Residents and visitors have been given a clearer indication of how much longer they will have to wait before the BVI returns to operating at full capacity as it relates to accommodation in the territory.
“From all accounts, we anticipate that our room inventory will be near normalcy by the end of 2019 or by Q2 (the second quarter) of 2020,” Premier and Minister of Tourism Dr D Orlando Smith said in an address a week ago.
The latest statistics indicate that, at the end of 2018, the BVI has approximately 1,000 rooms on land and about 3,200 berths at sea. The current number of berths represent about 75 percent of the territory’s pre-storm inventory, Dr Smith said.
$12 million enhancements
In another aspect of tourism, Premier Smith announced that some $12 million is being spent to create ‘enhancements’ in the sector.
These enhancements will come in the form of increased signs territory-wide. This is in an effort to make the BVI more tourist-friendly, Dr Smith said. The tourism minister said the signage initiative will happen in a “phased process”.
A number of new bathroom facilities are also to be constructed for visitors.
“We expect to see bathrooms added to Smugglers, Long Bay, Brewers Bay, Spring Bay and Savannah Bay in the foreseeable future. Cane Garden bay has already been completed. Our guests are asking for these enhancements and for us to maintain our luxury designation, we have to meet the demands of our visitors. To meet this objective, a comprehensive $12 million dollar plan has been prepared by the BVITB is in place and we expect to see work continuing at an even faster pace in the first quarter of 2019,” Dr Smith explained.
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