Tourism Minister Zane DeSilva introduced plans to implement a superyacht tourism economic recovery plan today to attract superyacts to Bermuda’s shores during the summer season during COVID-19 restrictions.
The new policy approved by Cabinet was discussed in the House of Assembly this morning.
The Minister noted that allowing the luxury vessels into local waters would generate weekly revenue of $8,123 to $317,031, depending on the size ot the boat and the number of people on board.
The Government also stands to gain from the 6 percent charter fee.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Transport is implementing a superyacht tourism economic recovery plan to attract superyachts to our shores this summer,” said Mr DeSilva.
“This plan introduces superyacht ‘isolation charters’ and owner trips, with specific superyacht pandemic policy guidelines during Phases 2 and 3 of Government’s reopening strategy.
“It also provides for a soft reopening of Bermuda’s borders for visitors until the airport commences commercial flights in Phase 4 — the new normal.”
He also noted that the island received inquiries about safe harbouring and charter voyages to Bermuda as a result of the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the Caribbean and the US Eastern seaboard.
The Minister also told MPs today that a 14-day quarantine would be required for all passengers, owners and crew upon arrival, with contactless shopping options once in Bermuda waters, in addition to pre-screening before any superyachts leave Bermuda.
Everyone on board would also have to have adequate health insurance, includingmedicva coverage if needed.
And any owner, guest or crew member could be denied entry to Bermuda.
Persons on board could also be permitted ashore after completing quarantine, with social distancing and other health and safety protocols.
“The superyacht tourism economic recovery plan demonstrates a direct response to local stakeholder recommendations who have expertise in this area.”
Additionally, he said: “The unfolding superyacht scenario revealed a new economic recovery opportunity for Bermuda vendors while ensuring quarantine and mitigating measures remain in place before commercial flights commence.”
As part of the initiative, the Ministry has also encouraged local port agents to collaborate with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation to create opportunities for “isolation shopping” online.
“This initiative is specifically designed for made in Bermuda products to include art, crafts, jewellery, keepsakes and clothing to name a few,” Mr DeSilva said.
“Delivery arrangements for samples and purchases will be made during the quarantine period, and beyond.
“In addition to the locally made products, this initiative also brings some economic recovery hope to wholesale, retail, restaurant and marine service providers during the coming weeks and hopefully months.
“As we charter our way through these uncertain times, we are hopeful that a few interested superyachts will come to Bermuda during the quarantine period in Phase 2 and 3, and ideally several more will follow during the summer months as this initiative gains momentum.”