering high quality work and maintaining high standards is what I focus on daily,” says Ms. Phillip-Fairn.  

“My role as a leader is to clearly communicate the whys and when, ensure the team has the tools to get on with it, set them on their way and use opportunities to provide coaching wisely.”

Prior to joining the BTA, Ms. Phillip-Fairn was deputy director, Corporate Governance and Communications at the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). 

She is a former chief executive officer of the Bermuda International Business Association; has held the role of director of Marketing for Appleby Spurling and Kempe; and was the assistant director of Tourism at the Bermuda Department of Tourism. 

At each and every organization, she led strategic initiatives to promote Bermuda and its services.  

Prepared

“Thinking about the different phases of my career, from strategic planning and communications, to business analysis and market research, every step has prepared me for this position,” says Ms Phillip-Fairn. 

Of course, her role is not without its challenges, as expectations for the BTA were exceptionally high from the outset.  

Past public surveys clearly documented the community’s concerns with and for the industry, and the call for immediate change and improvement was unabated.  

Having commenced operations less than three months ago, the organization has required every team member to bring their passion, experience and expertise to the table every day since.   

“I’ve always loved working at a jurisdictional level for the country and all BTA team members recognize the responsibility we have to Bermuda”, said Ms. Phillip-Fairn.  

The BTA’s structure and business-like focus was also a draw. 

“Being able to contribute to the tourism effort again, doing work that has real meaning and a significant impact on the community puts me right where I’m meant to be.”