Prevue asked Wayne Furbert Minister of Business Development & Tourism for Bermuda, for his thoughts about cultural and creative programs and events.
Q: Are there value seasons for planners to keep in mind when it comes to budgeting?
A: Flights to Bermuda are cheaper from September to March and hotels are willing to negotiate prices during those months. And of course, the Bermuda tourism board provides great packages for groups coming to Bermuda.
Q: What are some popular attractions in Bermuda that are actively going after corporate groups?
A: The reefs in Bermuda are being preserved and the Crystal Cave is well kept. Groups are holding events there. They can visit, scuba dive and swim within the reef. There is new technology so that they can walk under water and view the fish as a group activity.
Q: New generations of attendees are looking for some sort of educational experience. Is this something that is being expanded on?
A: When visiting Bermuda, we show how we handle the water, land and reefs and how keep them in such pristine conditions. We preserve and make sure that people do not damage those things. There’s a special group experience like a trip to Nonsuch Island that can only be reached by boat. Now incentive groups can experience the island and work to conserve it.
Q: How does the island keep the “stress-free” environment consistent?
A: We work hard, but we don’t stress out—it’s part of the island lifestyle to relax and still concentrate on our professional duties. In Bermuda, there are no all-inclusive compounds. It’s important for us to be active and take part in everything the island has to offer. It’s a friendly and safe destination that encourages guests to explore the island. There are walking trails that go from one end of the island to the other. The trails are right along the water, it’s very relaxing.
Q: Bermuda is known as having an amazing amount of golf for its size. Is that a strong selling point?
A: Bermuda has some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world and has more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else. We are the home of the PGA Grand Slam at Port Royal golf course. This event occurs every October and guests can see some of the most mesmerizing views in Bermuda.
Q: What would you say to meeting and incentive planners about Bermuda, who have never visited Bermuda before?
A: Bermuda is another world. It’s different, much more than sun and sand. We have an old British heritage and it’s a place of luxury; it’s safe and it’s friendly. For groups, Bermuda is easily accessible. From the East Coast, you can get here in two hours and be on the golf course within a half hour.
In the summer, there are six to seven flights a day, coming in from several cities. It’s a tax deductable destination and the U.S. dollar is accepted.