Bermudian hotel chief Paul Telford has been announced as the new chairman of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), who replaces founding Chairman David Dodwell.

Speaking at a news conference to announce the appointment, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Jamahl Simmons said the Mr Telford, who is currently the managing director of Rosewood Tucker’s Point, has sat on the BTA board as a director for three years.

“Paul represents and is the living embodiment of the Bermudian dream of starting at an entry level position in hospitality and taking advantage of the opportunities in the industry to work your way up to leadership,” said Mr Simmons.

“Truly Paul’s journey is something that all Bermudians can see as tangible evidence that the tourism industry is not just a job… but a career. With a good work ethic and dedication to your trade, there could be no limits to your dreams,” he added.

The Minister noted that the new BTA Chairman “began his hotel career at the Elbow Beach Hotel before gaining international experience working in the US and Mexico, including the prestigious Four Seasons brand, before returning home to Bermuda in 2008”.

He also thanked former BTA Chairman David Dodwell “for his service and leadership during the past five years”. “David has been with the BTA since it was established, and under his leadership helped build the structure of the BTA from the ground up,” he said.

Mr Telford stated that “the opportunity to have a leading role in an area which is so important” to Bermuda was dear to his heart.

“With guidance from the Minister, in combination with the Board of Directors and the incredible team here at the BTA, I believe there are some amazing times ahead,” he said.

“I would be remiss if I did not recognize and give all due credit to the outgoing Chairman, David Dodwell. Having worked with David on the Board over the last 3.5 years, I’ve witnessed first hand the hard work, enthusiasm and determination he has put into getting the BTA stood up and operating in a short period of time.

“As a second generation Bermudian hotelier, I know all too well the impact tourism has on household economics, jobs and how tourism has become a significant part of our history and culture,” Mr Telford said.

“We need to continue to ride the wave of positivity. We need to continue getting more visitors here. We need to continue providing unique, authentic and valuable experiences. We want visitors to spend more money when they’re here and to come back again and again, bringing their family and friends. We must continue to forge collaboration between our industry partners, stakeholders and the union and continue engaging the younger generation, getting them excited about careers in the hospitality industry. And let’s not forget encouraging continued financial investment in tourism – helping to stoke the economy, adding jobs.

“I’m excited and fully committed to doing the best I can to help the BTA build the future of tourism for our island.”

  • Photo Courtesy of DCI: Minister Jamahl Simmons, Paul Telford (centre) and Kevin Dallas