Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Discounts for Newport-Bermuda racers and fans

Site helps firms cash in on $10m tourist spending

Sailing fans visiting the island for the popular Newport-Bermuda race will be offered a string of discounts at local stores, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Tourism website bermuda.com - a sister firm to the Bermuda Sun - is offering the savings programme as part of a new web platform built specifically for race enthusiasts.

Local firms can sign up to offer a discount - and get their share of the $10 million race visitors spend on the island.

Glenn Jones, bermuda.com general manager, said: "I'm confident we're providing this audience with exactly what it wants.

"I spent the past month pouring over exit survey data and fans of this race clearly want two things - the ability to book their excursions and dinner reservations ahead of time and they want to save money.

"bermuda.com will get the job done on both fronts."

The web platform, bermuda.com Online Gangway, is a "virtual bridge" to the 2010 Newport-Bermuda race.

It allows visitors to explore activities, restaurants, hotels, transport options, beaches and shopping.

They can also access a race calendar of events, race news and photo galleries.

The Online Gangway will offer race tourists a bermuda.com Preferred Visitor Card - a discount scheme specifically for this event, valid between June 18 to June 27.

Any local tourism-related business can offer enticing discounts or incentives to race visitors as part of the programme.

Along with participation in the Preferred Visitor Card, bermuda.com will offer ad space to local firms with an interest in reaching the anticipated 6,000 race visitors.

bermuda.com will also partner with the official race website bermudarace.com and the race's official programme book to reach the yachting community.

Mr. Jones said: "Following a difficult 2009, robust events like the Newport-Bermuda Race are critical to the bottom line of the tourism industry.

"Our goal with the Online Gangway is to give our tourism partners the advantage they need to win the largest possible share of a $10 million spending pie."

More than 6,000 people visited the island for the last Newport-Bermuda race, spending an estimated $10.4 million, according to figures from Research.bm

The bermuda.com Online Gangway is due to go live on April 15.

The Newport-Bermuda Race launches from Newport, Rhode Island, on June 18.

Race activities are expected in Bermuda over the 10 days following the race's launch

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