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AC35 contributes to summer economy boost

  • Big jump: the value of imports in the second quarter was up 37.4 per cent, year-on-year, at $355.3 million

Bermuda enjoyed an economic boost during the second quarter of the year as it hosted the 35th America’s Cup.

There were double-digit percentage increases in both the number of air arrivals and the amount of money those visitors spent on the island.

Revenue levels for hotels also jumped, as did the value of imported goods.

The number of workers employed in the hotel industry at the end of April, a month before the start of the America’s Cup, was 2,486, which was an increase of 103 year-on-year, although the number of Bermudians working in hotels fell by 25.

Employment income for the quarter increased by $32 million, or 4 per cent, to $832.4 million.

But the number of cruise ship passengers who visited the island between April and the end of June fell by 8 per cent.

The figures were revealed in the Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics, issued by the Bermuda Government’s Department of Statistics.

The island welcomed 87,324 air visitor arrivals, which was up 15.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.

Estimated expenditure by air visitors was $137.8 million, a 30.6 per cent increase.

The bulletin reported: “Visitors spent $19.9 million more on accommodations and food as well as $12.4 million more on shopping, entertainment and transport services.”

Hotel gross receipts, which include cottage colonies and guesthouses, were up 16.9 per cent at $112.4 million, with $11.9 million of that increase from a rise in room bookings.

Hotels also saw sales of food and alcohol rise by $1.5 million year-on-year.

Total employment income went up 4 per cent, led by the international business sector, where remuneration rose by $18.1 million owing to higher stock options.

The wholesale and retail sector also witnessed an increase of $5.9 million.

The value of imports hit $355.3 million for the three months, up 37.4 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.

All commodity groups logged increases, with the largest being recorded in the finished equipment category and transport equipment such as yachts.

As well as the America’s Cup, June was the date for the biennial Marion Bermuda Race, in which 50 boats competed.

There was a decrease in the number of cruise ship visitors during the three months, with a drop of about 12,000 to 138,760.

Spending by cruise passengers was $22.6 million, down $2.4 million.

Residents declared $13.6 million in overseas spending, down by 4.5 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2016.

See Related Media for full quarterly bulletin