BVI News

Fewer restrictions, USVI open to collaborate with BVI on tourism

Kenneth Mapp

United States Virgin Islands (USVI) authorities are open to collaborating with the BVI on tourism initiatives and are also introducing laws that would create an ease for BVI bands to perform in their territory without undue restriction.

USVI governor, Kenneth Mapp, shared those sentiments during a Tortola conference with members of local media on Tuesday.

One of the initiatives the USVI governor said he has discussed with Premier Dr D Orlando Smith is the possibility of having tourists who travel to Tortola through St Thomas get cleared before they actually arrive here in the BVI.

He said the idea is to have BVI Customs and Immigration officers operate from ferries in the USVI that are bound for Tortola.

“The US Customs and Border Protection have no problem with the agents or the appropriate authorities of the BVI being on the ferries,” Mapp told members of BVI media.

“Once the ferries leave the St Thomas dock, they (BVI officers) could clear those ferries on their way over to the BVI so that, as people disembark the ferries, they don’t have these long lines that they needed to go through. Their clearance could take place on their way over,” the USVI governor explained.

As for removing some of the ‘red tape’ that has been hindering local bands from travelling to the USVI to perform, that issue is being resolved through an Immigration bill currently before USVI lawmakers.

Governor Mapp said the USVI currently limit BVI bands from entering their ports when they (the bands) are coming into the US territory to perform and earn money.

“That was considered coming to work and so there were greater restrictions,” Mapp explained.

He, however, noted the new USVI legislation being proposed called the Day Waiver Programme. This policy will allow bands from the BVI to enter and perform unrestricted for a limited period.

“The Day Waiver Programme [is] not only for the BVI and the USVI but for all of the Caribbean islands in the area because, just like bands in the USVI can come to the BVI and relatively perform and earn, we want to be able to have more free flow of traffic and relationship,” Mapp said.

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  1. Great says:

    actions of cooperation between brothers and sisters of the same ancestors and family tree.

    Keep it up!

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  2. Laughing says:

    Utter nonsense!! What about people with luggage to declare? They will search them onboard? What about locals?

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  3. Lolly says:

    BVI airport expansion is getting to the powers that be in the USVI. They could not care less about the BVI. This is all for their own gain.

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    • @Lolly says:

      EXACTLY! I don’t know who Mapp think he is fooling with his nonsense. St. Thomas right now is a h**l hole and will sink even deeper once less people from BVI support their economy.

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    • @Lolly says:

      Lolly you hit the nail on the head. You think Mapp not thinking, he knows the moment the BVI airport take off the USVI have everything to lose.

      He is only thinking of himself not the BVI. No thanks Mapp, you take the BVI people for fools? Those days are over!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The idea is great and should be incorporated into the new ferry terminal at the St Thomas Airport. The BVI customs and immigration people should be stationed at the ferry dock. This would allow people to clear everything prior to departure. No waiting in lines when the ferry docks in Roadtown. The US has a similar arrangement in the Bahamas where people headed to the US clear customs and immigration in Nassau before boarding their planes.

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  5. Don't be fooled people. Beware of Politricks! says:

    Why is Mapp visiting the BVI now? Here’s why: He is in a very tight re-election bid to hold on to his governorship. He is looking votes from BVIslanders who have U.S. citizenship to come out on top come November 6th.

    His visit is nothing more than a political ploy to get votes from wherever he can in his tight race. He has nothing to truly offer at this time.

    He is fully aware for some time now of the issue of BVI bands wanting to perform in the USVI as it was raised by the BVI side. However, only now that he sees a benefit to his campaign that he got on the ferry to travel to Tortola. Don’t be fooled people.

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