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Post-Platinum Tourism October 30, 2010

Posted by bermudashorts in Tourism.
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1 comment so far

Regardless of who is appointed as Minister of Tourism on Monday, there is no question that Bermuda’s tourism strategy needs to be re-tooled. I’ll give Dr. Brown credit for laying a good foundation for Bermuda’s tourism. Cheaper airfares, I think, is his greatest achievement as the minister. Every other “accomplishment” has felt a little half baked and hollow.

We need to start spending money on initiatives that translate into real results. Now, I don’t fully agree with sentiments of Bob Legere on the PGA Grand Slam, but he addresses the platinum period dilemma; Do we get anything out of these promotions and events? On the one hand, it is great marketing for Bermuda as a golfing destination. However, at the same time it’s not such great marketing. Do any golf fans even give a shit about the Grand Slam? It’s basically in golfing’s off season, not near any majors or when anyone is paying attention. It will be interesting to see how many viewers turned into the coverage on TNT. I think with a little more marketing and promotion on the PGA’s part, the PGA Grand Slam could be worth it.

A “sporting” event that is much more valuable is the Newport to Bermuda sailing race. The public gets to enjoy the parties while reaping the benefits of a comprehensive tourism event. It fills the hotel beds, gets people in the restaurants, buying drinks, into shops buying stuff and paying their taxes on their flight out of Bermuda. We need more events like this, attracting big numbers onto the island. The PGA Grand Slam gets 4 golfers, a TV crew and PGA execs on the island and might the two golfing fans that were watching TNT in the middle of a work day.

We need to spend money on initiatives that physically get people on the island. Seeing a golf tournament on TV doesn’t get you on a plane. Neither does a Beyonce concert. Low prices get you on that plane; seeing internet banners, ads in big magazines and newspapers. I’m talking about a massive ad blitz in the North-East US. Those baseball nights were good promotion, but we need more than that if we want to get people down here. An American living in the northeast should not be able to get through his/her New York Times or Wall Street Journal without seeing an ad for Bermuda.We can’t leave it up to the airline to promote cheap flights to Bermuda. We have to get out the message that it is no longer wildly expensive to get down here, only wildly expensive to stay here.

a related sidenote: I recently started watching the show “Mad Men“. They’ve mentioned Bermuda several times as a tourist destination. I know that they are a show that partners with companies to do a sort of mutual promotion, which have apparently been quite succesful. Perhaps there could be an agreement to shoot a Bermuda episode? I’m saying this more as a fan of the show, I think it would be cool. However, I guarantee Mad Men gets more viewers than the PGA Grand Slam ever will.

Also, let’s bring back college weeks please?