FRIDAY, AUGUST 24: Tourist arrivals were down 1.36 per cent for the second quarter of 2012 compared to 2011.

According to the Department of Tourism, there were 5,276 fewer air arrivals for the second quarter 2012 to 2011, a decrease of 6.56 per cent.

Cruise ship arrivals showed a modest increase of 0.20 per cent from 161,036 in 2011 to 161,351 in 2012 for the second quarter.

Yacht arrivals were up dramatically thanks to the Newport Bermuda Race. There was a 69.53 per cent increase as it went from 2,360 visitors in 2011 to 4,001 in 2012.

The decline in air arrivals was attributed to less convention business in 2012 than in 2011.

The average nights stayed on island in the second quarter increased from 5.59 nights to 5.82 nights, but those staying in hotel and guest cottages decreased from 4.8 nights to 4.7 nights.

Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said: “This quarter proved to be a challenging one, however with several positive aspects. Our major achievements of note were the passing of the Tourism Board Act 2012, which set up a new Board with statutory powers to influence the future sales and marketing direction of the Department of Tourism.

“In addition to this ground breaking Act, I was also able to table the much anticipated National Tourism Plan, the most comprehensive and well laid out path to tourism prosperity that we have seen in decades.”

The Minister added that forward projections “suggests a better third quarter.”

Mr Furbert said: “We will stay committed to achieve through our tireless efforts, a vibrant, busy and healthy Bermuda.”