BVI News

BVI told to improve facilities, try business tourism

From left: Francois Lassalle, Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board Russell Harrigan, and Kate Mullan

Predicting great success for the BVI International Arbitration Centre (BVI-IAC) over the next few years, stakeholders in the said dispute resolution facility think Government will need to expand its tourism-related infrastructure and services.

Francois Lassalle, who is the Chief Executive Officer at BVI-IAC, said the centre has unlocked a large market for business tourism here in the BVI.

He said such new market will create a demand for increased and improved facilities to accommodate the many persons who will visit the Territory on business.

Lassalle added that he has had talks with Government in relation to the ‘quality of service’ that visitors will experience ‘outside the centre’.

The observation was publicly stated today (May 24) ahead of a major BVI-IAC conference, which is aimed at marketing the BVI as a jurisdiction that provides dispute resolution services to the international business communities.

“There has never been a market for business tourism. This is new. The BVI for the first time needs to convince people that this is a great jurisdiction that they should choose to come and arbitrate, to come and do business… This conference is hopefully going to help with that – people travelling from all over the world to the BVI to talk about arbitration and to try to put the country further,” Lasselle noted.

The conference, which will be held next week as part of BVI Arbitration Week 2017, is to be attended by some 50 persons who are based overseas.

“For this conference, we have about 100 attendees and about 50 of those are internationally attending from the US, from other Caribbean countries, from London; and we’ve been helping them to find accommodations to stay as of right now. There are very decent options. For a range of budgets, we’ve got people staying at Maria’s By The Sea, Peter Island, The Moorings, Surfsong, Sebastian’s,” said Kate Mullan from Business BVI – organiser of the conference.

She further said: “Whilst I think the product in the BVI needs to grow accordingly, when we get to that 40, 80, 100 cases [at the arbitration centre] a year, we need to expand our product, but it’s already there. The quality of accommodations – it is already there. Yes, [there] are minor things that we will need to talk about [such as] infrastructure. Government already has a plan for that, and these things always need improving. But it’s not a barrier to where we are right now.”

The conference next week will last a day-and-a-half, and will include a presentation by President of the Caribbean Court of Justice Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron.

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