Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Post-Budget Press Conference

Budget Press Conference Minister Furbert and Darrell

Today the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Hon. Senator Owen Darrell, JP, MP, and the Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors, The Hon. Tinèe S. Furbert, JP, MP, gave remarks during a joint post-Budget press conference. 

Good Afternoon,

I am here today as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport to share key initiatives that will be supported by the 2024/25 Budget allocation for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

The Ministry’s 2024/25 budget has increased by fifteen point nine million dollars ($15.9) providing a total budget allocation of twenty-nine million, six hundred and nineteen thousand dollars ($29,619,000).

This increase is due to the transfer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) grant, the Hotel Regulatory and Policy Unit and the Cultural grants to supplement and compliment the efforts of the BTA.

This funding covers the operational expenditure for the Ministry inclusive of Ministry Headquarters and the Hotel Regulatory and Policy Unit, the Department of Culture, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the grant to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

Now, I will provide an overview of the initiatives under the Ministry’s remit:

Ministry Headquarters

The grant to the Bermuda Tourism Authority is sixteen million five hundred and forty thousand dollars ($16,540,000), a reduction of two million, four hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($2,460,000) and funds are being redirected to priority areas including increased grants to supplement local curators of tourism experiences, increased funding for elite athletes as 2024 is an Olympic year, increased funding for Sports Development in line with the National Sports Policy that will ultimately support many of the National Sports Governing Bodies, expansion of accessibility to affordable summer day camp programmes and assistance with the operation of Makerspaces for artists and creatives, a 2023 Throne Speech initiative.

Department of Culture

The Department of Culture has been given an operational budget of two million, two hundred and twenty-three thousand dollars ($2,223,000) Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) is allocated for the development and establishment of Makerspaces, a place where artists can create artwork, bands can practice, actors can rehearse and creatives can collaborate with each other. Bermudian creatives including musicians, visual artists, actors, poets and dancers have long advocated for a dedicated “maker space” and this will provide an environment where creatives can work on projects together, cultural groups can meet and performing artists who currently do not have an affordable place to practice can work on honing their craft. Some expected offshoots include workshops and master classes developed by the cultural community.

Department of Sport and Recreation

The operational budget for the Department of Sport and Recreation is eight million three hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars ($8,335,000). Three hundred and fifty thousand  dollars  ($350,000) of this is budgeted for Elite

Athletes. The Elite Athlete Assistance programme which currently supports prominent athletes such as Dage Minors, Daniel Augustus, Jessica Lewis, Yushae Andrade-DeSilva, and Conor White, among others, covers essential aspects like travel, per diem, accommodation, and more.
Given that the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are scheduled for this summer, our athletes require comprehensive support to propel them toward sporting excellence for Bermuda. The enhanced funding will play a pivotal role in aiding these athletes, covering crucial aspects such as insurance, recovery, physiotherapy, coaching expenses, and other often overlooked costs associated with representing Bermuda on the international stage.

Two million dollars ($2,000,000) has been allocated to the Sports Investment Programme, which will allow the Department to address gaps in funding to ensure alignment with the objectives in the National Sports Policy, including increasing participation, achieving sporting excellence and enhancing coach education.

An additional $500,000 has been budgeted for summer day camps so that the number of students on the waitlist is significantly reduced, alleviating stress for working parents. The Department of Sport and Recreation’s summer day camp programmes are extremely popular as parents seek safe and affordable summer camps for their children.

Annually, parents eagerly await registration for Summer Day Camp. Registration closes within minutes of opening because the Camps have reached their maximum capacity. Due to popular demand, after the camps enrollment have capacity, a waitlist is created. The waitlists are usually long and extensive.
The Department’s desire is to minimize the waitlist that occurs every year.

The aim is to alleviate the stress of finding safe and affordable summer camps for as many children as we can allow.

The strategy is to expand availability at public summer camps and collaborate with private camp operators to secure additional spaces. The department has reached out to private camps to obtain some spots in their camps. This will help students that would not normally be exposed to these camps an opportunity to participate.


The following organizations will continue to have the Ministry’s support for the array of programmes and services that they provide in the community:
•    Bermuda Tourism Auhority

•    Culture and Entertainment Support

•    Parish Councils

•    Cup Match

•    National Sports Centre

•    Contribution to Sports Investment

•    Elite Athletes

•    Bermuda Arts Council   

•    Bermuda National Gallery and.

•    Cultural    Preservation   (Gombey Museums,   and Heritage Activity)


Bermuda, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport develops and celebrates our people through the National Sports Policy, the National Cultural Heritage Policy and support to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

We will continue to diligently support initiatives that demonstrate the Government’s ongoing commitment to culture, sport and tourism.