Overwhelming response to BTA Experience Investment Programme yields fresh new visitor experiences for 2021
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) announced funding approval for nine tourism entrepreneurs and marketing support for thirteen of the twenty-eight Experience Investment Programme (EIP) applicants.
The tourism entrepreneur programme, paused in the Fall of 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, was developed by the BTA to support the creation of innovative home-grown experiences by local event producers and tourism entrepreneurs.
A comprehensive application process included a pre-application webinar to guide applicants on deliverables and National Tourism plan objectives that would inform the character of successful experiences. Applications were accepted throughout March. Since its inception, the programme has invested over $3.5 million into funding the EIP tourism start-up ideas.
Charles H. Jeffers II, CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority, said, “We’re proud to support Bermuda’s freshest ideators in their quest to create authentic, cultural experiences for our visitors. This programme is an impactful way to infuse the heart of the community into our tourism product. The home-grown innovations we see from this cohort will enhance the visitor experience and drive increased visitor spending. What’s more, established tourism stakeholders will benefit from the addition to the overall Bermuda experience for their guests.”
This year’s winning experiences include a diverse array of live music and entertainment, food culture and historical tours and adventures, as well as specific offerings targeting Black travellers. Additionally, the experiences include walking and cycling tours and a guided roving tour that incorporates electric rental vehicles. Another programme based at St Peter’s Church in the UNESCO World Heritage site will deliver historical tours highlighting our African Diasporic heritage.
First-time winner, Zhyon International will introduce the Buna Gallery & Coffeehouse cultural art and food experience where coffee, cocktails and culture combine. Meanwhile, organisers of the successful Lobster Fete will refashion their popular lobster-centric event into an alfresco seafood themed experience for the Summer.
Tashae Thompson, Assistant Director Experience Development, Bermuda Tourism Authority said, “Our team has been encouraged by the influx of winning ideas from Bermuda’s tourism entrepreneurs. The past year has challenged our industry like never before, yet Bermuda is still open and the sector is brimming with creativity and resilience. This funding will help ensure when our visitors land, and our cruisers explore, there will be exciting new experiences in store.”
The Experience Investment Programme will re-open the application process for the next cohort this Fall. There will be an enhanced emphasis on incorporating community stakeholders into the tourism product, and our adjudication team will invite input from our partners in the community.
2021 EIP Funding Beneficiaries:
Buna Gallery & Coffeehouse – Cocktail Culture, Entertainment & Culture Experience
Black en Blanc – Food & Entertainment experience
Alfresco Dining & Entertainment Experience in Dockyard
Long Story Short Tours – Historical & Cultural Tours
African Diaspora Tours at St Peter’s Church – Historical & Cultural Tours
High Notes on the Harbour – Food culture Experience
A Rose Affair – Food culture experience
Wine Down Wednesdays – Wine Tasting Experiences
Island Events Group – Entertainment & Cultural Experience
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