Hamilton, Bermuda (May 1, 2019) – The Bermuda National Tourism Plan has set an ambitious goal to double the number of African American leisure air visitors by 2025, a target the Bermuda Tourism Authority believes is achievable based on extensive research.

Currently African Americans represent 4 percent of Bermuda’s leisure air visitors. The National Tourism Plan goal is to grow that number to 8 percent. The metric on African American travel is one of six success indicators in the island’s tourism plan released last October.

Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas said: “Our research shows African American consumers make up about 11 percent of our target audience in the cities where we focus our marketing efforts. Currently, only 4 percent of our leisure air visitors identify as African American. That means our destination is not winning its fair share of the African American travel market, which is now a $63 billion industry annually. This is a tremendous business opportunity for Bermuda and we can chase it down by mounting a coordinated effort with tourism stakeholders; the BTA cannot do it alone.”

In 2018, the Bermuda Tourism Authority worked with Mandala Research to customise a portion of its African American Traveler Report to study high income earners with a valid passport. That research found culture and culinary to be important draws for winning African American travellers who visit international destinations.

Over the past five years, the Bermuda Tourism Authority has worked with local food partners to build culinary tourism, and since the National Tourism Plan rollout, has convened stakeholder meetings to raise the profile of cultural tourism—particularly concentrating on heritage stories within the African Diaspora.

Mandala researchers said: “Sixty-four percent of cultural African American travellers, the highest spending segment of travellers, say the availability of African American cultural and heritage attractions is very important to their choice of destination for their leisure travel.”

The National Tourism Plan concluded: African American travellers seeking culture align well with Bermuda’s “experience enthusiasts” consumer target. However, this audience seems largely unaware of how the island might be culturally relevant to them.

“This is the core of the business opportunity for Bermuda,” Mr. Dallas said. “If we can enhance our cultural tourism offerings and make them relevant to the African American experience and compelling to African American travellers, we can win with this audience and meet the ambitious target. And importantly, these enriched cultural offerings about the black experience in Bermuda will appeal to all audiences, regardless of race.”

The 2018 African American Traveler Report is based on interviews with 1,747 African-American leisure travellers in the United States in March and April of 2018. The data was collected online using nationally representative online partner panels. The Bermuda Tourism Authority was one of nine sponsors of the research.

  • Photo Supplied: A Twitter post from Broderick Hunter’s trip to Bermuda in 2018. Among the island’s target visitor segments, Hunter is considered an “experience enthusiast”.