Ewart Brown's disastrous tourism failures
Cash, not Premier's charm, secured airline routes – Dunkley
Opposition Senate Leader Michael Dunkley claimed taxpayers dollars are the reason for an increase of airlines from the US, not Premier Ewart Brown's "charm".
Sen. Dunkley spoke in the Senate last week on answers to Parliamentary questions he received from Junior Tourism Minister Marc Bean.
He said: "Taxpayer cash not the Premier's charm appears to be the secret behind Bermuda's ability to secure more flights from North American cities, Government answers to Parliamentary Questions reveal.
"Bermuda Government guarantees in recent years have seen the spending of approximately $2 million taxpayer dollars to keep airlines flying to the Island. It is quite possible that the dollar figure is even higher given that some of the Minimum Revenue Guarantee Agreements (MRG) may not have been paid out prior to the answering of our questions.
"We are also interested to learn that WestJet Airlines is operating with an MRG, which has not yet been approved by the Cabinet. It appears that Minister has prematurely committed Bermuda to the terms of an agreement not yet sanctioned by his Government, shades of the Uighurs.
Mr. Dunkley continued: "On one level, we are not opposed to the use of taxpayer dollars to secure needed overseas flights but feel compelled to make the point that a lot of this money did not need to be spent if the Tourism Minister had maintained a strong marketing focus on our long-standing US tourism markets.
He said the 2008 Yankelovich study said that just 10 percent of the Island's potential visitors were aware of Bermuda as a vacation destination.
The fall-off in awareness of Bermuda as a vacation destination made it necessary at this time for the Bermuda Government to guarantee airlines minimum revenues. So tax dollars spent to ensure airlines fly to Bermuda is a consequence of the government's failure to maintain Bermuda's profile in markets that had sent the lion's share of visitors to our shores year after year, generation after generation.
air arrivals in 2009 decreased by close to 11 percent compared to the previous year. Arrivals have declined every quarter since the final three months of 2007. The number of visitors from Britain dropped 10 percent and from Canada 4 percent.
Overall visitor spending fell 23 percent to $266 million.
Thanks to Ewart Brown's poor understanding of what Bermuda Tourism requires in PR, ads and sales/marketing these groups will never be a team working for the benefit of Tourism and Bermuda.
Each will have their own agenda and ego and being so late for 2010 they will probably resort to the shotgun approach and hope a few silver shot hit the target somewhere
Ewart Brown's not interested in building Bermuda back up. He has shown time and time again that he is all about the destruction of Bermuda
squandering millions of tourism dollars on his Farewell World Tour that could have been used to actually MARKET & PROMOTE tourism to our primary target market , the Northeastern United States,not London which represents maybe about 3% or 4% of our total market, if that. Pink cabs -- a great idea -- except they should have been New York cabs, Boston cabs, Philly cabs, etc.
Ewart Brown knows NOTHING about marketing and refuses to listen to people who do.
Even his ad agency, Global Screw Us, doesn't have a clue either!