News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda (April 16, 2020) The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) is taking steps to counter the adverse financial impacts of COVID-19, including cutting spending across divisions and instituting temporary salary and workweek reductions.

Among cost-saving measures, the BTA Board will forego 20 percent of its 2020 stipend and BTA employees across all levels of the organisation in both New York and Bermuda offices have agreed to workweek reductions of one or two days, with corresponding pay decreases.

C-suite executives will maintain their full workweek schedule, despite also having salary cutbacks.

The moves preserve cash yet maintain the level of business continuity needed to put tourism at the forefront of Bermuda’s economic revival when the crisis subsides.

“We don’t yet know when the tourism recovery will begin, but it’s critical the Board prepares the organisation to play a leading role in getting Bermuda back on track,” said BTA Chairman Paul Telford, adding staffing adjustments will be reviewed as the crisis unfolds.

“Implementing shared sacrifice at every level allows the Bermuda Tourism Authority to retain high-performing talent and business continuity in lieu of layoffs.

“Marketing Bermuda is the BTA’s core mission,” Telford added.

“We must save as much cash as possible now so we’re ready to robustly sell and market our destination when the time comes to rally again.”

Bermuda’s destination marketing organisation continues to monitor the fallout from COVID-19’s commercial airlift and cruise schedule shutdowns, with resulting visitor cancellations.

Data for March indicates a 70-percent drop in air visitors for the month, and, since the crisis began, direct spending losses for the local economy have risen to more than $58 million when air and cruise visitor estimates are combined through April 14.

The latest data on COVID-19’s tourism impact was shared with stakeholders during an Industry Resilience Roundtable on April 2.