by Brian Major
Last updated: 1:31 PM ET, Fri July 18, 2014
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA)'s plan to revitalize visitor arrivals through an increased focus on golf tourism has hit a sand trap. The agency and the PGA of America this week announced October's Bermuda PGA Grand Slam of Golf tournament will be the final one hosted by the territory following an eight-year run.
Following the October 13 to 15 event at Bermuda's Port Royal Golf Course the PGA Grand Slam will return to the U.S. mainland in 2015 said David Charles, the PGA of America's senior director of championships. The decision comes one month after BTA officials launched a tourism action plan to establish Bermuda as a "world-class golf destination."
BTA chief executive Bill Hanbury sought to portray the PGA event's departure in positive terms. "The PGA Grand Slam of Golf and its successful eight-year run in Bermuda bodes well for the future of golf on the island," he said. "All good things eventually come to an end, and Bermuda is well prepared to pursue other world-class golf activities.
"The valuable experience gained and relationships fostered by hosting this prestigious event has served as a foundation for developing a new comprehensive golf tourism strategy," added Hanbury. He said the focus on golf "at the end of the day will generate even more positive economic impact for the island."
Said Charles, "The PGA and BTA are working very hard to make the eighth PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda the best ever. We wish Bermuda every success in the future and we know we will continue our relationship with them."
Only last month Hanbury announced BTA's creation of a golf advisory board to craft "golf experience" and concierge programs to establish Bermuda as a world-class golf destination. BTA plans call for an increase the island's golf rounds from 50,000 to 100,000 over the next five years in a bid to boost visitor arrivals, particularly during the winter months.
BTA's golf tourism action plan is a key tourism initiative, Hanbury said. "By leveraging assistance from our global industry partners who continue to promote our island as a premier golfing destination and our reputation for delivering world-class sporting events in Bermuda, we are well positioned to capitalize on this key area of tourism."
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