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Negotiation Practices and Etiquette in Bermuda

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Many countries around the world have some customs or unwritten rules of etiquette that it can be beneficial to know before you arrive in each particular country. Bermuda is no exception and has a few of these practices that may seem a little odd to any un

Many countries around the world have some customs or unwritten rules of etiquette that it can be beneficial to know before you arrive in each particular country. Bermuda is no exception and has a few of these practices that may seem a little odd to any unsuspecting tourists or business visitors.

On arriving on the island of Bermuda you will not be able to hire a car, to get around you can use a bicycle, a scooter or even take a horse and carriage, if these do not appeal to you then there is also a bus service that runs across the whole country and schedules of the services are available free from tourist offices. The buses operate from 6.30 in the morning until 11 at night and are usually crowded particularly during peak times. Metered taxis can usually be found particularly at hotels and tourist attractions.

Tipping is often found to be already added to your bill at restaurants, it is usually set at 15% although you can leave more than this if you feel the service warrants it. Taxi drivers expect around 10% on top of the fare and hotels will usually add 7.25% to your bill.

Visitors are expected to dress conservatively. The wearing of bathing suits is acceptable only on the beach and even when going from the beach to your hotel you are expected to cover yourself up. It is an offence for men to be in public without a shirt except on the beach. Casual wear is the expected standard during the day with more formal clothing in the evening. Nude or topless bathing is not permitted anywhere in Bermuda and is considered a serious offence. Never walk around barefoot either as this behaviour is regarded as being inappropriate.

The residents of Bermuda are seen as a mix of being both British and American with some of the eccentricities of both being ingrained into the culture. It is considered impolite to ask a question without first saying good morning, afternoon or evening, depending upon the time of day.

The local economy is centred on international finance and tourism, the etiquette conducted by its businesses is conservative and formal dress or lightweight suits are to be worn at all times of the day regardless of the heat. Many men will wear a jacket, shirt and tie but with Bermuda shorts. Punctuality is considered an important element of business and greetings will begin with handshaking and exchanging of business cards. Business hours in Bermuda are usually from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.

You are expected to greet people politely before asking any questions as mentioned earlier in this article, however if you do not speak to a particular person you may find yourself being ignored for not greeting them. This quirky behaviour has left many tourists being ignored simply because they did not say good morning or whatever the appropriate greeting should have been.

Another strange or odd quirk can be found at the bar. If you are at a bar that has an ocean view you are not permitted to turn your back on the bar and gaze at the view. Should you do so the barperson will remind you of this and give you a warning as to your behaviour. If you continue to do so you are expected to buy everyone in the bar a drink for this unacceptable behaviour.

The correct evening wear is taken seriously in Bermuda and although the wearing of Bermuda shorts with a jacket and tie complete with long socks is considered the correct formal wear. Going out to a restaurant or even your hotels dining area you may be turned away for wearing jeans or a collarless shirt.

 

3 comments

john doe
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Posted on Oct 20, 2011
deepblue
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Posted on Oct 19, 2011
Roberta Baxter
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Posted on Oct 19, 2011

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John Smither

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