Bermuda cruise tourism plummets in Q2

By Gay Nagle Myers
Bermuda's visitor numbers for the second quarter dropped 12% compared to the same period in 2012, according to the Bermuda Department of Tourism.

While air arrivals were similar to last year's figure of 75,013, cruise and yacht arrivals fell significantly. There were 22 fewer second-quarter cruise calls.

"We knew going into the second quarter that there would be 15 less calls scheduled. This decline was exacerbated by the cancellation of four additional calls by the Emerald Princess before the Heritage Wharf repairs were completed and three more cancellations due to a fire on the Grandeur of the Seas," Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said.

The second quarter ended with 133,676 cruise passenger arrivals, a 17% decrease.

Yacht arrivals fell 43%, because the biennial Newport-to-Bermuda yacht race was not held, Crockwell said.

Air and cruise numbers first the first half of 2013 totaled 244,220, down from 275,109 the year before.

Reduced lift by Air Canada resulted in a drop in Canadian arrivals, but arrivals from the U.K and Europe were up 8% and 10%, respectively.

Air arrivals from the U.S. were up 1%. Passenger numbers increased from New York, due in part to Delta's daily roundtrip from LaGuardia, which began last December. The Boston and Atlanta gateways also posted increases.

Business and convention business rebounded in the second quarter, and the average length of stay rose from 5.82 nights to 7.61 nights.

The Bermuda Hotel Association members reported solid bookings from May through August.

"We see demand for rooms straight through October, except for the traditionally soft period after Labor Day in early September," Crockwell said.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.
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