By: Ian Stalker
Bermuda and Greater Fort Lauderdale will be highlighted as harbours for sun-seeking visitors, including travellers who enjoy a vacation setting dotted with yachts and superyachts.
The two-year partnership, jointly signed in Bermuda and in Fort Lauderdale, is a pre-cursor to a new “Go Where the Yachts Go” marketing campaign, which will leverage key events like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) in October and Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, a sailing race that marks the start of SailGP’s one-million dollar winner-take-all professional sailing league.
Bermuda premier David Burt observed that: “As Bermuda and Greater Fort Lauderdale engineer tourism recoveries, this kind of collaboration is particularly meaningful.”
The premier continued: “It’s a fantastic example of two destinations finding greater success collaborating with one another rather than competing. I look forward to two years of exciting innovation as the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Visit Lauderdale bring this partnership to life.”
The two maritime destinations with non-competitive peak seasons (November through April for Greater Fort Lauderdale and May through October for Bermuda) will use the “Go Where the Yachts Go” theme to entice vessels leaving one destination to head to the other. Similarly, non-nautical visitors to each place will be acquainted “with the allure and beauty of the other; both seaside, luxury lifestyle places, but with distinctly different aesthetics.”
Steve Geller, mayor of Broward County and Tourist Development Council chair, pointed out that: “Combining the resources and reputations of both destinations makes financial and promotional sense during this time of tourism destination recovery.”
Geller continued: “A primary shared goal is to raise the profile of both destinations and attract a wide range of consumers who aspire to vacation in the same place as the yachting and sailing set.”
Plans are underway to jointly host events for media, yacht owners, brokers and crews at FLIBS and other shows, while partnering on public relations and marketing initiatives. Combining efforts in this way gives both destination marketing organizations amplified reach and exposure, while spending less than they would have otherwise.
Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale, noted that: “Bermuda is synonymous with yachting, sailing and the luxury lifestyle and Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the Yachting Capital of the World so the cooperation of our two destinations serves to elevate both.”
Ritter said that: “With Bermuda firmly established with leisure travellers in the luxury lifestyle consumer segment this affiliation helps in our branding as Greater Fort Lauderdale continues to build new luxury hotels, restaurants and retail. It’s a win-win for both destinations.”
Leaders from both destinations agree there is a great deal of synergy since they appeal to similar audiences at different times of the year and travellers who have only been to one of the destinations would find the other appealing. For seafarers departing from or headed to Fort Lauderdale by yacht, Bermuda is an important port-o-call for vessels in transition to and from the Mediterranean.
Glenn Jones, interim CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said that: “Attracting superyachts to Bermuda as well as the kind of visitor who enjoys a chartered yacht vacation are important National Tourism Plan objectives for our organization over the next few years.”
And Jones added: “I’m optimistic this partnership with Visit Lauderdale helps us to reach our goals sooner and speed up the tourism recovery. Simultaneously, the publicity we generate will make Bermuda relevant to countless more travellers attracted to our island lifestyle at a variety of price points.”