WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30: Tourism boosted Bermuda’s coffers by $658 million last year, according to the latest Government figures.

The figure was up $105 million on 2009 — an increase of nearly 20 per cent.

Nearly 5,600 people were employed in tourism-related jobs in 2010, up 557 jobs on the year before.

Almost 3,580 jobs were directly generated by tourism — hotel and restaurant staff — while there were a further 2,000-plus people employed in support jobs like providing food supplies to hotels and restaurants.

Direct tourism jobs accounts for nine per cent of Bermuda’s total workforce — the second-largest employer behind the public administration sector.

Bermudians held 71 per cent of the jobs (2,534 workers) in the tourism sector, compared to 2,300 Bermudians in 2009.

Statisticians added that — for every ten jobs directly related to tourism — another 5.6 posts were indirectly created. Figures from the Department of Statistics for 2010 said that tourism directly contributed $297 million to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – through accommodation and air travel sold to tourists. That amounts to more than five per cent of GDP, higher than the level for the previous year, but down on 2006’s 6.1 per cent.

A further $361 million came from indirect spending on items like supplies for hotels and entertainment.

The figures also showed that the island’s 585,000-plus visitors spent a total of $393 million on the island. Spending by air, cruise ship and yacht visitors was up $53 million compared to the previous year. Visitor spending on accommodation increased by $38 million, while spending on food and drink went up by $11 million compared to 2009 figures.

Entertainment

But 2010 spending by visitors on transport services and entertainment declined by $2 million each compared to the previous year.

The tourism sector moved up from tenth position as an earner for Bermuda in 2009 to eighth last year.

But it is still massively outperformed by the $1.5 billion international business sector.

Bermudians travelling overseas spent an estimated $417 million in 2010, up by $10 million on the year before. A total of $145 million of that was spent on transport services like airline tickets and cruise fares – up three per cent on 2009.

Government spent a total of $35 million in current expenditure on tourism operations, while spending on promotion and marketing increased by $2 million over 2009.