News that the Department of Tourism would be dismantled and replaced by the Tourism Authority prompted a flurry of activity on social network sites.

The One Bermuda Alliance’s Facebook page was bombarded with comments after the news broke on the Bermuda Election 2012 Facebook page on Wednesday, and was picked up by ZBM.

Some initially questioned whether there would be a raft of redundancies in the Department and urged the union to get involved.

While other posters welcomed the news saying that the new Tourism Authority would help reinvigorate the industry.

The Bermuda Election 2012 Facebook group became a heated forum for debate on the subject.

Some posters initially jumped to the wrong conclusion that all Department of Tourism staff would be made redundant by October, which sparked a flurry of further comments.

The debate centred around what, if any, redundancies there would be and what level of consultation there had been with the civil servants about the transition from department to authority.

Scores weighed in on the Facebook debate and media websites were also inundated with comments from islanders thirsty for more information about the move.

Although the story broke around midday on Wednesday, Government released its official statement at just after 4:30pm, which left four hours for rumours to run riot.

The statement on behalf of Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell maintained that there would be no redundancies during the transition. And it said that those who did not get reassigned jobs in the new Tourism Authority would be posted elsewhere in Government.