BVI News

Economic task force proposed to legislators

Parliamentarians in the House of Assembly building in Road Town.

Junior Minister responsible for Trade, Marlon Penn is proposing that an ‘economic task force’ be implemented for the British Virgin Islands.

He said the task force would be responsible for managing and directing recovery and development initiatives in specific industries that drive the local economy.

One industry that needs direction from the proposed task force is tourism, Penn said.

“There needs to be a focus on that sector – a focus to ensure that the process of rebuild and reemployment in that sector happens in a managed way, a calculated way; and that someone is working with investors, someone is working with the people who are vested in that industry.”

“I’m not just talking from a government point of view but from a private sector/civil society point of view. Premier, I think we need to get that like yesterday,” the Junior Minister said.

While addressing local legislators recently, Penn envisioned that the task force would be made to provide regular updates on the progress of an industry to the House of Assembly.

“We need it now more than ever … especially in a time like this, Specifically, when you have a tourism industry that’s working at about 30 or 40 percent capacity,” Penn argued.

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  1. sam the man says:

    Why do you need a task force? You have a BVI Tourist Board that you under fund every year, rude and difficult staff that patrol your boarder control/immigration, lack of support to hard working hotel operators that do the best to make an income and bring tourists to our shores only to be hit with further tax levies on work permits/slow bureaucracy, departure taxes etc. Even if you radically changed what is done it wouldn’t be enough anyway, large cruise ships aren’t returning anytime soon – why would they!Read the reviews on Prospect reef supposed to be a flagship hotel resort and see why you are failing big time….Too little too late anyway…what have you been doing for the past 8 plus months?

    • Howdy doody says:

      Well said Sam the Man. Also there are lazy taxi drivers that have persuaded the Govt to allow them to charge ridiculously high fares – whilst his allows them to sit around paying dominos for most of the day with the occasional trip at vastly inflated rates, it irritates visitors who know that they are being ripped off.

    • Albion says:

      Two things BVI politicians love: committees and task forces. Lots of people get together, talk a lot and then do nothing. Didn’t we have about 10 task forces formed after the McKinsey report all those years ago to transform the BVI business sector. What ever happened as a result of that? Nothing.

    • Hotelier says:

      There is supposed to be something called “Hotel Aid” to allow hotels to import essential items without paying import tax. Officious overbearing Customs officials usually ignore it and charge anyway.

      Prospect Reef a “ flagship”? You jest. It is a disgrace.

      But , private owners in the small to medium hotel sector are doing a fabulous job to tempt visitors back to BVI in spite of all attempts by government to stop them. BVI has 4 hotels rated 5 stars by Trip Advisor guests. For comparison Palm Beach Florida has none. Miami Beach has none.

      The four are Frenchman’s, Guana Island, Sugar Mill and Surfsong.

      These will of course be the last people to be consulted about tourism.

      • Hotelier says:

        Correction , we now have 5 x 5 star hotels. Anegada Beach Club has joined the list. Congratulations to them.

        • Sam the man says:

          Agree with you 100% Hotelier…the people that know and work tirelessly to provide employment and tourists will be ignored as usual….same old dead wood will be appointed and paid to achieve F…all.

  2. when yo look says:


  3. i wonder says:

    who will pay them?

  4. strupes says:

    Ayo done chase away all the day-trippers from the USVI with ayo high cruising fees

  5. Wellsaw says:

    Marlon here is a NEWS FLASH we already have an economic task force and its call the BVI Government house of assembly, that consist of you and other ministers.

    What are you saying your government needs to throw in the towel but stay in power to receive your checks?

    I mean you all waited until this Law was passed to actually now start giving tourism attention? What is happening here?

  6. Reality says:

    I checked out the reviews on Trip Advisor – shocking levels of criticism about Prospect Reef – 70% rated it between Average to Terrible yet they charge so much! Might be a good start to improve standards there and clean up the place and catch up on all the neglected maintenance…

  7. Unhappy!! says:

    Mandate customer service courses for all government employees, those who interface with tourists or any of the public, on a yearly basis. Customs and Immigration have done more to cripple the marine industry than Irma and Maria, driving away boat owners who just want to spend money here and help our recovery. You ministers need to return “civil” to the civil service and mandate the agencies become profit centers, which will force them to become civil to their customers or their agency will go out of business.

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