Bermuda Fables

"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." – Charles De Gaulle

“Gambling” on a fix… February 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alsys @ 1:24 pm

for tourism…

Yep, it appears to be this time again. The Gaming Bill is apparently, with the eager help of the Premier, trying to rear its head again. The premier invited another foreign… expert (?), consultant (?)… down to explain how well gambling/casinos  have done in their neck of the woods. Which is grand. Bully for them. However, this ain’t their neck of the woods. It’s ours. And what works for one jurisdiction cannot work the same for another. Different places, different hurdles, hell… different tourists! Face it, the same people that will choose to venture over to Nova Scotia to have a quick gamble are not the same ones who will fly to Bermuda.

Which leads me to a bit of side tangent… ASK US! This over-reliance on every other person on earth’s opinion as compared to taking the time out to ask the people most affected by issues in Bermuda is idiotic. You want to know what would make Bermuda a better destination or what we currently do that DOES keep people coming back, stop asking Joe Blow “Axpert” from Timbuktoo and start asking us. Us bermudians, us residents, us businessmen travellers, us current tourists. Listen to us… or at least pretend to care what we think. Seriously. Some of us are starting to get complexes. Occasionally I wonder if I’m actually a figment of my own imagination…

But anyhoo, back to regular programming. I’ve an idea. Let’s just table the gambling issue for a minute. Tourism is obviously in a bit of a jam. Some would like us to believe that we only have two options… we simply go back to what worked in the 60s (which won’t work) or we scrap it all and go for something completely new, and it appears, americanized. But there actually is a third. The british conservatism of our hey day modernized. We remember what made us great before, why people starting coming here and we make it even better. Focus on who we actually are and revel in that. Stop trying to make us more like “them”, be us and make them want to visit. Quiet, muted elegance. Focus on the businessmen who travel here anyway and ramp up big time our spa facilities for their wifes/significant others. Re-do front street as a walking area with high end bistros and boutiques. Focus on high end (and yes smaller) cruise ships for Hamilton and St. Georges. Pour some money into Dockyard and “touristize” that for the mega ships. Face it, 60% of those tourists don’t want to see anything but a beach… provided they don’t have to pay for anything… and a couple of souvenir stores so they can tell their mates at home they “saw” Bermuda. So give them what they want. And give our tourists that want to spend money our our economy what they want. Pour money into the historicalness of St Georges and open some more museums, some historical re-enactments. Hell, pump money into a world class film festival and stick it down there (… um, when there’s an actual hotel there, I guess). A little bit of British conservatism and European chicness in the middle of the atlantic. So many ideas on how to make us more us and they’d rather listen to EVERYONE ELSE. Sigh.

D’ahwell. I don’t know why I’m worrying. We did get Beyonce after all…


12 Responses to ““Gambling” on a fix…”

  1. Rummy Says:

    You don’t want the “60’s” but you want to drop oxygen masks to a few survivors.

    It’s too bad Government filed a flight plan but lost their heading.

    I need a Monk Drink…………………….

  2. Alsys,

    You make some excellent suggestions, especially that we need to embrace our roots and offer a unique experience.

    What I would caution however is a willingness to throw money at the problem. We shouldn’t need to spend much money at all to get the greatest initial returns.

    As you suggest ‘ Pour some money into Dockyard and “touristize” that for the mega ships. Face it, 60% of those tourists don’t want to see anything but a beach… provided they don’t have to pay for anything’

    I would question why we’re even bothering with these kinds of tourists at all? All they do is consume resources, pack our beaches and strain our infrastructure for what? A couple nick nacks sold in a souvenier shop?

    I think if we focus on offering a unique experience like we used to, people will come. It doesn’t take fancy gimmicks or wild spending to achieve, just a bit of effort and a change in mentality.

  3. alsys Says:

    I agree with just about everything you’ve said. I do, however, think that an initial outpouring of money will be necessary, if only to turn this all around. Especially in St. Georges. The lack of any real hotels in that area will always be a huge drawback to tourists in that area.

    And for the low-endish tourists… like I said, it’s only 60% or so. The rest can turn into repeat visitors and some even do things other than eat on the ship. There’s no real reason to turn away anyway. That’s kinda what got us into this sitch, thinking we are better than others.

    But as to the rest of your comment and especially your last sentence. Exactly. On the point, exactly.

  4. Nice to see you back posting. 🙂

    Gambling is not, and is never the answer. There is a noticeable element of sleaze that goes with it.

    Personally, I’m not against gambling. If people are ignorant of the odds, too damn bad. What I am against is the government gambling with our future. They are woefully ignorant of the odds, and we’ll have to pay their bill.

    When boutique and expensive small hotels can maintain high occupancy (Cambridge Beaches, The Reefs, Pink Beach), and the lower-priced places do even better (Pompano, Rosedon, Rosemont), perhaps the Ministry of Tourism should choose to emulate their formula, and not just throw money at making more problems.

  5. Martin Says:

    Two things Alsys…

    1. I love the word “historicalness”. Where did you get that one from – second glass of wine? Lol.

    2. Ok – the other thing we need is for ALL Bermudians generally to “take ownership” of the tourism product.

    When I first arrived here ‘x’ yrs ago, one of the things I heard was ‘Bermudians are nice people’ – ‘friendly’ et al.

    Are we? I am not so sure about that. For the first few years here (until one gets that lived in look), I was not impressed by how I was treated by the average guy on the street, to whom I might have been a tourist.

    Yes – we do meet some nice, welcoming people, but we have some ‘not nice/warm and friendly people’ too.

    The first time visitor is important. More important still is the repeat visitor. The LTE’s saying “this is my 13th visit” are becoming less and less, when they should become more and more.

    We are only 90 minutes from the Eastern seaboard. I know it ain’t cheap to fly here, but with a unique experience to offer (referred to earlier by Ren Man and Denis – it’s do-able. We must give a ‘good/high end quality’ experience for the travel $.

  6. alsys Says:


    1) Second glass? That far down in one my blog posts, more like third, lol.

    2) Agree totally. No suggestions I or anyone else may have will work unless bermudians choose to make it work and “own” it.

  7. csause Says:

    nice information…visiting me back 🙂 thank you

  8. Chris Abrev Says:

    Nice blog you created! It looks very well laid out, and looks like you know exactly what you’re doing. I’ll definitely be back to catch up on more of the stuff you write :DD

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  12. Jon Says:

    There is you should not go to place using sketchy status when you’re able to stay at home
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