Tourism

‘Matchmakers’ to help visitors find rooms

  • Plain sailing: the Bermuda Tourism Authority has launched an initiative to help visitors find accommodation during the busy America’s Cup period

The Bermuda Tourism Authority has launched an initiative to help visitors find accommodation during the busy America’s Cup period.

Under the “Clearing House” scheme, BTA staff will serve as “matchmakers” for visitors who can’t find accommodation between May and June, whether they are planning to travel to the island for sailing, Heroes’ Weekend or business reasons unrelated to the America’s Cup.

“We hate the idea of missing out on even one visitor,” BTA CEO Kevin Dallas said. “We have found that there is the perception out there at the moment that Bermuda is full for the America’s Cup.

“That’s not strictly true; we are well up on last year’s occupation figures for June — about 32 per cent at the moment — and on some days like June 17 we are down to our last 100 rooms.

“However, there are other days, especially non-race days when there are still rooms available. We know exactly what is available and where, so the idea is for people to contact us directly and then we try and match them with accommodation that is available.”

Under the initiative, which went live last week, visitors or locals e-mail the BTA directly, setting out the dates they would like to come to Bermuda.

BTA staff will then search availability and provide potential guests with the options open to them.

Mr Dallas said: “We have been hearing from local businesses that they can’t find accommodation for clients because everywhere is full, and that has driven this initiative.

“It’s very similar to what goes on at ski resorts in Switzerland and France, and also peak season in Cape Cod. We provide a level of human intervention to increase the chances of getting people to Bermuda.

“We are able to find potential visitors availability that is not showing up on Expedia or other online travel agencies.

“The solutions may mean being adaptable with dates or even staying across two different types of property during their stay; but that will also allow them to see more of Bermuda.

“The BTA will be deploying our own staff to do this work and ensure we get as many rooms filled across the island as possible.”

To make use of the clearing house initiative, e-mail hotels@bermudatourism.com