“To survive crippling losses, local tourism businesses are acting quickly to shut down non-essential operations—taking serious action to preserve cash,” BTA Interim CEO Glenn Jones said, adding that “negative cycles of expenditure are near-impossible to escape once begun, so it is prudent to act.”
An email sent out by Mr Jones said, “The closure of Bermuda’s borders escalates an extraordinary series of events that mirror an extraordinary time.
“It’s a necessary move, though, to protect our small island’s health and safety until the risk of COVID-19 subsides and we can reopen and welcome visitors once again.
“By closing the airport and seaport tomorrow, Bermuda joins governments around the world which have advised visitors to stay away and residents to come home as they lock down national frontiers.
“Flights, cruises and major events are on indefinite hold and the crisis looks unlikely to pass quickly. Global travel has collapsed—at least for the time being.
“To survive crippling losses, local tourism businesses are acting quickly to shut down non-essential operations—taking serious action to preserve cash. Negative cycles of expenditure are near-impossible to escape once begun, so it is prudent to act.
“The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] fervently supports stakeholders looking to streamline operations and cut expenses in an effort to remain financially viable for an industry recovery once things normalise.
“Based on our dialogue with local hoteliers, we expect the majority of properties to close at least some, if not all, of their facilities. This grim reality will have a stressful impact on valuable tourism workers and we will vocally support all government efforts to sustain them and their families.
“Other tourism stakeholders, like excursion providers and transport companies, are likewise taking decisive actions that might have seemed overly drastic just a week ago.
“Others still are re-imagining what’s possible to keep limited staff on the job and a bit of cash rolling in—restaurants providing meals via curbside takeout is one such example. In all cases, we recommend stakeholders speak proactively with their lending institution or financial advisor about the best course of action available to them.
“At the BTA, we are re-evaluating our own budgets and commitments and making the tough decisions today that will put us in the right spot to meet the expectations of tourism revival once the public-health threat has passed. Between now and then, you will hear from us as often as needed to keep this a collaborative journey.“