Bermuda tourism officials showed off the best of what the island had to offer at two events last week in New York City. *Photo supplied
Bermuda tourism officials showed off the best of what the island had to offer at two events last week in New York City. *Photo supplied

Bermuda tourism officials showed off the best of what the island had to offer at two events last week in New York City.

The Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT) team hosted more than 75 members of the Luxury Marketing Council. Tourism officials explained why Bermuda holds such high appeal for today’s upscale traveller.

The Luxury Marketing Council is a business-building, revenue-generating global community of CEOs and CMO’s considered the leader in the field of luxury marketing. Member brands include American Express, Sotheby’s Realty International, Mastercard, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Ralph Lauren, Relais & Chateaux, Saks Fifth Avenue, Swarovski and more.

Greg Furman, CEO and founder of the Luxury Marketing Council, praised BDOT for its efforts to appeal to today’s luxury consumer as he moderated a panel of Bermuda representatives that embodied a cross-section of the island’s products. These panelists included Clarence Hofheins, general manager of Cambridge Beaches Resort; Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, owner of the Bermuda Perfumery; Glen Kelley, representing Goslings, along with Ann Shutte, director of Global Operations of the New York BDOT office,.

Tourism director Billy Griffith shared why Bermuda offers “So Much More” for travellers as well as companies who may wish to become marketing partners with the island.

Each of the individual panelists also had the opportunity to share information about their product and their own perspective of Bermuda’s appeal for the luxury market.

Mr. Hofheins shared how the resort was catering to the desire of today’s travelers to find what he termed, “Aaah moments” and showcased imagery of the island’s incredible scenic beauty and romance. Ms. Ramsay-Brackstone highlighted the distinctive charm and atmosphere of the island and addressed the need to make visitors always feel they are having a world-class experience. Mr. Kelley discussed the historic appeal of both Goslings and Bermuda but also how both the destination and the brand were adjusting to today’s contemporary audience, a sentiment echoed by Ms. Shutte who talked about BDOT’s efforts to capture busy consumers who are starved for time and seeking escapes that offer both easy access and value for their hard-earned money.

A spokesman for the Tourism Department said attendees at the event enthusiastically embraced the destination’s message with one audience member standing up to address the panel and noting, “If your goal was to make us fall in love with the destination and want to go there, you’ve done it.”

Luxury Marketing Council members enjoyed a multi-sensory experience as they sampled fragrances from the Bermuda Perfumery, tasted Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and savoured the outstanding culinary offerings of Bermudian chef Keith DeShields of Cambridge Beaches.

A day prior to this event, 45 US journalist attended a meeting at the James Beard House.

At that event Tourism Authority Chairman Designate David Dodwell provided journalists with an in-depth look at the island and its tourism product. Mr. Dodwell had the valuable opportunity to outline the vision for Bermuda’s tourism industry moving forward, including the planned establishment of an independent Tourism Authority. He detailed the Authority’s objective to work as a non-political force led by industry experts with the goal to reinvigorate the island’s tourism business.

Mr. Dodwell also discussed key aspects of the National Tourism Plan and journalists were given a glimpse of the tourism hubs defined as a focus of the plan, including Hamilton, St. George’s and St. David’s Island, Royal Naval Dockyard, the South Shore, and offshore activities such as water sports, fishing and diving. Ms Shutte emphasized the desire to evolve the Bermuda tourism product and raise the bar on the quality of the visitor experience, while attracting new hotel investment and other improvements. 

In addition to also providing details on the vision for the Tourism Authority and National Tourism Plan, Mr. Dodwell emphasized key selling points including proximity, efficient US Customs and Immigration service, the thriving arts and cultural heritage, abundance of pristine beaches, year round golf product, water sport and outdoor activities as major reasons why people should come and discover Bermuda.