BVI News

COMMENTARY: The safest destination

In an increasingly dangerous and insecure world, safe travel destinations carry a value that ‘is worth their weight in gold’. Safety adds value to any tourism brand. 

In a recent article on safe destinations, a travel blog and traveler magazine described the Virgin Islands – British – as exceedingly safe for travelers. In fact, the British Virgin Islands are at the top of the safe destinations list worldwide, and is the safest destination in the Caribbean. 

It was a very heartwarming read for this writer who remembers the Virgin Islands of the late 1980s, where leaving a wallet or handbag lying on the car seat in Road Town, with the key in the ignition, was no concern for the car owner, who expected to return to his vehicle with nothing stolen, and everything intact. 

In the Virgin Islands of the early nineties, residents never had to lock their doors, or shut their windows, even when they were out during the day or in bed at night. Sadly those days are long gone. Still, the country is placed in the ‘exceedingly safe’ travel destination, category. 

Now, this was a much glossed over news story on travel safety but it is potentially a huge advertising boost for the British Virgin Islands, and ‘safest destination on earth’’ should be effectively leveraged as part of the Tourist Board’s global marketing strategy. Safety and security sell big in tourism. 

Now! There is no greater factor that impacts quality of life, more than safety. Safety and security determine life quality in every way imaginable, and in every parameter of human existence. 

For example, the placing of health and safety at work at the top of the priorities list for managers is pointer to the vital importance of safety for Joe Public. 

Then, safe infrastructure and safe work practices are a measure of the safety of schools, hospitals, roads, parks, and the list is endless. Safety and security directly impact the quality of the services a country’s government and businesses provide. 

Airline safety is top priority for the aviation industry. Placing safety at the core of the airline business is another example of the critical importance of safety. Air safety is at the pinnacle of the management culture in the airline industry for obvious reasons. In fact, the stress on airline safety has turned flying into an exceedingly safe form of travel in spite of the rare airplane crash. 

On average, there are 93,000 daily flights originating from about 9,000 airports around the world. At any given time, there are between 8,000 and 13,000 planes in the air around the globe. And the airplane crash is nearly unheard of these days, in spite of the vastness of the air travel industry. 

Safety is a critical factor for the commercial health of the airline industry. An airline with a poor safety record will swiftly find itself in the hands of the liquidator.

And so it is with countries and their tourism. No one wants to travel to an unsafe destination. A destination may possess awesome geography and the friendliest people. However, one terrorist incident or a highly publicized series of robberies and murders can swiftly send that country’s tourism into the doldrums.

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  1. Gibberish says:

    Why do you write such gibberish. It seems that the only reason is that you think it keeps you relevant. Well it doesn’t work. Just a lot of hot air from an old wind bag. Find yourself a day job. The car wash is hiring.

    Like 11
    Dislike 13
    • @ Gibberish says:

      We know you are the Great Hater of Dickson Igwe- know this the more you hate on the man the greater he gets – find yourself a better occupation than waiting every week for Igwe’s column to spew your s**t – hehehe

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • @Gibberish says:

      Whites have woefully wronged the black man beyond forgiveness for centuries. Given all historical accounts, it is currently too much to forgive and forget.

      Yet here you are fanning the flames of hatred, dessention and personal prejudice.

      Can’t wait for for the table of justice and dominance to turn. History will quicker unearth a neanderthal bone it will yours.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve often heard it said…”if you can’t say anything nice,why say anything at all”. Do you think reading about rape, plundering and murder is a better read?

  3. Rt says:

    Your information must be out of date. The BVI had warnings for robbery, assault and rape. Truth hurts

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  4. E. Leonard says:

    Indeed, safety is job one (1) in both the public and private sectors. No job is well done if it is done unsafely! Both the public and private sector must have a zero tolerance for near misses, mishaps, accidents……..etc. Unsafe work practices kills, injuries, maims……etc and drives up the cost of doing business, reduces national productivity, results in lost wages, drives up insurance cost, stresses and strains the medical system, burdens families……..etc.

    Occupational health and safety links with violent and property. It demonstrates a commitment to national/public safety. Violent and property crimes in the VI are relatively low; high violent and property crime can adversely impact a locale as a preferred tourist destination. The VI’s westerly neighbor have had that learning experience . The VI being rated one of the safest places on earth is an invaluable quality of life issue, as well as a standard of living issue, and is a priceless branding tool for the tourism sector. Another tourism branding tool that the territory needs to work on and show improvement in is the speed of recovery after a disaster.

    Moreover, Dickson mentioned that in yesteryear one could leave one’s home doors and windows open during the day and night, leave possessions in automobiles and unlocked and I add walking anywhere and anytime at night without fear, violent and property crimes were rare………etc. Well, time has changed, ie, population exploded, growth and development increased….etc so it is smart and wise to protect oneself and property.

    Growth comes with the good, bad and ugly. Yet, despite the changes, the VI is a relatively safe place to live, work and play. It is in the VI’s national interest to maintain its position as the safest place in the world.

  5. SOL vs QOL says:

    Standard of living (SOL) and Quality of Life (QOL) are frequently thrown around terms describing living in the VI, especially when describing economic conditions. They are often jointly used but are they not the same thing? And if no, what is the difference?

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