Caribbean 2017 was big year for Bermuda tourism By Gay Nagle Myers / March 08, 2018 Share 1 The pool area at the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda. -- Bermuda welcomed a record high of 690,000 visitors in 2017, a 4% increase over the island's previous best of 664,000 in 2007.Visitors injected $431 million into the island's economy, a 20% increase over 2016. Hotel occupancy topped 63%, a 9-point jump over the previous year, according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.The island is experiencing a surge in hotel development, including the $25 million renovation of the Rosewood Bermuda, formerly Rosewood's Tucker's Point. The property closed in January to begin the upgrades, which will include the guestrooms, beach club, golf clubhouse and spa as well as new food and beverage outlets. The Rosewood will reopen in April.The 50-room Willowbank Resort in Somerset on the western end of the island reopens under new management next month, following a property-wide renovation.The first phase of the Hawkins Island private island enclave has been completed and includes the Main Villa and Guard House, each of which can accommodate eight guests. The complex comes with land and water transfers and a private chef.The new Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences, formerly the Surf Side Beach Club, will host its first guests early next year. Although construction is still ongoing, the first phase of the project will include 46 rooms and suites with additional rooms planned in phase two.Construction of the Caroline Bay waterfront destination on the west end of Bermuda is underway and will feature the Ritz-Carlton Reserve with 77 rooms and two villas as well as 173 residences.The site already is home to the Caroline Bay Marina.The 122-room St. Regis Hotel in St. George plans a 2020 opening and will include an 18-hole golf course and a casino.Several new watering holes in Hamilton include the Atwood Arms, a Victorian-era themed pub; the Dog House bar for sports fans; the cocktail bar Yours Truly; and the BruMae Caffe for coffees and baked goods.New adventure tours include a bus tour of the island's East End, Sip & Savor Food Tours, Wild Herbs N Plants of Bermuda with a cooking demo and the East End Bicycle Tour. Bermuda has a number of sailing events through early summer and a triathlon race on April 28.