The British island of Bermuda has long been a popular destination, but following a financial crisis, the tiny paradise has been struggling to bounce back. Can 2018 finally be the year that Bermuda’s tourism skyrockets?
With its sugary white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, there is no reason that Bermuda—a mere two hour and 15 minute flight from New York City—shouldn’t be a prime destination for American travelers. With direct flights and ideal weather year round, Bermuda should be a choice getaway; yet the idyllic island has been dealing with the fall-out of a financial crisis since the global recession years ago.
Bermuda was thought to have been hit the hardest during the global recession back in 2009. “If we compare the three- or five-year drop in Bermuda with the world GDP, we can see that yes, the world GDP did drop in 2009 but it picked up,” explained Dr. Marcelo Ramella, the deputy director of policy, research and risk at the Bermuda Monetary Authority, to the Royal Gazette. “But it didn’t pick up in Bermuda — that’s a worrying signal. We can tell that the crisis is hitting Bermuda harder than the rest of the world.”
For two decades, Bermuda seemingly fell off the map with a sharp decline in tourism. According to the New York Post, “Ever since the financial crisis hit and dented Bermuda’s brisk reinsurance industry, the tiny island — home to Michael Bloomberg — has been trying to get the travel and leisure business back that it lost.”
While cruise ships still come and go, the tourism board is hoping to push the image of their island as a cheaper and easier alternative for New Yorkers than a trip to the Hamptons—a popular eastern Long Island getaway for nature-starved New Yorkers seeking beach time during the summer. Although a drive away, the Hamptons are an expensive trip. ValuePenguin estimates that a weekend getaway can set someone back more than $1,200–for lodging and transportation alone—while dining and entertainment can add another $744.
In contrast, an average flight from NYC to Bermuda is around $250 round trip, while lodging is anywhere from $200 to $500 a night. In short, a trip to Bermuda can prove on par if not a little bit cheaper for a New Yorker than a trip to the Hamptons. It is this point that the Bermuda tourism board is hoping to drive home in 2018, positioning their island as a great alternative for a short city break.