Although some of the major hotels and resorts were damaged by two catastrophic hurricanes Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith announced that the Territory’s tourism sector was being propelled by small properties such as villas and the yachting sector.
Hon. Smith while speaking to reporters at a press conference on 18 January explained that sections of the tourism sector were still thriving: “Though our tourism sector has been severely impacted by the storms, I am reassured by seeing the use of our villas and smaller properties, as well as our yachting industry to ensure that we can welcome guests and that our hospitality professionals are back to work.”
The Premier indicated that assessments were carried out by the BVI Tourist Board and he said that figures indicating the current state of the industry were noted: “From initial assessments completed by BVI Tourist Board, they have reported that we do have in use, approximately 300 rooms across the Territory, and approximately 800 berths on sea.” In fact the Premier noted that the assessments are ongoing.
As it relates to details of reopening plans and timelines for larger properties, Hon. Smith explained that government is organizing a stakeholder forum. This event is expected to feature large properties and the yachting sector, and is scheduled to take place on 26 January.
“It is very important that our destination remains a viable option for guests and that we maintain our presence in the industry,” Hon. Smith added.
He also mentioned that the BVI Tourist Board plans to maintain involvement in key industry events such as sponsorship of the Miami Open in March. “We will also be welcoming guests from around the world for the Second Annual Anegada Kite and Paddle Festival, also in March,” the Premier added.