Forget Beyoncé, the Grand Slam, the Love Festival and other failed ventures we’ve thrown too much money at. Bring back College Week.
College week proved to be one of our most successful tourism promotions. College students would come over the period of a month in our semi-off season and experience a great time in Bermuda. That experience would keep them coming back, for their honeymoons, anniversaries and other trips in future life. It was an incredibly good way to cement in people’s mind that Bermuda was a great destination, that is until College Week grew out of control and morphed into Spring Break.
There isn’t a great deal out there on Bermuda’s College Weeks, but of what little there is, it seems important for us to understand that college weeks grew out of what was originally a rugby tournament.
Seems the tradition of students going somewhere tropical over Easter began in 1935 when The Bermuda Athletic Association invited some Ivy League rugby teams down for a friendly tournament. By the ’50s Rugby Week became known as College Week, and then Spring Break.
Bermuda should do what it can to again get an annual spring ivy league rugby tournament going on this island. Those who take note of the Rugby Classic in November are aware that it has become quite a success, drawing a considerable number of visitors during an off period of Bermuda tourism. That is the kind of tourism we need to continue growing and recapitalize on as Rugby is an ideal sport for Bermuda’s off-season. If we’re lucky, we may be able to restart a trend that marks the return of college week.