Stating your goal as an organisation lets the investor know what they can anticipate. You have to be comfortable that the expectations are realistic and achievable.
Tourism investment is a major focus at the Bermuda Tourism Authority. The role of this division is to redefine the investment process in the tourism industry through improving the investment environment, attracting investment in tourism and managing investor relations.
The division is responsible for investment opportunity identification and sourcing, e.g. researching developable sites and redevelopment opportunities. The Tourism Investment division will develop a public database of tourism investment opportunities and will assist with marketing these investment opportunities. Additionally, the division co-ordinates with Government and private entities to reduce and/or eliminate investment obstacles for tourism, e.g. tax incentives, entitlements and approvals.
The scope of promoting the high-end ‘one-stop-shop’ approach to attracting global hospitality and leisure investors and developers to Bermuda includes advising global investors in key areas such as taxation, workforce, immigration, customs, infrastructure, development permits, and sustainability.
On the local side, the Investment division’s objective is to develop and drive financial and growth strategies for existing hospitality businesses and properties, including renovations and asset repositioning projects. This extends to strategies designed to stimulate small and medium-sized businesses related to tourism.
The Investment division, while new to Bermuda, is the cornerstone of the BTA’s modern approach to hospitality investment. Investment equates to jobs and a stronger economy, and is a crucial mandate of the BTA.
The Investment division formally came into being on 17 June 2014 with the hiring of a Chief Investment Officer. The CIO’s primary focus in his first three months was to develop and provide a comprehensive investment position report for review and approval of the Executives and the Board of Directors. Key to creating the report was the review of BTA commissioned documents: principally Tourism, Leisure & Sports – 2012, and the Bermuda Hotel Development and Investment Summit 2013 reports. The goal is to create a new incentives act and a concierge service for investors by April 2015 to facilitate and support future development projects and to provide facilitative support to investors.
During the year, the Investment team attended a number of investor and tourism conferences in order to build on existing relationships, create new ones, and learn from the experiences of other countries. These conferences are key to keeping abreast of new developments in investor appetite and changes in financial and legislative matters in key source and competitor markets that impact Bermuda. This effort is crucial to improving and promoting Bermuda as an investment focused jurisdiction. On-island meetings were held with the principal hotels to understand key operating challenges and investment opportunities, which are vital to encouraging focused investment in existing and new products.
As part of the Investment strategy, the division also focused on the completion of a key legislative framework for submission to the Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport for review and adoption, presented proposed incentives for new and existing developments to the Bermuda Economic Development Committee, drafted the Cabinet Decision Paper for the new incentives act and commissioned a draft report for the improvement of parking and transportation options for Horseshoe Bay. Additionally, a draft discussion paper focused on Tourism Infrastructure was completed with a view to bringing together a more collaborative view of the key infrastructure issues that have a direct and indirect impact on tourism.
The Investment division is responsible for redefining the future for investment in the tourism industry in Bermuda.