Bermuda has recorded a marginal increase in visitor arrivals to the British colony for the year, despite the passage of Hurricane Fabian in September, according to official figures.
The figures show that air arrivals still lagged behind 2002, which itself was a recovery year after the September 11 attacks in the United States wiped out the 2001 season here.
At the end of September this year, total arrivals were up by 1.9 per cent on 2002 at 409,606, although air arrivals declined by 7.1 per cent or 213,300 visitors.
There was good news over customer satisfaction with 96 per cent of visitors to Bermuda in August saying the island met or exceeded their value expectations, with 73 per cent saying they would definitely return and 76 per cent that they would definitely recommend the island to others as a business or holiday destination.
The latest figures show that in August, visitor arrivals were up by 29 per cent compared to the same month last year when 81,795 visited the island.
Tourism Minister Renee Webb told reporters the August figures were “positive” but she said the loss of hotel beds caused by Fabian`s rampage through the island on September 5 would drag down arrival figures in the coming months.
Fabian, which caused island-wide damage estimated at US$125 million, forced two main hotels—the island`s largest, the Fairmont Southampton Princess, and the Sonesta Beach - to close until next year.
It also affected other establishments and brought down the island`s hotel bed count from 3,100 to 1,800.
Related stories on Caribbean Weekly:
(05/08/03) Celebrate Bermuda Jazz at Pink Beach Club
(08/09/03) Bermuda Recovering from Fabian