Former UBP MP, long-serving Tourism Minister and Reefs Boss David Dodwell will lead the Tourism Authority, a body expected to be up and running within six months. *File photo
Former UBP MP, long-serving Tourism Minister and Reefs Boss David Dodwell will lead the Tourism Authority, a body expected to be up and running within six months. *File photo

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 2: Reefs boss David Dodwell will take charge of the new Tourism Authority.

Mr Dodwell, a long serving MP and experienced hotelier, was named as Chairman Designate of the body that is expected to be up and running within six months.

He will take charge of the existing Tourism Board in the the meantime, until the authority is formed later this year.

Mr Dodwell will be responsible for establishing the new Authority and creating the structure for the new body.

The announcement that Mr Dodwell will lead the new Authority was made by Tourism Development Minister Shawn Crockwell this afternoon.

Mr Crockwell said the appointment backed up his party's pledge to remove politicians from tourism and let industry experts provide the driving force.

He added: "The priority of the Authority will be to maintain continuity and to ensure that political interference is removed so that we can achieve thebest outcome for the revival of Bermuda’s Tourism industry.

"The success of the Authority is directly dependent on engaging and empowering the Bermuda Department of Tourism staff so they can perform to the best of their abilities in carrying out the mandate of the Authority.

"Central to this is consultation with the Bermuda Public Services Union to discuss any concerns they may have in relation to their members."

Mr Crockwell said: " We are currently working within the existing Tourism Board Act passed in 2012 - and determining if we can modify the existing Act or repeal it and create a new Act for the Authority.

"Three committees have been identified that will carry out the mandate of the Act and the priorities of the Plan: Product Development, Sales and Marketing and Tourism Appreciation. 

"I will be meeting with Mr. Dodwell and the existing Board members on Monday where we will outline our vision for the Authority and a strategy for the way forward."

Mr Dodwell told the Bermuda Sun he was excited about taking on the new role.

He added: "This Tourism Authority is what tourism in Bermuda needs.

"We need every resident to really grasp how important rebuilding tourism is to Bermuda and play a part in turning the industry around.

"This is a huge opportunity for us to fix some of the issues in tourism that have been around for a while now and I am confident we can get the job done."