BVI News

Extra portfolio | Tourism to get own ministry if NDP re-elected


The National Democratic Party (NDP) is proposing to establish a Ministry of Tourism, bringing the number of portfolios in the British Virgin Islands’ public service to eight.

The territory’s seven portfolios as things stand now are the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Natural Resources & Labour, the Ministry of Health & Social Development, the Ministry of Education & Culture, the Ministry of Communications & Works, the Governors Group/Deputy Governor’s Office, and the Office of the Premier.

Tourism responsibilities currently fall under the Premier’s Office. But, At-Large candidate for the NDP Trefor Grant believes tourism should be a ministry onto itself if the industry is to be taken seriously.

“This [tourism] ministry will be responsible for the formation of well-informed policies, plans and marketing strategies for the sole purpose of pushing and preserving our tourism product. It’s a place where the bright minds of our industry that we will help to educate can return to and contribute to the meaningful direction of our country’s tourism product. This will happen under an NDP government,” Grant said.

Seven tourism strategies

Grant, who has served in the local industry for years, said establishing a Ministry of Tourism is one of seven strategies he is planning to roll out if he is elected into one of the four Territorial At-Large seats up for grabs during the general elections.

The second among those strategies is airport development. He said not having improved air access in the BVI would retard the process of growing the local industry.

He described the third strategy as ‘tourism development’.

“This is a branch that deals with attracting money for investment to build the likes of hotels, resorts, villas, restaurants and charter boat companies so our people can get to work and provide for our families,” Grant explained.

Sports tourism: BVI being booked to host regional competitions

The fourth and fifth strategies he outlined were to create opportunities for the cruise tourism sector as well as the yachting sector.

Sports tourism development is the sixth piece to Grant’s seven-tier plan. He said the AO Shirley Recreational Grounds in Road Town as well as the 2,500-seat stadium that is being constructed in Greenland, East End will actualise sports tourism for the BVI.

“There are already commitments in place to hold regional competitions at this facility, so there will be opportunities for rentals of spare rooms, opportunities for taxi transportation, opportunities for car rentals, opportunities for boat tours, opportunities for villa, hotel and resort room rentals, opportunities for craft making and opportunities for food and beverage catering, and the list goes on and on and on,” Grant said.

‘Diversification’ is the final strategy Grant outlined to grow the BVI’s tourism product.

Cultural tourism

He said the NDP would diversify and expand the industry through what is known as cultural tourism.

“Cultural tourism is a branch of tourism that highlights the cultural heritage of the destination,” the NDP candidate explained. “This is done through artefacts, activities and events that help you to experience both the culture and stories of our people past and present.”

He added: “Ideas like our BVI Emancipation Festival, Taste of Tortola, Taste of Virgin Gorda, Jost Pork and the Anegada Lobster Festival will not only grow but will thrive as we showcase our delicious food, fun-loving culture and happy way of life. We will rebuild and prioritise Museums, restore Sugar Mill ruins, revitalise boat building, rebuild and showcase traditional style Virgin Islands homes.”

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  1. Yes yes says:

    I am with this this is a must have…. great idea Trefor

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    • Blah says:

      NDP really think that they can fool all the people all of the time. In the 2011 manifesto NDP one of the “short term goals was to create a separate ministry of tourism. They also mentioned that it “need not be a standalone ministry but is instead a central part of a larger ministry of economic development” I would say short term would be considered within the first 2 years or by 2015. Fast Forward to the 2015 manifesto once again one of their first promises was once again to “establish a separate ministry of tourism and international business including financial services.” 8 years of false promises and hoping that people were not paying attention,too stupid or too blinded by loyalty. Anybody voting strictly on promises made by NDP might be better off investing in BVI Airways.

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  2. Nice!! says:


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  3. L says:

    That’s more money we have to pay an extra Minister.

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    • CW says:

      And more money that comes in from larger scale tourism projects. Takes money to make money. I swear BVI people think that tourists grow on trees and don’t need marketing or pr to develop loyal visitors.

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  4. Great says:

    This is a great idea!

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  5. thing to talk says:

    What he need to do is pay the man father his severance pay

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  6. Yes says:

    NDP all the way.

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    Dislike 25
  7. Albion says:

    Disappointed to hear that once again Financial Services will be ignored despite amounting to over 60% of Government revenues. I don’t know whether politicians fear financial services because they do not understand it, or simply disregard. Either way it shows a very poor understanding of how our economy works.

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    • CW says:

      WAS 60%. Get over it. Transparency is the new popular banking. Tourism is the lifeblood of the BVI. And this is an article about tourism. Not talking about financial services doesn’t mean they aren’t doing anything, it means THIS IS AN ARTICLE ABOUT TOURISM. SMH AT YOU PEOPLE ALWAYS WHINING ABOUT GOOD AND BAD ALIKE.YOU ARE WHY BVI RECOVERY HAS BEEN PITIFUL SLOW. START HELPING STOP HATING

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      • Albion says:

        Thanks Cindy, have a nice weekend.

      • Not2Sure says:

        That’s some SERIOUS ignorance there. Financial services could fall by 25% (it won’t, but just say it did) and it would still be BY FAR the largest source of Government revenue. The continued inability and unwillingness of successive governments to really get the grips with the industry and help it to develop and evolve is one of the reasons that it is suffering presently. It is amazing that a nation can be so willfully reckless around its most important source of money.

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    • Abe says:

      Let’s be honest. These are desperate times. No one should dispute the facts that our country is in ruins and our our current elected officials have been called out by the Economist for fiscal mismanagement and corruption.

      Albion is correct. Listen up folks.

  8. know him well says:

    “This is a branch that deals with attracting money for investment to build the likes of hotels, resorts, villas, restaurants and charter boat companies so our people can get to work and provide for our families,” Grant explained.

    So we got to bow down to the white mans money and work for him instead of empowering us locals to build our own….

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    • @know him well says:

      not implying that those business are not important to the larger pie, because they are. But the truth is their benefit to government and especially the people are marginal at best.

      The lost into perpetuity is magnanimous. stagnant minimum wages will be the order for another 60- 100 years. Mid to upper level jobs will be reserved foe outsiders even if locals are duly qualified.

      Our lands are forever gone. They will never be owned by us again.

      Were it not for strong and smart headed Mr. Andy Flax, local Virgin Gordians would not have a beach front to visit and take a bath. I

      It is perhaps the last locally owned beach front in the territory, and you know they are eyeing it with vicious contempt. i hope the family keeps it in the family into perpituity.

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  9. CW says:

    Always about your favorite bogeyman “WHITE PEOPLE” ( GASP HORRORS).

    grow up.

    The locals in BVI that try and have an entrepreneur spirit have done well for themselves. The ones that whine on the internet about “WHITE PEOPLE” (GASP, HORRORS) will stay the ones under the think of not “WHITE PEOPLE” (GASP, HORRORS) but in general people of means. That’s how economies work. People with skills or money employ those with less skills and money. Why don’t you try instead of placing (RACIST) blame on people that contribute the bulk of the money to the BVI.

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    • @CW says:

      Some know history and the psychology, ways and morays of the boggie man all to well. We are practically landless, economically disenfranchised and still looked down upon as inferior humans by your kind. so bug off and know truth boogie man.

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  10. No No No says:

    Where is the Manifesto??????
    No direction has no manifesto. We may have been fooled in the past but not this time.

  11. Where’s Waldo says:

    Manifesto? There is no manifesto.
    Pier Audit? There is no financial audit as promised.
    Annual Audit? 7 years late.
    BVI Airways Audit? There is no audit.
    Tourism Plan? Doesn’t exist.
    Plans to end fiscal mismangement and corruption? No need.

    This is the NDP. No Documentation Party.

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  12. Peggy says:

    My Reply to “know him well”: I was thinking almost the SAME thing. I am NOT putting down “White People”, or ANY ethnic group who has capital to invest and develop this Territory. And yes, CW, it DOES take money to make money.

    HOWEVER, I was just thinking wouldn’t it be great if we could take the initiative to do MORE (whatever “more” includes) to develop our Territory in such a way that EVERYONE gets a piece of the pie — as the saying goes. That means the “rich” don’t get richer at the EXPENSE of the “poor”.

    CW said: “The locals in BVI that try and have an entrepreneur spirit have done well for themselves.” I agree! And perhaps our leaders can fan that “entrepreneur spirit” some more to include what Mr. Grant refers to as the “bright minds . . . that we will help to educate can return to and contribute to the meaningful direction of our country’s tourism product.”

    What I hope WILL NOT happen is that BVI investors — especially LAND developers — will NOT be permitted to buy, buy, buy, and local land owners have nothing left for their children’s inheritance. LEASING can probably work depending on the LENGTH of time. But that, I think, would need to be well-negotiated and well thought out so that the land is not leased for umpteen years!

    Just my thoughts! Leadership needs to consider CW’s remarks, as well as those of “know him well”, because we want our tourism industry to be GREAT for both developers AND for our locals/residents. And we want to PROTECT those residents who are NOT land-value-savvy.

  13. No More says:

    We don’t need to create more government positions. We already have too many, let these guys do their jobs. No more ministers, city managers , mayors , we are less than 30 thousand, we should be cutting back.

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