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Bermuda Tourism Rebounding Following Reopening

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 9/10/2020 Brian Major
a boat is docked next to a body of water: St. Georges, Bermuda © wwing / iStock / Getty Images Plus St. Georges, Bermuda

Focused communications updating travelers on health and safety protocols to address the COVID-19 pandemic enabled Bermuda’s to make “undeniable progress” in re-establishing critical tourism activity, the director of the territory’s tourism authority said this week.

In an email to local stakeholders reported in Bernews.com, Glenn Jones, the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) interim CEO, said the territory is “making undeniable progress” in “bringing back visitors as quickly, safely and responsibly as possible.”

Jones said 61 percent of Bermuda’s hotel inventory “is now back online” although “many hospitality employees remain out of work.”

Nevertheless, Jones said Bermuda is “long strides ahead” of other destinations since reopening the country’s borders to international visitors on July 1.

“Effective testing, diligent contact tracing, and stringent protocols,” said Jones, enabled Bermuda to avoid the fate of other regional destinations that have reopened their borders to international travelers, only to subsequently tighten restrictions following local COVID-19 spikes.

In the immediate wake of the outbreak, BTA officials “[gathered] guidelines across tourism industry sectors to compile a consolidated resource,” said Jones, creating a Tourism Health & Safety Guide, that will be updated as guidelines change.

Available on the BTA website, the guide is intended to raise travelers’ awareness regarding Bermuda’s pandemic management and protocols, while also “helping assist local tourism businesses to align with effective global health and hygiene standards.”

Jones said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently upgraded Bermuda’s travel advisory ranking to Level 2, or “moderate,” with cases new COVID-19 cases “decreasing or stable.” Bermuda is among only six global destinations to earn this distinction. The territory has also earned the World Travel & Tourism Council “Safe Travels” stamp, Jones said.

Traveler exit surveys compiled since July indicate 95 percent of visitors “said they felt safe from the virus while on-island,” said Jones. He added BTA officials will next seek “to convince a greater number of consumers that enduring Bermuda’s testing protocols is worth the effort.”

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