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Bermuda: alluring and diversified

To begin with, Bermuda offers a very high standard of service and quality of life, with a wide range of facilities to suit the budget and lifestyle of every visitor. Pink coral sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, golf courses, watersports galore, the unique culture and history of Bermuda for those with more studious pursuits in mind, and the world-famous friendliness of Bermuda's people, all combine with other factors such as the complete absence of poverty, to attract to Bermuda more than half a million visitors each year.

They number nearly ten times Bermuda's resident population. They come to Bermuda because they want a sophisticated, immaculately-maintained and 'safe' resort of the highest reputation where they will be treated well and get good value for their money.

Bermuda: so civilized

Bermuda is an ideal environment for individuals, couples, families, groups - people of all ages and backgrounds - to enjoy their business and vacation breaks. And it is so close and convenient to North America and Europe. There is no rigid social structure. The free-and-easy multi-cultural aspect of Bermuda and its people is a refreshing thing to observe.

Bermuda's buildings withstand hurricanes

All Bermuda's buildings are required by law to be designed and built to conform to a rigid building code which places safety as the first consideration. They withstand hurricane-force winds up to 140 m.p.h. As such, they are far sturdier in construction than most public and private buildings in Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Pacific and USA.

You must have read in newspapers or seen on TV reports of widespread devastation, general havoc, and total destruction of hotels and private homes in the Caribbean Basin and American mainland areas in 1995 and earlier.

Yes, Bermuda too was affected by 1995 hurricanes. But in a very limited way in comparison. Airlines' flights at the time were cancelled. A bridge was partially destroyed. A few exposed properties lost their roofs. Some automobiles and boats were written off. But there was no danger to visitors and no loss of life or wholesale destruction.

This aspect of Bermuda should be immensely reassuring to visitors.

Value for money

Price-conscious visitors are aware that a vacation in Bermuda can be somewhat more expensive than in the Caribbean, Mexico, and other developing-country competing resorts where low labor costs apply. Why? Mostly because almost everything has to be imported into Bermuda. Freighters leave Bermuda empty, as Bermuda exports hardly anything. Freight rates are high.

But thousands of annual repeat visitors know a few things about Bermuda others do not. They include a comprehensive and impressive tourism-oriented infrastructure often taken for granted as far as Bermuda is concerned, but not in place in so many competing resort areas. These and other factors put a considerable "value-added" cachet to a Bermuda vacation or business trip. People don't mind paying for value when they see what they get for their money. In the context of "value, " it costs a great deal of money to keep these islands immaculately clean and maintained throughout and with an exceptional overall standard of accommodation and visitor-oriented services.

Water is safe to drink from the tap, without fear of illness. Modern public-transportation buses, ferries and taxis take visitors practically everywhere. These inexpensive and safe ways to enjoy Bermuda provide access to all Bermuda's prime sightseeing attractions including the national parks and wildlife areas. Many of these attractions, on and off the beaten track, don't cost anything to visit. They are part and parcel of Bermuda's "quality of life," designed for all to enjoy. Many of the islands and territories competing with Bermuda for quality tourism business do not have these transportation services and "quality of life" add-ons.

Also in the "value for money" context, here are two things about Bermuda you may not know. Not once, in nearly 400 years of Bermuda's history, has our island nation ever requested or received a single cent in financial aid from any country. Only Bermuda, none of the many islands and places in the world competing with it, can make this proud claim. If you are a taxpayer in the USA, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan or another "donor" country, you know the burden you are helping to bear via the taxes you pay in propping up the regimes of many lesser-developed and developing places. But Bermuda is NOT one of them. You are also shouldering the burden, via your taxes, of your nation's trade deficits with countries like China and Japan. Again, Bermuda causes you no such financial millstone around your neck.

How come? On a per-capita basis, Bermuda is by far and away the best customer for goods exported from the USA, Britain, Canada, France and other nations. Exports from Bermuda are negligible in comparison. So there's no trade deficit, just a trade surplus, in your country's favor. Bermudians and residents, during their vacations and business trips abroad, and in buying your nation's goods and services in other ways and educating their children, collectively spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year in contributing to YOUR nation's economy.

Every part of Bermuda is accessible

Indeed, not just parts of it. Visitors can wander virtually anywhere, by day or night, to see the sights. This total accessibility adds greatly to the concept of "value." This freedom to go anywhere, to see and enjoy the attractions, environment and quality of life, should be factored into the "value" of a Bermuda visit.

Repeat visitors meet old friends

Repeat visitors particularly enjoy Bermuda for something you never see mentioned in tourism claims of other islands and countries. Many of the staff employed in Bermuda's hotels, cottage colonies and other properties have put in 40, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 or 5 or more years of employment there. They are as proud of this as are their employers.

The properties concerned often book full-page local newspaper advertisements featuring photographs of their staff being individually and collectively honored and saluted for their sustained level of quality service. This has become a Bermuda tradition.

The benefits of it are passed on to Bermuda's visitors. These long-service staff members and their incoming clients have developed special relationships over the years.

Visitors often comment on how truly nice it is to return to Bermuda to be warmly remembered by name as friends, with their special likes and needs similarly remembered and promptly offered.

Special courtesies

Visitors get the benefit of real, heartfelt courtesies extended by well educated, highly literate and good-mannered employees. Overall courtesy, helpfulness and hospitality are hallmarks of Bermudians. This superior standard of service, maintained since the 1930's, has made Bermuda a worldwide tourism legend - much to the envy of competing resorts. This courtesy is noticed from the moment people get transported away from the airport and cruise ship terminals. Note the attitude and degree of helpfulness of Bermuda's taxi drivers. Compare this to what you'll find in many other places.

Violence is left at home

Increasing violence in their home jurisdictions is something visitors want to get away from, at least for a while. They can do so in Bermuda. Not all other sun-and-fun places can make the same proud claim. While Bermuda certainly isn't crime-free (unfortunately), it is one of the few places in the world where firearms are very strictly prohibited. No individuals are allowed to own guns. Not even BB and pellet guns and slingshots are allowed. This may be very welcome news for many potential first-time visitors.

No barriers

Bermuda's resort properties are not isolated by fences or other unsightly structures or manned gateposts that in other jurisdictions are specifically designed to keep undesirables or the poverty-stricken out. The only "borders" of properties are healthy specimens of flowering shrubs, or low-slung Bermuda limestone walls, weathered by time. You won't find any slums or squalid residential areas where people live in tin or wooden shacks, in poverty. Often elsewhere, you'll encounter such manifestations of poverty and economic bleakness. It tends to mute the enjoyment of a vacation.

No pesky insects or dangerous creatures on land or sea

A particularly high standard of island-manicure ensures that the discomforts caused by mosquitoes, sand flies or "no see 'ems" are non existent in Bermuda. This is not the case in the Canadian Maritimes, Caribbean islands, Mexico, British Columbia, Washington State, California, Georgia, Florida, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, certain parts of the United Kingdom and Europe, after the sun has gone down. You can take an evening walk along any Bermuda beach without experiencing a single mosquito or sand fly bite. And Bermuda has NO wild animals - no crocodiles, raccoons, or snakes. Even sharks stay well offshore, beyond the reef barrier. Bermuda has a very safe environment for swimmers and snorkelers.

Decent salaries and wages apply

Unlike in many resorts and places in the USA and elsewhere, where US Federal or equivalent minimum wages apply, Bermuda provides decent salaries, wages and terms of employment uniformly throughout the local hospitality and support industries. Because Bermudians in the hospitality industry (and other industries too) are compensated well, there is none of that harassing form of begging so typical of the developing countries - and so distressing to visitors.

Visitor awareness prevails

Bermudians are aware enough of tourism as a front-line industry to offer quality service without any ingratiating servility or sometimes-visible resentment so prevalent elsewhere. In some other resorts, tourists are regarded as necessary evils to be exploited. Bermudians are by nature and upbringing so well-bred that they will not hassle or pester personalities who escape to Bermuda for a little peace in comparative anonymity from the rat-race.

Different races try to co-exist

Bermudians are so attuned to island-life and the practical necessity of peaceful co-existence and integration that in many respects, as they apply to the two principal races of people resident here, Bermuda is a model for the rest of the world in racial harmony. Why is this so? There is a simple answer and you can see it everywhere in Bermuda. It is that the economic benefits derived from tourism and international business as principal industries are equitably distributed. It makes for a generally happy island with little discernible social snobbery. In places without these advantages there are often severe underlying tensions and distinct social barriers created by the trappings of the obviously extremely wealthy surrounded by distressingly obvious manifestations of the chronically poor. You won't find any such characteristics in Bermuda - in any neighborhood.

Old-fashioned customs, traditions still apply

Bermuda, with its physical isolation, has escaped a lot of the standardization now so evident throughout the world of tourism - some of it good, but much of it at the expense of indigenous culture. Despite being firmly in the New World, Bermuda nevertheless offers visitors who particularly enjoy traditions and customs some Old World charm and formality. With no disrespect intended to our mainland friends, the American culture has largely lost this - except in areas unspoilt by urban sprawl. For some visitors who like dressing up for dinner for example, there are places for this in Bermuda; and specific traditions behind it. For others who have an attachment to the concept of Royalty, Bermuda's status as the oldest of all British colonies and its ties with Britain give it an aura and provides ceremonies and traditions that can't be found in many other places.

Distinguished visitors over the years

Virginia's first Governor, Sir Thomas Gates; American and Royal Navy heroes of the American Revolutionary War and War of 1812-14; George Washington's brother Lawrence...

New England-born administrators, clerics and jurists who became Governors, ministers and Chief Justices of Bermuda of such distinction that their names are immortalized locally...

Members of Britain's Royal Family, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, mostly recently in 1994...

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), who regarded Bermuda as his all-time favorite place; Rudyard Kipling; Eugene O'Neill; James Thurber; Charlie Chaplin and his family; Sir Noel Coward; Georgia O'Keefe; Sir Alec Guinness (as a wartime tank-landing craft captain), Charlton Heston; John Wayne, Michael Douglas; Bob Hope; and Ross Perot...

Distinguished contemporary Americans in art, humor, journalism, literature and many other fields. Some have owned local homes...

Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Richard Nixon, James Carter, George Bush; and British Prime Ministers...

Long before they became their nation's President and First Lady, Bill and Hilary Clinton enjoyed Bermuda. In fact, they conceived their daughter Chelsea here in Bermuda, at Horizons and Cottages in Paget Parish...

Why did British Prime Ministers Sir Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath and Dame Marjorie Thatcher select Bermuda, of all places, as the preferred locale for their discussions with American Presidents?

It was because of Bermuda's unique commercial, cultural, economic, historical and military ties with both Britain and the USA in so many different but entirely complementary ways. In ways, and over an extended continuous period, no other island or country can claim. No other place in the world has ever enjoyed such influence in cementing since the early days of the 20th century the mutual friendship between the Old World kingdom that gave Bermuda life and its traditions -and the New World republic whose citizens flock to Bermuda in more quantity than any other.