Warmed by the Gulf Stream, some 700 miles off the coast of North Carolina, lies the alluring island of Bermuda. With its pink sand beaches, stunning scenery and legendary hospitality, it is easy to see how a new generation of travellers is being drawn to its pristine shores.
In 2018, Bermuda experienced a 17% increase in air leisure arrivals, with the strongest growth in the 25-45 age group for the third straight year. Having shone brightly in 2017 as host of the 35th America's Cup, Bermuda's resurgence continues with a host of exciting new developments, including the modernisation of L.F. Wade International Airport.
Under a public private partnership (P3) agreement between the governments of Canada and Bermuda, a special purpose company, Bermuda Skyport Corporation, was created to undertake the airport's redevelopment, including the construction of a new passenger terminal by 2020.
Aecon, Canada's leading infrastructure development company, has undertaken the construction component of the project.
The new 300,000ft2 passenger terminal will completely transform the airport experience for visitors to Bermuda. Creature comforts include passenger boarding bridges, arrivals and departure VIP lounges, restaurants and bars with outdoor terraces (including two outdoor terraces airside), and expanded speciality and duty-free retail.
With sustainability in mind, the new terminal's design makes the most of Bermuda's natural light to create bright open spaces over more than 50% of the enclosed building. This, in conjunction with high-efficiency LED lighting, and state-of-the-art sensors and controls throughout the terminal, will ensure that energy isn't wasted.
Passengers can also look forward to more efficient, streamlined processes including check-in kiosks, immigration e-gates, and more efficient screening lanes and security, as well as an online reservation system for parking, lounges, VIP and concierge services. Also, for the first time in Bermuda, electric rental cars will be available at the airport.
However, it is not only the airport that will transform the Bermuda travel experience. Skyport is working with the Bermuda Tourism Authority and airline partners to develop new routes from markets in North America and Europe, where demand for Bermuda as a destination is growing.
This renaissance for Bermuda's tourism sector, highlighted by the island's successful hosting of the 35th America's Cup, the 2017 Tall Ships Festival and the 2018 World Triathlon Series, is stimulating investment and development across the island. New hotels, marinas, restaurants and attractions are opening, and plans for the first casinos are now under way.
Bermuda looks forward to welcoming passengers to its new airport terminal in 2020, and rolling out the red carpet to create a suitably positive first and lasting impression for all those visiting this beautiful island.