Hamilton, Bermuda (January 15, 2019) – Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, will leave her role with the organisation on April 30, 2019, following this year’s MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda.
Ms Phillip-Fairn has served in the position for the past five years, starting shortly after the formation of the Bermuda Tourism Authority in 2014. She has cited the need to tend to family matters as the reason for her departure.
“While I’m sad to have a valued leader in our organisation depart, pride is what I feel most when I look back at the enormous accomplishments of Pat and her team over the past five years,” said Chief Executive Kevin Dallas. “Under Pat’s leadership, her division has shepherded a new wave of tourism product and experiences that cater to younger visitors who are more adventurous and experiential. This work has proven critical because it not only improves the experience of travellers, but also increases visitor spending, boosts our economy and creates new opportunities for Bermudian entrepreneurs and job seekers.”
In culinary, performing arts and heritage, Ms Phillip-Fairn and her team have worked tirelessly to infuse a deeper sense of culture into the experience of Bermuda’s visitors. The Bermuda Heroes Weekend Carnival, Bermuda Festival of Performing Arts, Bermuda Street Food Festival and Peppercorn Ceremony are examples of new or enhanced cultural experiences where Ms Phillip-Fairn has had a direct positive impact. A common theme among her work has been inclusion, working closely with diverse groups of local stakeholders and entrepreneurs to ensure cultural experiences are authentic and sustainable. Local entrepreneurs and excursion businesses were also the focus of her successfully managing efforts to diversify cruise line partners and grow the island’s cruise calls beyond the summer months.
Bermuda Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Erica Smith said: “Pat and I have worked closely together over the last few years in growing tourism entrepreneurship in Bermuda. She has been a fierce advocate for highlighting and developing Bermuda’s entrepreneurial talent and offerings in the tourism sector, while growing the product and experiences remit by leaps and bounds.
“Always looking to connect Bermuda’s tourism entrepreneurs with new opportunities, our island’s tourism sector is better off for Pat being in it. She will be a miss in that regard.”
Sports tourism is another area where Ms Phillip-Fairn’s work will have legacy. In Nautical Tourism she has worked to grow visitors and economic impact from existing races like the Newport Bermuda Race and Marion to Bermuda Race, but has also broadened the calendar by introducing the Antigua Bermuda Race, which now runs annually. She also had a hand in the formation of the International Pilot Gig Regatta, which started during her tenure. Meantime, in the wake of the America’s Cup, Ms Phillip-Fairn led the development of the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s superyacht strategy.
Beyond nautical tourism, Ms Phillip-Fairn partnered with the National Sports Centre to spark winter training camps for visiting teams and coordinated Bermuda’s successful bid to host the ITU World Triathlon. Since winning the bid she has been at the forefront of management efforts to ensure the Bermuda Government, Bermuda Triathlon Association, the International Triathlon Union, Upsolut and the Bermuda Tourism Authority are all working together to put on a world class event. After this year’s triathlon, on April 27, 2019, Ms Phillip-Fairn will leave to spend more time with family.
“I feel like I’m leaving a family at work,” said Ms Phillip-Fairn about her pending departure. “The only way to successfully complete the difficult, important work in tourism is to do it with a group of people who are passionate, committed and working cohesively. Bermuda’s tourism industry benefits from those people, inside and outside of the BTA. I’m truly gratified about what we’ve accomplished at the BTA over the past five years, and it was a privilege to do it with a team of people so talented and close knit. It’s the part of the work I think I will miss the most.”
The Bermuda Tourism Authority has begun a process to fill the soon-coming vacancy. The goal is to facilitate a smooth transition by identifying someone quickly so that there is sufficient time for a transfer of knowledge.
- BTA Photo: Pat Phillip-Fairn during a MS Amlin World Triahtlon press event