Opportunities on the horizon: Tourism Authority chariman David Dodwell, who ran 9 Beaches, pictured, runs The Reefs hotel and said he is confident that the island will attract investors next year. *File photo
Opportunities on the horizon: Tourism Authority chariman David Dodwell, who ran 9 Beaches, pictured, runs The Reefs hotel and said he is confident that the island will attract investors next year. *File photo

Tourism Authority chairman David Dodwell is confident that Bermuda will welcome a new hotel soon.  

One of the priorities of the new Tourism Authority, he says, is to ensure the process runs smoothly and that by the middle of next year there will be a number of offers on the table from investors.

Speaking to the Bermuda Sun on his return from the World Travel Market in London, he said: “There will be another hotel, I am very optimistic about that. ‘When’ is another question… There have been a number of developers and investors who have been here over the last six months and we also held the first ever hospitality investors’ summit where the government was brought up to date about what is needed by investors to make sure they are successful here.

“I personally believe that we will, by the middle of next year, have a small number of hotel developers standing up showing that they are willing to come to Bermuda because of the work that has been done over the last nine months — I believe it.

“I am aware of a number of them; it would be breaking a confidence to say too much, but they will consist of some recognized brands that will bring strength to Bermuda, marketing clout, new expertise and new
visitors.”

Hospitality investment

He said that the Hospitality Investment division of the new Tourism Authority would be in charge of giving investors the most efficient service.  

Echoing comments he made at the Bermuda Hotel Development and Investment Summit in July, Mr Dodwell said the Authority should create a “red carpet approach” to investors. 

“The government itself and the Tourism Authority are focused much more on creating the red carpet approach to hotel investors and being a one stop shop where, instead of these individuals being shunted all over the place to different government departments, they will be able to go to one entity — the Hospitality Investment Division. That section of the Authority will be charged with understanding what goes on outside Bermuda in hotel investment, bringing people to Bermuda, making sure they understand the benefits and introducing them to the right people. That way we accelerate their ability to develop here — in my view we have not done the best possible job of that over the past number of years.”

He said another Tourism Authority division — Product and Experience — would address some of the structural problems within Bermuda’s tourism product.

“We need to enhance and evolve our product and become more competitive. The Product and Experience division is all about expanding and focusing on the hubs in the Tourism Plan. 

“It will focus on upgrading product helping the private sector to reinvent product, training, infrastructure, tourism appreciation in schools… my major point is we need to be more competitive. 

“We have a great foundation and people love many pieces of our product — the feeling is that we need to enhance that.”

Asked whether he believed there was a potential market for eco-tourism in Bermuda in light of the public consultation over whether the island should create a marine reserve he said: “I would call it environmentally sensitive tourism. I don’t think any one is going to come to Bermuda because of the Blue Halo (marine reserve) effect. They will come if they hear that Bermuda’s waters are a major asset and they are protected, and that there are things to do in those waters. I have been making the point that the water around us is the greatest underutilized asset that we own. We do not take advantage of all of the opportunities that exist — that’s water sports, diving... Bermuda is the wreck diving capital and it is not commonly known. Why not? I am broadly in favour of Blue Halo as long as we have researched very carefully the benefits and that Bermuda doesn’t lose anything by that.”