A natural beauty

Bermuda Tourism Authority

21st-century Bermuda offers an island setting with a holiday atmosphere and firm business backbone to attract tourists and entrepreneurs alike

Bermuda is one of the great treasures of the Atlantic Ocean, a former island outpost of the British Empire that is considered Caribbean while actually lying 1,500km north of the archipelago, closer to the US East Coast. This may account for Bermuda’s unforgettable flavour – something not quite English, American or Caribbean but distinctively Bermudian; a place where you can have afternoon tea or a rum swizzle while absorbing the peace and lush beauty of the island.

“We offer an authentic experience,” says Tracy Berkeley, interim CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority. “We are unique in our own way of doing things. We have our own pace of life that you need to get used to, but we have excellent infrastructure and get things done. Every time I walk around the island, I am stunned by the beauty of what surrounds me. I feel blessed.”

One way Bermuda distinguishes itself from other sunny destinations is the way it takes advantage of its mid-Atlantic location to offer easier access to the US, so visitors do not have to experience the rigours of US immigration should they choose to spend a few days in Bermuda before reaching the US East Coast. This location has helped Bermuda develop a strong international business sector, with the island benefiting from a time zone that places it between New York and Western Europe. A concierge service has been created to help new businesses establish themselves in Bermuda, and this ability to attract high-profile international companies has allowed the island to develop excellent facilities and strong regulation, creating a parallel revenue stream so it does not have to rely entirely on tourism.

As a result, Bermudian hospitality differs to similar destinations, offering an entirely authentic experience that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. “What is unique about Bermuda compared to some of our Caribbean neighbours is that you tend to see Bermudians in exactly the same places as tourists,” says Tracy. “They eat at the same restaurants, from fine dining to street food; they visit the same beaches; they fish and they scuba dive. This allows for real engagement with the locals that you just don’t find elsewhere.”

Then there are the numerous unspoilt beaches, world-class golf courses and natural wonders, including the awe-inspiring Crystal Caves, a spectacular subterranean grotto believed to be millions of years old.

Visitors can relax at fine hotel bars or explore Bermuda’s historic ports, which once housed pirates before playing an integral role in the two world wars. There is also the chance to see the work of some of the important environmental organisations located in Bermuda, such as the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

“The Institute focuses on climate change and how it is changing the world,” says Tracy. “We were one of the first countries in the world to introduce environmental protection, in the 17th century, which was implemented to protect the endangered green turtles.

“Without this sort of pioneering policy, the island would have looked very different,” she continues, “but if you look after your land, your land will look after you. Everything we need is right here, but we have to do things responsibly and this is what we want to share with the world.

“We are constantly looking at more ways to develop a sustainable blue economy to ensure Bermuda remains beautiful for decades to come.”