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Bermuda puts UK marketing on hold as Zoom collapse hits tourism

Bermuda is postponing the launch of any new marketing or advertising plans in the UK until it has secured extra flights between the two countries.

Bermuda premier and minister of tourism and transport Dr Ewart Brown said the destination saw a 16% increase in UK tourist numbers in August 2008, with 4,066 visitors compared with 3,499 in August 2007. This was mostly thanks to Zoom Airlines, which was running five services a week in the summer and up to three in the winter.

However, following Zoom’s demise this summer, the growth has stalled as visitors to the island remain dependent on daily flights from British Airways during the summer and five flights a week in the winter.

Bermuda is in talks with BMI about setting up a service, although Brown said the destination will not draw up a new marketing plan until the additional flights are finalised.

He said: “It is all about airlift. If you cannot get additional airlift it doesn’t really make sense [to invest] heavily in marketing and advertising.”

Brown said when the destination relaunches its campaign it will largely incorporate online advertising.

He added: “In 2007, more than 50% of all airline reservations were made online and I believe that is a global phenomenon as more and more people turn to the internet.”

Meanwhile, Brown urged the British government to make a single minister responsible for both tourism and transport, a joint position he has held since 2004.

He said: “It made it a lot easier for me to go and talk to the airlines and fit everything into place with our tourism policies.”

* More WTM 2008 coverage at travelweekly.co.uk/wtm2008

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