Bermuda is once again “punching above its weight” as officials consider the island alongside two other finalists bidding to host the ITU World Triathlon Series
Grand Final 2020.
If successful, Bermuda would also host ITU World Triathlon Series races in the spring of 2018 and 2019. The impact of all three events would result in significant visitor spending on-island.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) is coordinating the bid’s particulars in partnership with the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Triathlon Association and other relevant parties.
“We are aggressively pursuing this opportunity because it checks a lot of important boxes for the tourism economy,” said BTA CEO Bill Hanbury. “These international triathlon events are outside of the summer months, they bring robust media exposure and this is sports – an area the BTA has made
tremendous strides in over the past two years. Winning this bid would catapult us to the next level of sports tourium."
BTA Chief Product and Experiences Development Officer Pat Phillip-Fairn said, “We’re competing against prominent destinations. Three years ago Bermuda was not in such elite company – we weren’t even in the conversation – but now we’re serious contenders. It just goes to show the distance we have travelled in a relatively short amount of time. Being named a finalist for such a prestigious sports tourism event is an outstanding accomplishment for Bermuda.”
The WTS is an annual worldwide series of nine to 10 triathlon races, culminating in a Grand Final. The ITU World Triathlon Series event could attract as many as 1,200 competitors in each of the two years,
including 150 elite athletes, while the Grand Final could draw as many as 3,000 competitors. Visiting friends and family for each event would further increase visitor numbers. Journalists, TV broadcasters,
support crew and competition officials would drive visitation numbers significantly higher.
The event is broadcast on television in 160 territories worldwide, including in the United States where NBC Sports is the broadcast partner.
Cozumel, Mexico hosted this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final; Rotterdam, Netherlands will host in 2017. Prior hosts include Auckland, London and Chicago. The International Triathlon Union is
expected to make its decision for 2020 at its Executive Board meeting next month.
Senator Michael Fahy, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, is taking the lead in the Government’s support of the triathlon bid, with assistance from Minister Grant Gibbons of Economic Development and Minister Sylvan Richards of Social Development and Sports. Government
departments will play a pivotal role in the event’s logistics including: security, traffic control, health and safety, beach and railway trail access, immigration and customs.