David Dodwell *File photo
David Dodwell *File photo

The Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, The Hon. Shawn Crockwell, JP MP has made it clear that Government intends to submit a Bill to Parliament this month which will create the new Bermuda Tourism Authority. The Bill will see the end of the Bermuda Tourism Board as its responsibilities and those of the Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT) will be subsumed into the new Authority.

We have spent considerable time studying the National Tourism Plan and the functions carried out by the BDOT and the Board. We have embraced the National Tourism Plan in full with the exception of its suggested method of Governance. The Authority is the OBA Government’s method of creating an independent and accountable enterprise that will be the singular voice that continually evolves Bermuda as a world class tourism destination.

The Minister and I have created an Executive Steering Committee (ESC) which will make the transition to an Authority a reality. This committee will be chaired by myself and report to the Minister. Until we have appointed a CEO for the organization, the ESC will act in that position, ensuring that the critical functions of the Board and BDOT continue and the transition happens effectively over a short time frame.   The ESC consists of; Mr. Francis Richardson, Permanent Secretary of Tourism Development and Transport, Ms. Jessica Mello, Director, Deloitte &Touche Ltd and Mr. Andrew Dias, General Manager of the West End Development Corporation.

The ESC has created a Project Management Office (PMO) which will be responsible for executing the strategic transition plan laid out by the ESC.

The PMO has been retained on a short term basis and consists of the Hon. Michael J. Winfield, Erin Smith , Larry Jacobs, and Rasheeda Burgess.  The PMO may be assisted by advisors with relevant expertise, such as Ernst & Young.

The ESC has retained a leading executive search firm, Korn Ferry, to assist in identifying a short list of the best candidates for the new Tourism Authority Board to review and appoint the first Chief Executive Officer.

We will be open, transparent and communicate regularly. This is the new way forward.

This is a very significant step for Tourism in Bermuda. We are working towards our vision of being an independent, modern, and leading tourism enterprise – dynamic, entrepreneurial, and vibrant.