Around 40 staff at the Government-run Department of Tourism will be displaced as the new independent Tourism Authority gears up to take over.

Their posts will be disappear as the department is dismantled — but Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell stated that no staff will be made redundant.

Staff can apply for posts with its private successor — although there are no guarantees of a job offer — or opt to be transferred to other Civil Service positions.

Mr. Crockwell said: “The Government promised that we would not make any civil servants redundant and we have kept that promise as all Bermuda Department of Tourism that are unsuccessful in securing a position with the new authority will be offered alternative employment within Government.”

The news was broken to staff in Bermuda yesterday by Mr Crockwell, who today travelled to New York to deliver the same message to overseas staff.

Legislation to set up the new Tourism Authority will be tabled in the House of Assembly next month and the new authority is expected to take over by the end of March next year.

An executive steering committee, under hotelier David Dowell, who is to be chairman of the Tourism Authority, will gap after CEO is appointed.

Mr Crockwell added that staff titles, pay and benefits for employees will be set by the new independent authority.

The news sparked an angry response from Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert.

Mr Furbert said: “Since taking office, the OBA have proven that their promises mean nothing and that the values of openness, honesty and transparency that they claimed to have before the election, no longer apply to them.

 “The Tourism Department is comprised of talented, capable Bermudians who, with the few tools they have, are fighting to bring back the glory days of tourism.

“Now, the halls of tourism ring with whispers of OBA deceit, OBA broken promises and OBA lack of compassion towards Bermudians.

 “We call on the Minister of Tourism to do the right thing and tell the people the truth about the future of Bermudian jobs within his Ministry.”