Bermuda's Tourism History
It was in the Victorian times (mid 1800s) when tourism in Bermuda started developing for the first time. However, those days Bermuda tourism was limited for the wealthy and elite class of people who wanted to escape the winters in North America. Then many American fathers started coming to Bermuda with the hope of finding eligible bachelors working with the Royal Navy to whom they could marry their daughters.
The local hotel owners were very quick to notice this and started exploiting the situation immediately. They started organizing dances and gatherings during the 'season' and offered free entry to the 'preys', the military and navy officers.
Due to agriculture being unsuccessful in the island, large number of Bermudians turned to sea to earn their livelihood. And many of those seamen finally settled outside Bermuda. As a result, there were scarcity of men in the island. In fact even late into the 20th century, Bermuda was noted as having high number of aging spinsters.
Many Bermudian women married the navy and military officers. But now with Bermuda tourism growing and American fathers hunting for potential husbands for their daughters, the Bermudian women started finding themselves in competition with the American women.
In the early 20th century, as modern transportation and communication systems developed, Bermuda's tourism industry began to develop and thrive. And Bermuda became a popular destination for a broader spectrum of wealthy US, Canadian, and British tourists.
Once Bermuda used to export fresh vegetables to USA in large quantities. But, in 1930, an import tariff imposed by the United States virtually stopped this thriving trade. As a result, Bermuda had to now put more of its efforts into the development of its tourism industry.
Imperial Airways and Pan-American World Airways both began flying to Bermuda in the 1930s. By this time the summer (May through October) had become the preferred time for the visitors to come to the island. However, it wasn't until after the Second World War, when the first airport for large commercial aircraft was built in Bermuda.