Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Brown downplays Smart car proposal

Two-seater urban Smart cars are not going to be used as hire cars for visitors anytime soon, according to Tourism Minister Ewart Brown.Even though they have been suggested as an idea by the head of Bermuda’s tourism office in London, a lack of parking spaces remains the main hurdle preventing the idea being put into operation.The idea of allowing tourists the option of renting out one of the two-seat cars, which are almost as long as they are wide, as an alternative to hiring a moped has been looked at and remains an unviable option, said Dr. Brown.It was Bermuda’s tourism department regional sales manager for the UK and Europe Thomas MacDonald who most recently raised the idea of Smart cars for hire during an interview with The Royal Gazette earlier this month in which he discussed a variety of possible initiatives to cater for European visitors.But Deputy Premier Dr. Brown said the idea had been investigated in 2000 and the difficulties identified then were still an issue. “It was not feasible at the time because of a lack of parking spaces. It did not fly then and I don’t think it is going to fly in the immediate future. It is a good idea but we have not answered the question of space,” he said.But one aspect of the tourism package that was touched upon by Mr. MacDonald in London and with which Dr. Brown concurs is for a revival of live, home-grown music and entertainment to enhance the Island’s tourism product.

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