Bermuda is reeling in the cash from the sports fishing tournaments this month.
The Bermuda Triple Crown, which consists of the Bermuda Billfish Blast, the Bermuda big Game Classic and the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament, should net the economy more than $5m.
Dan Jacobs, tournament director and publisher of Offshore World magazine, told the Bermuda Sun that “There is an average economic impact to Bermuda of $150,000 per visiting sport fishing yacht. For the groups that come and charter a local boat, there’s an average expenditure of $25,000 for those.”
He said with the three fishing tournaments right on top of each other, many of the sports fisherman are here for a month, pumping money into Bermuda’s economy.
Mr Jacobs said: “We went from 36 teams in the Billfish Blast to 49. We had 47 boats compete in the World Cup event last year, we had 56 this year. It proves that we’re putting the marketing, the advertising and the promotion in front of the right people because we’ve attracted at least 10 new game boats this year.”
He said one notable competitor includes Carlos Pellas, who owns Flor de Cana rum with his family. Mr Pellas became familiar with the Bermuda Triple Crown through the Offshore World Championship, which was held in Costa Rica and sponsored by Flor de Cana rum.
“He met one of your local charter skippers, Allan DeSilva on Mako, and he’s staying here and renting a house at Tucker’s Point at $2,300 a night, chartered Mako and probably spent well over the $25,000 average.
“These are the type of people and the these are the type of tourists Bermuda is looking for.”
Mr Jacobs said the majority of Bermudians are not aware of the “incredible economic impact” the fishing tournaments have on the island.
“The fuel expenditures alone are a tremendous amount of revenue for the Government and the country.
“Then you get into the dock rentals, the dinners, the parties, the golfing and the diving. They are here to experience everything Bermuda has to offer.”
He said the average boat burns 400- to 500-gallons of fuel per day.
“A lot of them arrived in private planes so they’re also purchasing jet fuel. We had one gentleman who brought his 125-foot mother-boat yacht and his 68-foot game boat as well as his 36-foot outboard.”
He said many of the owners are very influential and wealthy in their communities. Mr Jacobs said having these kind of movers ‘n’ shakers is “what we need here in Bermuda. I would say our group, as a whole, represents $3b in wealth.
“It’s a perfect tourism product for Bermuda”.
Mr Jacobs added the partnership with the Bermuda Tourism Authority has been a successful one. Now it is a matter of retaining and building upon that success.
“We’re trying to keep Bermuda as an option for these gentlemen. They can point the bows of their boats anywhere,” he said.
“We’re competing against the world here. This is the most difficult — logistically speaking — spot for them to bring their vessels and their operations, so Bermuda has to be better, Bermuda has to be smarter and we’re doing it.
“The numbers speak for themselves.”