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Minister Grant Gibbons Remarks: Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda – Report on Economic Impact

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


In the Fall of 2014, in order to support our preparations for the bid to host the 35th America’s Cup, we produced a projected Economic Impact Analysis for Bermuda.

This analysis examined projected revenues and expenditures over a two and a half year period.

In round numbers those projections forecast a potential investment of $77 million generating approximately $250 million in additional economic activity for the island as a result of hosting the 35th America’s Cup. 

In October 2015, Bermuda successfully hosted a Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. This dramatic event not only provided residents and visitors with a taste of the  excitement that will come in 2017 – but also gave us a snap shot of the potential economic impact that hosting the America’s Cup is having on Bermuda.

The ACBDA team has undertaken a review of the economic impact of the October World Series event on Bermuda.  The Report was produced by a consultant seconded to the ACBDA by a local accounting firm.

Today, I am pleased to introduce the Report – but before doing so, I’d like to make a few observations.

More than 10,000 people attended the Event Village on Front Street throughout the weekend, where they were treated to a host of local products, entertainment, food,  and family activities provided by Bermuda suppliers and vendors.

On the Sunday, an estimated 550 Boats, holding around 5,000 spectators, took to the waters of the Great Sound where they witnessed spectacular racing in near perfect conditions.

Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said that Bermuda’s “Super Sunday” illustrated exactly why Bermuda was chosen as the host venue for America’s Cup finals in June 2017.

It was truly an amazing weekend that exceeded many people’s expectations…

But was it an economic success?  The answer is yes, and here’s why:

  1. $8.6M was injected into our economy by the event, with 70% of that coming from overseas sources, including visitor spending.
  2. There were many Bermudian beneficiaries of this economic stimulus including restaurants, retailers, hotels, taxi drivers, security firms, boat charterers, hospitality workers, plus many small business owners and entrepreneurs.
  3. The international media coverage delivered a global audience of over 8 million total viewers, representing an “equivalent advertising value” of $14.1 million – a huge positive contribution to Bermuda’s international visibility in major tourism markets.

Our original forecast for the October World Series event, prepared in 2014, before we won the bid, projected an additional spending impact of $1.7 million.

The current report measuring economic activity created from this event estimates the actual spending at $8.6 million.

In other words, the actual returns far exceeded initial projections. This is clearly a very good result that builds on the overall benefit of hosting the America’s Cup, the teams and all related events.

The important thing to remember about these numbers is that they represent just one part of the ongoing impact of the America’s Cup’s on Bermuda. This is a two-and-a-half-year journey that began with the announcement of Bermuda as host in December 2014 and continues through the activities in the summer of 2017 and the legacy value beyond.

The economic benefit of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, while important, reflects only part of the impact. The sense of collective energy and excitement and the pride we all shared at having been challenged with a difficult task and then exceeding expectations is something we cannot value in economic terms but which is important throughout our community.

We are happy to share with the people of Bermuda the economic data that has been collected about the event. I would now like to welcome to the podium Mr. Peter Durhager, chairman of the ACDBA, who will provide additional detail on the Report and the economic impact of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda.

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda 2015 Infographic.pdf