Tourism as the leveller

Bermuda

Bermuda

NARRATOR: Tourism has always been seen by the Government of Bermuda as the leveller.  So says Premier Pamela Cox.   She told the 12th Sustainable Tourism Conference, organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization that determined efforts were needed to revive the hospitality sector on all fronts. These included airlift, increased public and private transportation infrastructure to efficiently move the tourists and the provision of world class restaurants and facilities.
At the same time she added, the hotel model needed to be sustainable and they needed to provide visitors with an experience that cause them to wish to return again and again.

TAPE: This requires that we all press forward with coordinated action that is collaborative. When the music changes, so too, does the dance. From a strategic perspective, as a government, we consider it imperative to strengthen this key economic pillar to enhance our competitiveness and to look for new sources of business so that we have a sustainable economy that is both healthy and vibrant.

NARRATOR: Premier Cox said that was the impetus for the formation of new Ministry of Business Development and Tourism. She noted that government moved to ensure that it sustains and strengthens the competitiveness of tourism and international business.

TAPE: And it’s important also that they are not competing against each other but working with each other to leverage the respective synergies and strengths. A sustainable development economic model for Bermuda requires that our tourism and financial services sectors are in sync and that we leverage the existing strengths and consolidate the gains so that there is a win-win scenario. The vision for the Ministry of Tourism and Business development is for Bermuda to become the leading year-round vacation and business destination. And tourism is a central plank in our plan for the country. To promote our respective islands as destinations for tourism in this economic climate is not easy. However, nothing daring was ever accomplished by the faint-hearted. And there is always an easy tension between where to draw the balance, between progress and environment.

NARRATOR: Premier Cox asked Sustainable Development, Sustainable Tourism: Where are we?. She noted that sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

TAPE: What makes a good national development sustainable strategy? The international guidelines for a national sustainable development plan are these: Integration of a country’s economic, social and environmental objectives; effective participation of the general public and non-governmental entities on a shared strategic and pragmatic long-term vision; continuity of the strategic development process with linkages between the short-term, the medium-term and the long-term; priorities set by the domestic agenda, not imposed externally; high-level government commitment and influential local stakeholder entities; comprehensive and coordinated policy processes based on reliable analysis and realistic but flexible targets and clear budgetary priorities; and finally, it also incorporates monitoring, evaluation and feed-back mechanisms.

NARRATOR: The Bermuda premier explained that sustainable development and sustainable tourism development was not just about running the tourism business efficiently and profitably. She stressed that’s necessary, but not sufficient.

TAPE: Sustainable tourism development is not just about making sure hotel developers green their properties and services. And it’s not just about maintaining a high-level of tourism satisfaction so that tourists have meaningful experiences. It’s all that and more. Now is the time to reset the dial and to look forward to a more positive future. Our tourism brand and our tourism and our tourism offers will continue to be refreshed. We will continue to provide options for future tourism investors. We will provide less red-tape and more red carpet and we will protect the Bermuda brand and our cultural and environmental heritage. It’s an exciting time to be part of the tourism industry and tourism has the potential to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. It’s a dynamic business and an industry which delivers economic and social benefits for all of Bermuda. And it certainly can generate sufficient revenue and jobs for Bermuda’s people and plays a critical role in the economic prosperity of the Island and can be the impetus for phenomenal growth. Through a credible sustainable tourism strategy, we can get the momentum going. So yes, we are resetting the dial.

NARRATOR: Premier Cox said her government will continue to be bold and innovative.
She admitted that there really is no fairy-tale ending for Bermuda’s tourism model, but she concluded, “we are in the process of reinventing ourselves”.

This is Donn Bobb reporting

Duration: 5’43″

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