Bermuda Hotel Association CEO, Stephen Todd, said today, the association “is in full support” of Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) initiatives, like “the development of new and diversified tourism experiences”, linked to sports.

When contacted for the association’s perspective on the prospects that lie ahead, following Flora Duffy’s big second World Champion win in her hometown, Mr Todd said it was still too early to tell how Bermuda’s hoteliers fared overall.

Stephen Todd, CEO, Bermuda Hotel Association

This after Hamilton Beach & Beach Club announced in the lead up to the international MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda event, that bookings at the city hotel were sold out in advance.

“As a destination we are already seeing a number of new events here on island, and we fully expect this to continue to grow and develop as a viable market for our destination,” said Mr Todd.

“The recently held and very successful MS Amlin World Triathlon event this past week bears testament to the benefits that events of this type provide to our overall tourism product.

“Given that Bermuda will host this event over the next two years, we fully expect it to grow in participation and interest especially in attracting visitors to the island.

“The members of the Bermuda Hotel Association wish to extend our congratulations and best wishes to our very own Triathlon Champion Flora Duffy on her exciting win here at home,” he added.

Hamilton Princess, the official hotel for the international race series, televised and web streamed live around the world, announced in the lead up to the race series that the reservations were sold out.

When contacted by Bermuda Real, Mr Todd, who was recently appointed to the BTA Board of Directors, said ahead of the “accurate and final statistics on overall hotel occupancy”, it was still too early to tell.

But he said: “It is anticipated that in addition to the full occupancy that the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club experienced as the host hotel for this prestigious event, that several other properties will have seen an  increase in their overall occupancy – either directly or indirectly attributable to this significant sports tourism event.”

Looking ahead to the prospects of sports tourism in Bermuda, the BHA executive said Bermuda’s hoteliers “are anticipating that this year will be a positive one” for the industry, “in terms of overall hotel occupancy, length of stay, revenue per available room (REVPAR) and Average Daily Rate (ADR)”.

“On the basis of anticipated increased visitor air arrivals throughout the year, this should provide the positive backdrop to welcomed revenue generation for our destination as a whole.”

Mr Todd concluded: “The welcome development of new and renovated hotel properties coming on line in the next several years clearly demonstrates the commitment and confidence that our existing and new hotel owners and developers have in the Bermuda tourism product, which can only bode well for our destination and the overall economy.

“As an industry our members are fully committed to ensuring that our guests have the most enjoyable and memorable visits during the course of their business and leisure stays with us.”

Kevin Dallas, BTA CEO

His comments were echoed by BTA CEO Kevin Dallas, who said: “Last weekend Bermuda proved what the Bermuda Tourism Authority has always believed: triathlon is a sports event the island can host at a world class level.

“The athletes and the spectators, the sponsors and the television broadcasters are all offering positive feedback on Bermuda’s first World Triathlon Series event and are looking forward to the next two years.

“Whenever Bermuda and her people host a major sports tourism event at the high level we saw over the weekend, and the community is engaged with what’s happening, it puts the BTA in a stronger position to attract other right-sized sports events in the future.

“At the Bermuda Tourism Authority we’re sincerely grateful to the all the people who worked tirelessly on this event, the fans lining the racecourse and to Flora Duffy who made all of us so proud.  It was a spectacular weekend.”

Jamahl Simmons, Minister of Tourism & Economic Development

Minister of Tourism and Economic Development, Jamahl Simmons added: “We join all of Bermuda in celebrating the success of Flora Duffy.

“Her victory has not only thrilled Bermudians of all ages but it is my personal hope that it inspires our youth to work hard, go forth and seek success at the highest level.

“Sports Tourism provides Bermuda with an opportunity to promote our island on the world stage, extend our tourism season and expose Bermuda to a wider audience of potential visitors.”

On that note Minister Simmons said: “We will continue to attract, create and promote sporting events that achieve the aforementioned goals.”