Close to 200 stakeholders with a vested interest in Bermuda’s tourism industry, were able to see and hear firsthand, what the island’s visitors encounter when they arrive at ‘Destination Dockyard’.
It would be the first time WEDCO was able to host their Annual Breakfast, in three years, after two years of lockdown, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was held on March 24 at Bone Fish Bar & Grill at the Royal Naval Dockyard that looked like a ghost town not too long ago, when cruises were put on hold worldwide, including Bermuda.
It was a period that prompted one vendor who runs a business in the Clocktower Mall, who was in attendance, to thank WEDCO for helping to make the brunt of the economic impact a little easier to bear.
In response to the follow up by Bermuda Real, WEDCO CEO, Andrew Dias said the corporation “has always tried to foster a partnership relation with our tenants”.
“Specific to the comments raised by a few of our small entrepreneurs I would have to assume that they personally wanted to express publicly and highlight that the Dockyard business community inclusive of WEDCO worked together to make the best of the global pandemic that threatened our way of life”, he added
“I can confirm that WEDCO did work individually with every tenant to understand their individual challenges and provide support to avoid businesses from simply closing their doors.
“It is very likely that if WEDCO did not provide any rent relief many of these businesses might not be in operation today.
“COVID was extremely tuff and we recognized early that we needed to understand their challenges and provide assistance and business support where we could on an individual bases.
“Together we worked to be back hopefully better and stronger than ever.”
He was responding to comments made by one vendor, who thanked WEDCO for all they did to make the brunt of the economic impact on her business easier.
Another vendor, Lisa-Anne Rego told the audience that in spite of the challenges presented by COVID, the Lisa-Anne Rego Art Gallery was expanded in time for the 2023 tourism season.
Also included in the line up for both visitors and residents alike, are the historical tours, which features a new pirate this year.
John Dale was on hand for the Annual Breakfast, dressed in character at Captain Brandreth from the Historial Walking Tours held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:45, which started on April 18.
He was joined by a new character – Captain Cahow, another pirate, featuring Jermaine Jeffers, who will also be welcoming each cruise ship to the island this season.
He will also be available for photo opportunities and will be able to provide helpful information to visitors like restaurant recommendations or advertising tours and activities, and to help direct visitors in need of assistance.
There are also Living Arts Walking tours by Tim Rogers.
Destination Dockyard events get underway next month on May 18 and will be held monthly through to August.
Since it was announced, a spokeswoman said: “We’ve received a lot of interest from vendors with several submitting applications already and we’re still in the process of looking for entertainers.”
Top Feature Photo: Bermuda Real at WEDCO Annual Breakfast