Hamilton, Bermuda (February 21, 2019) – The popular Bermuda Tourism Authority investment programme which helps entrepreneurs get their new ideas off the ground will now accept applications twice per year, instead of once annually.

The Tourism Experiences Investment process will begin accepting applications from local entrepreneurs next month. The purpose is to recruit tourism ideas that will be ready for launch in the third and fourth quarters of this year. This approach is better aligned with the National Tourism Plan’s aim to encourage more year-round experiences, while at the same time making things easier for entrepreneurs because it lessens the lead time pressures on their application.

In September 2019, a second application process will commence to recruit tourism experiences for the first and second quarter of 2020.

“We’ve managed the calendar in a way that puts the greatest amount of focus on the non-summer months,” said Bermuda Tourism Authority Chief Product and Experiences Development Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn. “We’re not forgetting the summer and we don’t want entrepreneurs to forget either. Summer season ideas are still welcome. But clearly the greatest opportunity for entrepreneurs to help grow visitation to Bermuda is in the non-summer months so that is our focus.”

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to think about cruise and air visitors for their ideas as the National Tourism Plan is designed to inspire growth in both areas outside of June, July and August.

The Bermuda Tourism Authority will host two familiarisation workshops for interested applicants on February 27. [Register Online] The free workshops will provide entrepreneurs with a comprehensive overview of what’s required in the application and how best to align their idea with the National Tourism Plan. Shortly after the workshop, on March 1, the online application process will open. The deadline to apply is March 29.

Tourism experiences are the main focus of this recruitment period. These experiences are defined as visitor-centric, non-sports activities rooted in Bermuda’s culture, heritage, performing arts, food traditions or wellness fulfillment. They should be positioned to attract travellers to Bermuda or provide something distinct for visitors to do while they’re out here. Meantime, promoters seeking support of sports tourism events will have a separate application process, which will be shared with stakeholders next month.

Since 2014, about $4 million has been allocated to home-grown ideas through this process. Bermuda Heroes’ Weekend, Made in Bermuda Festival, Bermuda Triple Challenge and Ariel Re Rugby Sevens are some of the experiences and events to receive funding or marketing support in the past.