Bermuda set a new tourism record in 2017 with 692,947 total arrivals, the island’s strongest performance since tourism records were first kept in 1965.
In addition to the new arrivals record (the previous high was in 2007), year-end hotel occupancy passed the 60 per cent mark for the first time since 2007.
All key performance indicators for the tourism industry finished higher in 2017 when compared to the previous year:
- Air leisure spending up 22.5 per cent
- Cruise spending up 7.6 per cent
- Leisure air arrivals up 11 per cent
- Hotel occupancy up 9.2 per cent
"Beginning in 2014 the Bermuda Tourism Authority began a multiyear strategy to restore the island's tourism industry to prominence. Last year was a major stride forward on that journey," said Bermuda Tourism Authority Chief Executive Kevin Dallas.
Further driving optimism is the number of visitors under 45 years old, which continues to power the Bermuda tourism industry comeback. About 83% of the growth in leisure air arrivals in 2017 is from visitors younger than 45.
Simultaneously, the hotel sector island-wide experienced a strong growth year with occupancy climbing nine percent to 63 per cent for the year. While the Bermuda hotel sector as a whole requires further growth to reach sustainable profitability levels, the performance in 2017 was the best in a decade.
A sizable increase in hotel inventory is also on the horizon: by New Year's Day 2018, Azura, Caroline Bay and the St. George's Resort all had shovels in the ground, and in some cases, structures taking shape. When work is completed Bermuda will have 240 additional hotel rooms.
The full Year End Visitors Report 2017 is available here.