BVI News

Anti-harassment legislation promised for visitors

Visitors inside the Pier Park in Road Town, Tortola.

Legislation to further protect persons from being harassed while visiting in the British Virgin Islands is on the horizon, Governor Augustus Jaspert has announced.

The Governor said the Bill entitled the Anti-Visitor Harassment and Solicitation legislation would form part of government’s legislative agenda in the coming months.

“There will be the introduction of the regulation for the Tourism Act, which will include, but not limited to the Anti-Visitor Harassment and Solicitation legislation,” Governor Jaspert said while delivering his Speech from the Throne address at the First Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on Thursday.

“The efforts will be buttressed with the National Tourism Strategic Plan to bring more legislative and regulatory structure to the territory. The structure will include the establishment of stronger linkages and involvement of all sectors within the territory to ensure [our] ‘one tourism’ mandate,” he added.

The governor further said the Andrew Fahie administration would capitalize on the opportunity to improve the linkages between tourism and other productive sectors such as fishing, agriculture, and cultural heritage. 

He stated: “The Going Green, Going SMART legislative agenda of our government also includes the agricultural and fisheries sectors, which are important to the historical, economic, and cultural identity of the territory. That is why legislative reform and other measures will be put in place to increase the earning potential of fisher folks and farmers.”

Law will make visitors happy

Meanwhile, Junior Tourism Minister Shereen Flax-Charles said she is glad for the soon-to-be-introduced Anti Visitor Harassment and Solicitation legislation.

“It has been long in the works and I think it is a great thing that this is happening now, in our time. [It] will keep our visitors happy. We do not want to be in a position where our visitors feel uncomfortable when they are visiting our territory,” she told the House of Assembly.

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16 Comments

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  1. Really says:

    Start off by eliminating the harassment the visitors are subjected to by immigration and customs. Especially the environmental “white tax”. The Belonger knows that they are the main culprits to destroying the environment but as usual they want someone else to pay.

    Like 49
    Dislike 9
    • true says:

      your statement is so far from the truth it’s laughable. The first world has polluted the planet and now it needs to be saved so they can holiday in it.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  2. cant even enforce helmet laws.. says:

    In full view travelling the island on motorbikes. Good luck with this though the concept is a good one.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  3. Observer says:

    Does harassment include our “welcome ambassadors” staffing their perches at HM Customs & Immigration? That’s where it all begins for tourists.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  4. JD says:

    As a person who traveled annually to the BVI until last May……..it would benefit greatly to “put out to pasture” the rude, fat old taxi driver that sits his fat a@# on the bench outside the airport and harasses incoming tourists. Talk about racism, listen to this guy. If I were not in a different county, I would have knocked him out on the spot.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  5. @JD says:

    I would have knocked him out but, I don’t want to be locked up in a British prison.

  6. Dman says:

    Can’t find anything wrong with this if it’s supported. Tourists are needed and should be treated with respect. Yes, it is a two way street. I’ve been coming to the territory for 25 years and have had nothing but good experiences. Please support (with policy and money) the cultural aspects of the BVI not just the drinking of spirits and continue to clean the place up. Go BVI !

  7. Visitor says:

    Yeah that guy is very rude and he seems to get away with what he is doing.Why is the BVI so lax with certain behaviour.The last time I flew in with my wife and kids, he said some disgusting things to us because my family is bi-racial. He called my kids half breed dirty mutts.

  8. smh says:

    You put all the legislation in place you can think of but nothing will change in the BVI until attitudes change. You can’t legislate attitude change!

  9. true says:

    They need this in place to stop all the hustling at the boats by restaurants and car/bike hire places. If your business still needs to hustle after 20 yrs maybe you shouldn’t be in business.

  10. ok says:

    Its a problem that used to be on VG where local business owners would hassle the charter guests to come into their restuarants I believe they need this legislation to stop it occurring on Jost & Anegada.

    But more training is needed in the first point of contact, immigration some are nice some need to find another line of work

  11. Bill NK says:

    you cannot legislate morality, values or manners, however if there is someone harassing people at a welcoming point or anywhere for that matter, they should be reprimanded and if it continues get rid of him or her. the BVI is such a wonderful place, we have been chartering there for a few years and is our first choice location for many reasons,

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