BVI News

BVI tourism still not what it used to be, considerable way left to go — CDB report

Visitors unboarding a cruise ship in the territory recently. (BVI News photo)

The British Virgin Islands saw an encouraging boost to local tourism last year. But a report from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) shows that the territory has considerably farther to go before local tourism returns to what it was before the 2017 disasters.

According to the CDB’s latest economic report on the BVI, “in spite of the reopening of a number of properties and the return of some major cruise lines, stay-over and cruise arrivals remained below the pre˗2017 hurricane levels”.

The CDB said the territory’s stayover arrivals fell by 55.3 percent between January and October 2018. Cruise arrivals also dropped by 84.5 percent over the same period.

Tourism is only one-half of the territory’s main revenue-earners and the regional bank confirmed that the other half — financial services — did well to pick up the proverbial slack last year.

“At the end of June, the number of active companies registered in BVI had reached 403,004, representing a 16.0 percent year-on-year increase in new incorporations. An update of the territory’s limited partnership legislation also contributed to higher limited partnership company registrations,” the CDB said.

It is estimated that the BVI’s gross domestic product grew by 2.3 percent in 2018, the CDB reports.

Portfolio responsibility for tourism falls under the Office of the Premier.

Premier Andrew Fahie, in the meantime has appointed to At-Large representative Shereen Flax-Charles as Junior Minister of Tourism.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

19 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. wow says:

    WE NEED MORE HOTEL ROOMS, LOOKS LIKE A&L NEEDS HELP

    • Actually says:

      Actually, we need to know what “Visitors unboarding a cruise ship in the territory recently” means.
      UNBOARDING? WTF is that?

    • Hotelier says:

      We cannot currently fill the limited number of rooms available even with many properties closed. We need more tourists, better transport, a better image, fewer ridiculous off putting taxes on visitors, easier and more pleasant immigration procedures, the West End ferry dock back in action, better internet and inroom entertainment through cable services, and other improvements in our offering. We do not not currently need more rooms.

      • Anonymous says:

        We need a more reliable ferry service out if St. Thomas too. There are currently not boats after 5 p.m. and if you don’t get to the dock before the crowd you might get left behind because of inadequate space on boats (Fas_ Ferry has surely done it more than once).

  2. @wow says:

    Not look like… A&L needs help indeed. Nice place. Nice location.

  3. Tourist says:

    We have chartered in the BVI’s 20+ times. We have been back since the hurricane, and will be back again next week. I have been trying to get fishing license for the guys on our boat. I have to say the government makes it very hard to do this, after many e-mails and phone calls, I still don’t have fishing permits! I’ve been working on this for over a month now. I can not get any resolve. The boat we are chartering is registered, so that is not the issue.

    Why can’t they make it so it is convenient and pleasant for the tourist to come to your islands. If I didn’t love it so much, I would have given up by now.

    They should also work on getting people through Customs and Immigration in a timely manner and without an attitude.

    They are turning people off, not a very good first impression!

    I love the people of the BVI’s, but the government needs a lot of help!

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
    • Fisherman says:

      You are chartering a yacht or a deep sea fishing boat? If all tourist are allowed to catch their meals what source of income would the fisherman who depends on this for his livelihood have.. Help is on the way as far as Immigration and Customs are concerned.
      The government was just elected after 8 years of hell. Give them some time to fix all that was destroyed by the previous

      Like 1
      Dislike 10
      • Tourist says:

        We are chartering a yacht. The guys like to fish, it is a sport. We would starve if we depended on them to catch dinner.

  4. Tourist says:

    Honestly, the USVI,ST.Kitts and Antigua dominates the Cruise Industry. There is more things to do and see in the above mentioned Islands. I recall not to long ago a piece of art work was removed because someone considered it as evil. That piece of art was a tourist attraction/conversational piece of art. Why remove it. The little monkeys in diapers in ST.Kitts is a hugeee tourist attraction. People go there just to see the monkeys.Tortola has nothing to really see or do, not everyone cares to do the beach scene.

    Like 11
    Dislike 4
  5. Ausar says:

    “Tourist”, I appreciate your candor on this matter.

    And it would be wise for government to continue to do more to attract visitors to this country.

    Perhaps, continual suggestions by yourself and others on possible solutions, would facilitate the government and its residents, to implement the much needed suggestions to achieve fully desired results.

    Like 10
  6. drain the swamp says:

    town smell of sewage

  7. 2 Grand says:

    we need things for tourists to do and places to go.tours and beaches played out.

  8. wondering says:

    how many ch money was wasted on Brandywine bay aft r Irma?? Hardly ever going to be a tourist attraction LOL LOL

  9. Crusir says:

    Fewer tourist is my desire. Quality versus quantity.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. Political Observer (PO) says:

    “The CDB said the territory’s stayover arrivals fell by 55.3 percent between January and October 2018. Cruise arrivals also dropped by 84.5 percent over the same period.” For every problem, there is a cause(s);similarly, there is solution(s) to every problem. Tourism and financial services are the economic twin pillars; though financial services, generate more government revenue (~(60%), tourism is the work horse, providing more direct and indirect employment. Government needs to identify the cause for the decline in both overnite and one day visitors.

    Taxpayers invest $$$M to bring and accommodate visitors to and in the BVI, ie, roads, water, sewage, ports, community facilities, electricity……etc. Though both overnite and one visitors contribute to the economy, overnite visitors contribute more revenue to the economy and more effort should be expended to bring more overnite visitors. This is WAG but overnite visitors spend more on average per day than one day visitors. My WAG is that the spending average for one day and overnite visitors is $50-75 and $300-450, respectively.

    Nonetheless, in order to increase the number of overnite visitors, more rooms, tourist facilities, attractions, labour……..etc will be needed.

  11. Political Observer (PO) says:

    “The CDB said the territory’s stayover arrivals fell by 55.3 percent between January and October 2018. Cruise arrivals also dropped by 84.5 percent over the same period.” For every problem, there is a cause(s);similarly, there is solution(s) to every problem. Tourism and financial services are the economic twin pillars; though financial services, generate more government revenue (~(60%), tourism is the work horse, providing more direct and indirect employment. Government needs to identify the cause for the decline in both overnite and one day visitors.

    Taxpayers invest $$$M to bring and accommodate visitors to and in the BVI, ie, roads, water, sewage, ports, community facilities, electricity……etc. Though both overnite and one visitors contribute to the economy, overnite visitors contribute more revenue to the economy and more effort should be expended to bring more overnite visitors. This is WAG but overnite visitors spend more per day than one day visitors. My WAG is that the spending average for one day and overnite visitors is $50-75 and $300-450, respectively.

    Nonetheless, in order to increase the number of overnite visitors, more rooms, tourist facilities, attractions, labour……..etc will be needed. However, increasing employment in tourism also increases inflation, ie, the price of goods and services goes up, residents end up paying tourist prices. Some of the tourism profit must be ploughed back into the economy. Often the profit is taking out of the economy and out the country(s).

Leave a Comment

Shares