This story was originally published on Travelandleisure.com.
A flight from the East Coast to Bermuda is just over two hours. Pair that convenience with the island’s iconic pink sand beaches and it's hard to find a reason not to visit. And travelers seem to agree — Bermuda reported over 770,000 visitors in 2018, the highest number in recent history. With two consecutive years of record-breaking tourism, Bermuda has its sights set on a market they feel has room for growth: the number of African American leisure air visitors to the island.
The new Bermuda National Tourism Plan has set a goal to double the number of African Americans who visit the island for leisure and travel by air by 2025. According to Bermuda National Tourism, currently only 4 percent of the island’s leisure visitors are African American. Growing that number to 8 percent is one of the plan’s six success indicators.
Reps for the Bermuda Tourism Authority say they believe the doubling of this metric by 2025 is achievable based on research into the island’s target audience. Kevin Dallas, the CEO of the Tourism Authority, said in a statament: “Our research shows African American consumers make up about 11 percent of our target audience in the cities where we focus our marketing efforts. Currently, only 4 percent of our leisure air visitors identify as African American. That means our destination is not winning its fair share of the African American travel market, which is now a $63 billion industry annually.”
Research done by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Mandala Research in 2018 found culture and culinary to be important factors in drawing African American travelers. This finding is good news for Bermuda as the island has worked to build its culinary tourism over the past five years and is now concentrating on heritage stories within the African Diaspora.
Dallas said, “If we can enhance our cultural tourism offerings and make them relevant to the African American experience and compelling to African American travelers, we can win with this audience and meet the ambitious target. And importantly, these enriched cultural offerings about the black experience in Bermuda will appeal to all audiences, regardless of race.”