A near 52% jump in vacation and leisure visitors flying into the island in November, coupled with greater cruise ship activity pushed total tourism visitors for the month to a dramatic near 91% improvement over November 2015. Tourism, Transport and Municipalities Minister, Senator the Hon. Michael M. Fahy JP said today he anticipates soon-to-be-released full year figures will show 2016 as one of the brightest tourism years in nearly a decade. The Minister made the observation while noting that November was the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year visitor growth, as highlighted in the latest figures provided by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.Minister Fahy said, “I expect to see positive growth in regular visitor count from which Bermuda can re-build a strong tourism base over the calendar year. “The BTA figures for November show a huge rise in vacation air arrivals, a 31% surge in hotel occupancy and a 35% surge in revenue-per-available-room. “There is no doubt we are growing our tourism business in what was previously regarded as the slow season from November to March. This should generate jobs and other economic opportunity across the island.“This should be reflected in the complete figures for 2016 when they are available and should also be a base from which we can build a brighter tourism future. “There is no doubt that the dedicated Bermudians at the BTA under Bill Hanbury have done a sterling job in re-inventing Bermuda tourism.” The Minster’s optimism was echoed by President of the Bermuda Hotel Association, Stephen Todd.Mr. Todd commented: “Bermuda Hotel Association members are very encouraged by the latest tourism figures which reflect positive results in both hotel occupancy and revenue-per-available-room during what has traditionally been viewed as the shoulder season. “The BHA views these results as a clear indication that the marketing strategy of the Bermuda Tourism Authority in promoting Bermuda as a year-round destination is resonating well with both business and leisure travelers. “As an Association we look forward to continued positive trends in our industry. We stand ready to support these positive initiatives which are key to our future success."Senator Fahy added, “We were able to increase air seat capacity in November by nearly 12% and able to increase total air visitors for the 11 months to November by close to 11%.“In fact, the total number of vacation and leisure travelers arriving by air in the first 11 months of 2016 were up on the corresponding period in 2015 by more than 16%. Vacation air arrivals are now performing at their best level since 2007.”
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