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About Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda, despite travelers referring to this destination in the singular, is actually a chain of 181 islands with a total area of 53 sq. kilometers (20.6 sq. miles). Despite longtime international perception of its location within the Caribbean, Bermuda is actually located further up in the North Atlantic Ocean – some 1,000 km east of the North Carolina (USA) coast.

Bermuda was discovered in 1505 by little-known Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez. However, the Spaniards never actually established a settlement there, venturing onto what’s now the Caribbean Basin, Latin America, and Florida. A century later (1609), the same British company that established a settlement in Virginia (USA) also succeeded in settling in what’s now Bermuda. Bermuda officially became a British colony the same year that Great Britain itself was established (1707 – unifying Scotland and England). St. George’s, Bermuda’s original capital (first settled in 1612) is the oldest continuously inhabited English-speaking town in the New World.

These days, Bermuda is still a British colony (once being named “the Gibraltar of the West” because of the Royal Navy’s constant presence there). Its economy is based on offshore insurance and reinsurance, and tourism. Of the half million visitors that Bermuda attracts annually, 80% of them come from the nearby USA (a 2-hour plane ride from most east coast USA airports). Aside from them, there are also large numbers of Canadian and British tourists. All travelers arrive into Bermuda via air or cruise ship.

Bermuda is also an offshore financial center, which results from its minimal standards of business regulation/laws and direct taxation on personal or corporate income. According to the World Bank, Bermuda is the third richest country in the world with average wages higher than USA.

With Bermuda’s current population tallying at just over 60,000 residents, several thousand of them are expatriate workers from the UK, Canada, the Caribbean, South Africa, and USA – engaging mainly in specialized professions such as accounting, finance, and insurance. Others are employed in various trades, such as hotels, restaurants, construction, and landscaping services.

 

NOTE ON HAMILTON – BERMUDA’S CAPITAL

The town of Hamilton was founded and named after Sir Henry Hamilton who served as Governor of Bermuda from 1788 – 1794 and who was very instrumental in supporting the settlement of a town in the central parishes.
The people of St. George’s strongly objected to the creation of the new town, but Governor Hamilton felt it made good sense to have a town in the central area, which would be relatively close to people from all over the Island (as opposed to St. George, which is located much further to the northeast).

The new town of Hamilton quickly thrived and overtook the Town of St George, becoming the capital of Bermuda in 1815, during the Mayoral term of Richard Darrell, considered to have been one of Hamilton’s most outstanding Mayors.
A thriving center, the City of Hamilton is the hub of international and local business on the Island. But Hamilton also has a unique character, as it is packed with historic buildings, churches, shops, museums, galleries, parks and gardens–all set alongside a beautiful natural harbor.