Bermuda and Bahamas: Tourist Destinations Compared

Two of the most popular international tourist destinations today are Bermuda and The Bahamas. Both destinations are similar in several ways, while there are also some differences between them.

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While the geographical details of both destinations are similar only in the fact that both are archipelagos comprising several islands, there are many differences between them. Bermuda lies in the North Atlantic Ocean with geographical coordinates of 32 20N and 64 45W (Cia.gov/bd), while The Bahamas lie in the Western Atlantic Ocean with geographical coordinates of 24 15N and 76 00W(Cia.gov/bf). Bermuda is much smaller {54 sq.km} (Cia.gov/bd) in size as compared to The Bahamas {13,880 sq.km} (Cia.gov/bf). The overall terrain of Bermuda comprises a series of low hills interspersed with fertile depressions; the North Atlantic Ocean at 0 m is its lowest point, while Town Hill at an elevation of 76 m is its highest point (Cia.gov/bd). The overall terrain of The Bahamas consists of low and horizontal coral formations that include a few small curved hills; the Western Atlantic Ocean at 0 m is its lowest point, while Mount Alvernia at an elevation of 63 m is its highest point (Cia.gov/bf).

The climate in both destinations does not present any undue problems for tourists. Bermuda has a sub-tropical climate that is characterized by mild and humid weather (Cia.gov/bd). The average temperature is 70F degrees, and the islands rarely experience extremes of heat or cold (10best.com). The Bahamas has a tropical maritime climate that guarantees good weather throughout the year. The Bahamas never experience extremes of heat or cold. The average temperature in summer is 84F degrees while it is 67F degrees in winter.

Political details of the two destinations are similar in that the first Europeans to arrive were the British, who first set foot in Bermuda in 1609 (Cia.gov/bd) and later in The Bahamas in 1647 (Cia.gov/bh). A major difference is that while Bermuda, which is officially an overseas territory of the U.K, continues to remain under British control to this day (Cia.gov/bd), The Bahamas gained independence in 1973, while however remaining a part of the British Commonwealth.

From the tourists’ point of view, the attraction of both destinations is similarly overwhelming. The possibility of exploring no less than 138 coral islands and islets that make up the Bermuda Islands (Cia.gov/bd) is simply mouth-watering. The Bermudian islands and islets are surrounded by majestic coral reefs and seemingly never-ending stretches of soft pink sandy shores. The scenic beauty is further exacerbated by the presence of shining clear blue and green water which attract swimmers, scuba divers and snorkelers in droves. The country is blessed with beautiful architecture in the form of a large number of tiny but beautiful cottages, lovely old churches, majestic lighthouses and other old colonial structures mingled with modern luxury hotels and resorts. There is also a wide variety of exotic flowers and plants that adds visual and olfactory pleasure. To top it all, the view of the typical Bermudian ocean sunset is so resonantly overwhelming that it has to be seen to be believed (10best.com). There exists basic traveling and communications infrastructures such as airports {Bermuda has 1 international airport}, seaports {it has 2 sea ports}, an impressive network of roads, Internet facilities {there are 1,628 Internet hosts} and television stations {besides Bermuda’s own 3 television stations, the many television stations based in the U.S are easily accessible} (Cia.gov). In comparison, tourists have a much larger exploration arena as The Bahamas has over 700 Islands. A near-perfect environment in the form of pure white sandy beaches and the presence of deep blue ocean water is a tremendous attraction for swimmers, divers or just beach loungers. For those preferring solitude, several isolated islands like Abaco, Crooked Island, Berry Islands and Cat Islands present ideal retreats. There are six airports that handle international flights including the National Airline ‘Bahamas air.’ There is a massive tourism industry in The Bahamas in which half of the population is employed and which provides half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Communications facilities in the country are on par (although more expensive) than their counterparts in the U.S and Canada. The excellence of its hotels can be judged by the fact that the Caribbean Hotel Association awarded The Bahamas the Crystal Palm Award for Excellence in 1998.

Lastly, both destinations lure tourists with something out of the ordinary. In the case of The Bahamas, there is an element of danger, both natural and man-made. The natural danger exists in the form of the hurricane season {June to November} during which there are regular threats from tropical storms and hurricanes (Thebahamasguide.com). As far as man-made danger is concerned, the Bahamas has emerged as a busy transshipment center not only for contraband drugs to Europe and the U.S., but also for illegal smuggling of people to the U.S (Cia.gov/bf). In contrast, tourists visiting Bermuda would be sitting right at the edge of the world’s only unsolved mystery. There is a mysterious aura that surrounds Bermuda in the form of the famous Bermuda Triangle {also known as Devil’s Triangle} – an area formed by an imaginary line linking Miami {Florida}, San Juan {Puerto Rico} and Bermuda. Mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft in the Bermuda Triangle have been recorded over several years. Among the large number of ships that have vanished, the most famous are 3 U.S warships – General Gates, Insurgent and Wasp – that disappeared without a trace in 1780, 1799 and 1814 respectively. There have been over 125 recorded cases of aircraft that have disappeared once they entered the Bermuda Triangle. The most famous was the disappearance of a squadron of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger planes {including 14 crew members} on December 5, 1945. The latest aircraft casualties took place during the last 2 years: a Piper aircraft vanished on 10 April 2007, and a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft disappeared on 15 December 2008. Up to today, there has been no logical explanation put forward for the disappearances. The many articles and books that have been written on the Bermuda Triangle have served to keep its mystery and aura alive and attractive to people all over the world. A good indication of this is the global reaction to the Charlie Berlitz novel entitled The Bermuda Triangle. The 1974 book proved to be a blockbuster best seller with sales of over 5 million copies.

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References

“The ‘700’ Islands of the Bahamas.” Thebahamasguide.com. 2006. Web.

“The Bahamas.” Cia.gov. 2009. Web.

“Bermuda” 10best.com. 2009. Web.

“Bermuda” Cia.gov. 2009. Web.

“Bermuda Triangle.” Bermuda-triangle.org. 2009. Web.

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Paperroni. 2021. "Bermuda and Bahamas: Tourist Destinations Compared." November 3, 2021. https://paperroni.com/bermuda-and-bahamas-tourist-destinations-compared/.

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Paperroni. (2021) 'Bermuda and Bahamas: Tourist Destinations Compared'. 3 November.

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