At a press conference on Wednesday, Wayne Furbert spoke about initiatives the  Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Business Development will tackle  for the next year. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
At a press conference on Wednesday, Wayne Furbert spoke about initiatives the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Business Development will tackle for the next year. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16: How can Bermuda be rebranded to draw more visitors?

This is the challenge that will soon go out to local ad agencies, Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said today.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Furbert spoke about initiatives the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Business Development will tackle for the next year.

He said: “After discussions with many stakeholder groups, the board also identified that the question of branding needs to be addressed.

“The topic of branding is labelled as a key ‘hot button’, requiring immediate attention.

“The Board recommended that the brand must clearly identify Bermuda in order to raise awareness and that it must be supported by brand promises that our visitors will buy into and most importantly, experience once on island.

“To this end, in the near future, the Ministry will be issuing an open request for proposal for Bermudian advertising agencies, especially, to submit their best creative ideas for a new brand and campaign creative concepts for the destination. 

“It is essential that the company appointed fully understands Bermuda’s target audience and relates a robust, timeless campaign to support the brand.”

Mr Furbert said another “hot button” is gambling. He said research has shown gambling as a “potential benefit to the success of the tourism industry” and the Government is considering holding a referendum on whether gambling should be allowed in Bermuda.

Another initiative is to review the Hotels Concession Act.

Mr Furbert said: “The review will consider the current and future hotel development trends that encompass hybrids of mass mixed-use development products with concessions that are attractive enough to draw world renowned developers and hotel brands whilst at the same time promote the advancement of Bermudians and the industry in general. “

In addition Bermuda will focus on sports tourism by hosting the 2012 Corporate Games in October.

“The event will assist the Ministry in promoting Bermuda as a sports tourism destination and will create a spectacle that will appeal to a broad audience whether sport fan or not.

“The initiative includes a significant amount of added value through marketing and promotional opportunities in overseas markets.”

Mr Furbert said the Ministry would also host College Weeks Reunion from March 15 to 18 to target a mature audience who remember the “good old days”.

The Ministry will also focus on networking with Bermudian college students to invite their friends for Spring Break.

But Mr Furbert added: “The Ministry does not plan to divert from its main demographic of the upwardly mobile, affluent thirty-five to sixty year old target visitor, however, the college student is certainly that individual who we see as the future base of this audience.”