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Safe, clean, close: media highlights Bermuda’s appeal to visitors post-COVID-19

Safe, clean, close: media highlights Bermuda’s appeal to visitors post-COVID-19

Bermuda jigsaw

Bermuda’s reputation as a safe, clean and easy-to-access destination ready to welcome visitors post-COVID-19 has been recently featured in major North American media.

 

Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) engaged top lifestyle and travel-trade magazines, big-city newspapers, and broadcast TV networks to carry Bermuda’s story during the pandemic, in a PR strategy highlighting attributes the island will leverage to attract visitors back when borders can re-open safely. Bermuda led the pack, for example, as the top choice of Travel + Leisure’s Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Gifford, in an April 20 online feature the magazine headlined, 17 Trips T+L Editors Can’t Wait to Take As Soon As We Can Travel Again. The story previews coverage T+L carries in its physical June issue, now published.

 

“Bermuda—a destination within easy reach for East Coasters—is like salvation for me and my family,” wrote Gifford in her up-front letter. “We have been vacationing there for years; it’s become our go-to spot, in part because of the flying time (under two hours from New York City), but more because of the friendliness of the locals and the beauty of the island itself.

 

“The pink-sand beaches. The historic homes, painted all the hues of the rainbow. The winding, narrow roads, marked by limestone walls. When the time is right, we can’t wait to return to this beautiful island, which feels like home,” added Gifford.

 

That message is one the BTA’s consumer-facing social @Bermuda channels have zeroed in on, with daily themes, including 15-second video snapshots of the island, island recipes, trivia quizzes, and nuggets of Bermuda’s rich heritage and history. During the US National Travel & Tourism Week (May 3–9), Bermuda participated by releasing custom jigsaw puzzles on Twitter and gotobermuda.com.

 

Notably, a video produced by the BTA and launched in April, titled, “We Will Travel Again,” scored big on public sentiment both overseas and locally, shared widely by followers and tourism stakeholders on social media with tens of thousands having viewed it within a couple of days.

 

“The key message in all our outreach has been that in these challenging times, we will continue to provide the inspiration, beauty, peace and hope Bermuda is known for,” said the BTA’s Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Victoria Isley, who detailed the BTA strategy in an interview with TravelPulse. “Even if visitors are at home, we are bringing Bermuda to them, offering virtual vacations and a mental escape from the anxiety of current affairs. And when the time is right, we hope that message sticks with them and helps them choose to visit Bermuda in person.”

 

The BTA’s internal Stakeholder Taskforce created a COVID-19 Resources page on its website after Bermuda restricted its border access March 20, promoting local food & beverage offerings, along with online classes and gift cards for Bermuda-based businesses, essential services, Bermuda-made products for home delivery, and scenic Bermuda landscapes for downloading as videoconferencing backgrounds.

 

BTA Interim CEO Glenn Jones underscored Bermuda’s message to future visitors in an interview he gave earlier this month to Boston 25 News. “There will be pent-up demand when COVID passes,” Jones told the station. “We think after the crisis passes, when it’s the right time to travel again, people will be very interested in places that are close, that are safe, and are clean. And I think those are three things that Bermuda has always done well.”

 

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