Bermuda’s tourism sector will almost entirely recover from the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic by 2023, a tourism economist said at the opening session of the Bermuda Tourism Summit.
Adam Sacks said that tourism in Bermuda would run in 2019 at 20%, up 67% next year, hit 79% in 2022, and 94% within three years.
He said: “In the three-year cycle aspect of the plan is sustainability.”
Mr. Sacks said he sees “adamant” for the first half of 2021 but said there would be changes for the second half of the year.
According to him, tourism represented 19% of the island’s gross domestic product or almost one-fifth of Bermuda’s economic production. The traveler economics provides 23% of all employment either directly or indirectly.
Mr. Sacks said the slowdown was when Bermuda tourism was on the rise due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He added: “Bermuda has reinvented itself, innovatively approached the business, and achieved so while also being true to who you are.”
Most remarkable, he added, was that the cost per citizen had risen with the rise in number.
Mr. Sacks continued that the loss of 80% of the tourism industry this year was ‘a major call to action to recover a cornerstone of Bermuda economy, from a policy and strategy point of view.’
The founder and chairman of the Tourism Economics organization was the keynote speaker at the conference, whose topic was “Reset, Reimagine, Refresh.”
He talked about the U.S. and foreign economy, and the repercussions for the travel sector, like Bermuda, at simulated audiences at Hamilton Princess and Beach Club and Rosewood Bermuda.
Sacks said that the recovery of the tourism industry poses challenges but “is unavoidable,” which is why Bermuda wanted to brace it.
He said: “We will accelerate it by preparing it.”
Mr. Sacks added: “Travel has always returned. There is no replacement for the ones you love to go stunning.
He said that since the airport opened again on July 1, 2019, the number of tourists to Bermuda has gradually risen, reaching 16.1% earlier this month.
Mr. Sacks said: ‘There are still paths to get there, but Bermuda is on the road.’
He added that the continued rise in tourists’ seats and flights was “a tribute to Bermuda’s place and haven.”
He said a poll in the U.S. found that just 50% of American households feel able to move outside their neighborhoods.
This is mirrored in statistics indicating that American air travel was one-third of its former era.
But Mr. Sacks added: ‘This is likely to increase in the coming months because studies indicate that air travel concerning other behaviors is comparatively healthy.’
Although 11 million Americans remain out of employment, the lack of workers impacted high-income employers least.
Mr. Sacks said: “They’re your employers. The more you earn, the less likely this recession can impact your employment. This is shielding Bermuda from the U.S. labor market.
One good indicator, he said, was that U.S.household savings rates were growing, suggesting “munition remains for consumption as the hard days go by.”
Mr. Sacks said a global risk survey by Oxford Economics business executives found that the global growth outlook for the next couple of years is becoming marginally positive, was “somewhat promising.”
He said another package of federal economic stimulus is required and is expected to arise in the U.S. “until policy gets out of the way.”
Mr. Sacks continued that the lasting legacy of Covid-19 is “gratitude” following months of zoom meetings and other delays of daily life.
“Gratitude is what fuels are healing; on the other hand,” he said.
At the morning session, David Burt, the Premier, and Minister of Tourism, also addressed summit participants.
Mr. Burt said the summit, and this month Iceland’s international tennis, sailing, and rugby festival will “communicate that we are secure abroad.”
He said Bermuda “must not write off 2020.” He said.
Glenn Jones, the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Temporary Chief Executive, said that 66 percent of the hotel’s inventory is already online.
The summit proved that Bermuda could organize meetings in person comfortably. “Security is still our brand signature right now,” Jones said.