Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board, Russell Harrigan has said the British Virgin Islands might be in danger of falling behind in the global market, given the current fragileness of the local tourism sector.
With that said, Harrigan has reiterated the need for the territory to remain at the top of their game as a destination, even while recovering from last year’s disasters.
He said it is critical that the BVI remains innovative and protect its dominating position in the regional and global tourism industry.
“One of the things as a destination that we have to be practical about and to keep at the forefront of our minds is our competitors are going to see this as an opportunity for them to steal our market share,” he said.
“Don’t fool yourself, if they can use the opportunity that we are down to grow their market, they will do it.”
The Tourist Board Chairman added: “[We must] upgrade whatever offerings we have to make sure they are cutting-edge so that we don’t lose our market share and so we protect our brand.”
Marketing more necessary
Harrigan also underscored that marketing the destination is even more paramount now.
“It could be easy to say: why you don’t take the tourism budget and put it in something else because we don’t need any marketing? You can do that, but that comes at a cost.”
Harrigan, who was speaking recently at a public consultation on government’s proposed recovery plan, explained that the BVI would have to reintroduce itself to the world if it falls off the tourism radar for too long.
He was responding to claims that the stakeholders in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands are trying to steer business away from the territory to increase its market share.
According to President of Ultimate Vacation BVI, Sandra Massicote; she recently attended a Yacht Show in Antigua where a representative from St Thomas was giving ‘false information’ about the BVI.
Massicote said she intervened by presenting accurate information about the current state of BVI tourism.
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