Visitor arrivals in Bermuda are slowly rising following the COVID-19 outbreak. However, new numbers still remain behind historic levels and will take more time and effort to rebuild. The third-quarter commercial air capacity for Bermuda totaled 146,446 seats, an 83 percent year-over-year decline compared with 2019, according to a Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) report.
Airline capacity in Bermuda has seen a steady rise in the third quarter
However, the airline capacity in the territory and the arrivals increased each month during the third quarter, said Glenn Jones, BTA’s interim CEO. Airline seat capacity has grown from 10 percent of last year’s total in July of this year to 23 percent of 2019 levels in September. Leisure traveller arrivals have also increased from five percent of 2019 levels in July 2020 to 16 percent of 2019 levels by September of this year. In total, leisure air arrivals dropped 92 percent, year-over-year, for the quarter to 5,711 visitors.
Data from the BTA also shows that the length of stay across all visitor segments has increased significantly year-over-year. Leisure and business travelers stayed on the island an average of 10 and 13 days, respectively, during the third quarter of 2020 compared with five or six days during the same period in 2019. Additionally, leisure visitor spending fell from $111.9 million in the third quarter of 2019 to $11.8 million in 2020, an 89 decline.
“Our tourism economy’s recovery has begun slowly and gradually,” said BTA interim CEO Glenn Jones. “The good news is that Bermuda reopened before many competing destinations, and we’ve continued to steadily increase industry performance, building airlift and welcoming back visitors, all while striving for a balance with robust health and safety measures.”