FACTS & FANCIES
Photo courtesy Bermuda Tourism
A few things
IS NOT (and IS):
• It IS NOT in the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico.
It IS in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its closest
neighbors are the USA – Cape Hatteras, NC is 650mi west; Canada – Nova
Scotia is 770mi north; the Bahamas, 835mi WSW; Turks & Caicos islands,
It IS NOT an independent country.
It IS a British colony — officially one of 14 British Overseas Territories,
vestiges of the once vast British Empire that the sun never set upon.
Although Bermuda has its own parliament —
the oldest continuously seated parliament in the world
— its ultimate chief executive is the British monarch,
Queen Elizabeth II.
It IS NOT a part of Europe.
Bermuda belongs to North America geographically and is
one time east of the United States east coast. Its closest European land mass is the Azores, a group of
islands just east of the mid-Atlantic and an autonomous region of
Portugal about 2,200mi ENE of Bermuda. London, England, is about 3,500mi
from Bermuda. By comparison, Charleston, SC, is 884mi away; Savannah, GA, 956mi distant;
Atlanta 1,140mi; Miami 1,035mi; Washington DC 825mi; Philadelphia 784mi;
New York City 775mi.
It was never settled by Spain.
Claimed & named — but not settled — by Spain, Bermuda became British when the flagship of the Virginia
Colony sent to relieve & resupply colonial Jamestown was wrecked
on the island’s reefs to save the crew from a violent storm in
1609. Bermuda became part of the Virginia Company’s North
American colony, and is
the oldest surviving vestige of England’s North American
Captain John Smith wrote about it, and early settler
John Rolfe lost his first wife and infant child — named Bermuda — on
the island after being shipwrecked by the hurricane. Rolfe later
Pocahontas, the Native American
princess who had saved
Replica of the ship Deliverance, originally
1609-10 to permit English colonists
on Bermuda to continue
to Jamestown, Virginia.
Detail of Bermuda Tourism Photo
It IS NOT lashed by frequent hurricanes.
Hurricanes affect Bermuda about once every two years
on average. Direct hits are rare, averaging fewer than one per decade.
Most hurricanes occur from August through October, with September being
the high-water mark – pun intended – the month producing the majority of
occurrences. Otherwise, the weather is moderated to “subtropical” by the
influence of the Gulf Stream, with rainfall averaging about 4.5 inches
per month. The wettest month is October, averaging nearly 6 inches of
rain. The driest month is April, with 3.3 inches of rain. Average daily
temperatures vary from 63 degrees Fahrenheit in February to 81 degrees F
in July and August. Despite being on a similar latitude with Savannah,
GA, Bermuda’s average temperatures and rainfall amounts are much more
like those of Miami, FL, around 500 miles further south.
It IS NOT home to an elite few and an impoverished many.
Bermuda IS home to many well-paid executives and
well-endowed retirees. And, perhaps 15% of its population earn incomes
below the poverty line. Still, income distribution in Bermuda remains
reasonable and wages are high: the average yearly household income is
around $95,000. 25% earn above $108,000/year. Another 25% earn between
$72,000-$108,000/year. One-third earn from $36,000-$72,000. 19% of its
households earn less than $36,000/year.
It IS NOT a tax haven for wealthy American corporations
PARTLY TRUE. Bermuda IS still home to many international
corporations — including dozens of large American companies — that
maintain offshore offices for their tax advantages. But, since 9-11,
money laundering laws have changed that make it difficult for
individuals and businesses to continue to use Bermuda like a secret bank
account. Further — the Great Recession has focused much domestic US
attention on corporate and individual tax-dodging, and pressure has been
put on Bermuda to provide more
Business chic on
the pier at Hamilton, Bermuda's capital and business center.
Detail of Bermuda Tourism Photo.
transparency to suspected international tax avoiders.
For its part, Bermuda stands to lose American tourism and
American investment, and American markets for its products if it
fails to cooperate with US government tax inquiries.
currency IS NOT the British Pound Sterling. TRUE!
Although images of Britain's Queen Elizabeth are printed on Bermudian
money, Bermuda's Dollar is an independent currency and not traded
internationally. The Bermuda dollar's value IS
pegged to the U.S. dollar on a 1-for-1 basis. Happily for
visitors from the United States, Bermuda dollars and U.S. dollars are
accepted equally everywhere throughout Bermuda and may be used together
for purchases. That means visitors need not worry about exchange rate
fluctuations or buying foreign currency in advance of — or even during —
It IS NOT in need of any more visitors.
With about 85% of its visitors coming from the USA, since 2008
Bermuda tourism has been significantly — and negatively —
affected by the Great Recession. And with its leading industry,
international finance — insurance, re-insurance, banking, and
the like — dropping as a percentage of Bermuda’s GNP,
Bermuda has plenty of room for new visitors.
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