Bermuda Facts at a Glance

While Bermuda has been touted as an excellent holiday destination, the first thing that springs to mind when one hears the name 'Bermuda' is the famous or rather infamous, Bermuda Triangle. These stories about Bermuda however have not dampened the keen enthusiasm of holidaymakers to this beautiful island destination.

Located on the east coast off the United States, Bermuda was discovered by a Spanish navigator, Juan de Bermudez in 1505, and the islands are named after him. Its first capital, St George’s was founded by the British in 1612. Today its capital city is Hamilton and has been since 1815. This British overseas territory actually consists of 181 islands and it is the largest island, known as the Main Island to locals, that is commonly referred to as Bermuda.

Bermuda Geography and Climate

Bermuda map

This little island archipelago is located in the north Atlantic Ocean. Bermuda is one of the smallest territories in the world and some of the islands are actually linked by bridges. These linked islands form a fishhook and are 22 miles long, and only 2 miles wide at its widest point. Each parish on Bermuda is actually named after individuals who were the shareholders of the company that colonized Bermuda, the Virginia company. The name Bermuda actually comes from the original Spanish explorer who discovered these islands, Juan de Bermúdez.

Bermuda enjoys the four seasons with an average high of 81 degree is August and lows of about 63 degrees in February. This means that there are opportunities to travel to Bermuda all year round and tourists keen on taking a break from their hectic schedules may look forward to lying on the beaches and basking in the sun.

About Bermuda People and Culture

Over 60% of the inhabitants of Bermuda are of African ancestry, descended from the slaves brought to the islands during the 18th century. Today among the inhabitants there is also a sizable population of British descent. The main language is English although some Portugese is also spoken. The main religions are Anglican, Roman Catholic and African Methodist Episcopal churches.

Bermuda Economy

The Bermuda currency is the Bermudian dollar although US currency is used interchangeably within the islands. While there is a general perception that it is all sun, sea and sand in Bermuda, it was reported to have a GDP of $5.85 billion in 2007. This works out to $91,477 per capita which gives Bermuda the highest GDP per capita in the world!

Apart from the obvious draw of its tourism trade, Bermuda is an established offshore financial centre. This reputation, established due to low direct taxes on personal and corporate income is appealing although there are strict regulatory requirements in this area. In addition, Bermuda currently exports its financial services and finance and international business now comprise its key sector, not tourism, as most would have imagined.

Bermuda’s second largest industry, tourism, attracts more than a half a million tourists each year with the majority of these coming from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Access to Bermuda is either by cruise ship or air and holidaymakers are advised to explore these different travel options early to plan a holiday in Bermuda.

Tourist Attractions in Bermuda

The main focus of these visitors is Bermuda’s pink sandy beaches and clear ocean waters and there are endless strips of beautiful and idyllic beaches to enjoy. Most hotels are located along the south shore and there are a wide array of choices and budgets available to tourists looking for short and long term accommodation. Again it is advised that information and options are explored either through direct internet research or from your local travel agent.

Tourist attractions abound with the designated World Heritage Site of historic St George’s being a must-see. The historical value of this site and its buildings must not be underestimated and individuals who are avid history buffs will find this attraction enchanting.

Bermuda Elbow Beach Hotel

Bermuda Jobs

For most people, a job in Bermuda would be a dream come true, in anticipation of the beautiful beaches and endless sea. The opportunity to work is Bermuda is appealing to most people as the salary packages are healthy and there are low taxes. However the best things in life are never easy.

If you are planning to work in Bermuda, it is not possible to start off as a tourist and then convert from tourist to expatriate employee, as this is illegal and expensive. To apply for a job in Bermuda, you should not be on the island in the first instance, and the best way to get jobs there are by using recruitment agencies, or accessing local businesses through their websites to see what is available.

Job opportunities available in Bermuda come from two sources, the first being Bermudian companies that are owned and run by Bermudians, and second, Bermuda-based international companies that focus on trading abroad or with each other. If you are planning to get a job in Bermuda therefore, apply from abroad, be clear what the package is that you will receive and what it will include (such as repatriation costs and of course, accommodation costs in Bermuda which can be very expensive), ensure that your employer is prepared to arrange the necessary work permit for the specified duration which is normally 2 years. The best prospects for employment are in the financial services and reinsurance industries, as well as nursing and pharmaceutical industry, journalism and technology.

The Government

An interesting but little known fact about Bermuda is that it has the fifth oldest Parliament in the world, which was granted by a Royal Assent by the British in 1620. Headed by a Premier, its legislature comprises two houses. The Senate, which is known as the upper house, has members appointed by the Governor, whilst the House of Assembly members are elected. The current Premier is Ms Paula Cox of the Progressive Labour Party.

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