BVI News

Gov’t devising nat’l tourism master plan for BVI

Visitors aboard a cruise ship docked in the BVI recently. (BVI News photo)

Government is developing a National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for the British Virgin Islands.

The plan will act as a roadmap towards strengthening and redeveloping a sustainable local tourism industry.

The key focus of the plan will include enhancing tourism experience and resource sustainability; diversifying tourism products in emerging local destinations for the overnight and cruise market tourism; identifying and developing a proposal for niche tourism products; and strengthening local tourism institutions for policy, destination planning, and management.

Government further said the plan will be aligned with international best practices.

“The plan will define strategies and activities and provide distinct mapping that will catalyze the further development of the BVI’s tourism sector to promote local participation and development based on sustainable tourism principles and practices, including the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria being spearheaded by the United Nations Foundation,” government explained.

To this end, consultancy firms are invited to submit Expressions of Interest to develop the plan.

Terms of procurement process

Expressions of interest may be submitted by a consultant, company or firm or in consortium with other consultants, companies or firms.

Tenders must submit full contact information of the consultant/company detailed corporate profile of the consultant/company and a summary of qualification in similar areas preferably in the Caribbean.

Tenders are also required to submit details of litigation history in relation to the submitting consultant/company or any significant individual consultant thereof, narrative description of the proposed strategy, which takes account of the matters outlined in the project scope above; estimate of the project development budget, and evidence of the consultant/company ability to undertake such a project and proposed work plan.

Interested consultant, company or firm can contact the Procurement Coordinator, Ishma Rhymer at the Procurement Unit at (284) 468-4243.

Tenderers must submit documents to ‘Expression of Interest’ and must be received by the Central Tenders Board Chairman, Ministry of Finance Procurement Unit, Third Floor, East Atrium, Central Administration Complex no later than 10am on Tuesday, September 18.

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  1. duck1951 says:

    Let us begin by training our workers to be more polite , especially immigration personnel. No attitudes . Personally witnessed negativity many times .

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
    • Jody says:

      I agree, no manners,not polite and their attitude is terrible. I was borned and raised and have property in Tortola.
      I went to a window where there was a female worker.
      I complete the necessary document, with my passport, and handed it to her. This officer did not believe I was born in Tortola, nor did she believe my occupation in the US. Thank God for another worker who knew me…. I was surprise….

      Like 10
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Lets get rid of them and the stupid forms that go straight into the waste bin.

      I regularly write total rubbish on them and have never been questioned

      Name of Vessel, The Starship Enterprise.

      Not an eyelid batted.

    • Ready, Fire, Aim says:

      Considering that our leader and his party have served us for over 7 years and they have less than a year to go, isn’t it ironic that they now think a plan would be useful? This is wasted money. This plan should be postponed until after the elections.

      Following the elections, we should first develop a plan to fix everything that is broaken in our country. After we fix everything, we should then focus on developing a broader economic development plan to set the priorities for the country. With that in place we can then focus on:

      – regional transportation issues (before we conclude that we need to spend $300 million on a runway extension or $7 million on an airline that doesn’t even need the $300 million runway to land);

      – supply chain issues (Why do products cost more here than next door? Why don’t we have the fresh fruits and veggies that I can by next door? Why can’t we receive shipments from Amazon with next day service? Why are import duties so high? Why does everyone go next door to shop? Why don’t people next door come here to shop?)

      – quality of life issues (Why is everything broken here and who is responsible for fixing it? Why aren’t our schools the best the the world? Why is the crime so high? Why aren’t the laws not applied equally to all people?)

      It is a waste of our resources and a further attack on our dignity to suggest that we need to create a tourism plan before we solve the critical problems that this administration has neglected to address. We need our roads repaired. We need new schools. We need reliable power. We need reliable water. We need faster internet. We need to solve these problems now. We can no longer pretend they don’t exist. Let’s be smart. We can find the solution by working together and focusing on creative solutions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok let’s be truthful. You want tourists then lose the arrogance, bigotry and racism. Second, clean up your yards, get rid of derilict vehicles and boats, paint your houses and present yourselves as members of the human race. No need to hire a consultant. Follow these simple rules and tourists will come.
      1. Immigration and Customs: Don’t make tourists stand st ports of entry until all “belongers” have been taken care of. These people are your guests. Do you eat first when you invite a guest and then let the guest eat?
      2. The environmental charge to non citizens is absurd. It’s a white tax. Citizens are the biggest abusers of the environment and you want your guests to pay for your lack of responsibility. Shane on you.
      3. Fix your roads and sewer systems. You want tourists to visit then make it a place they want to come back to. Rats and garbage stinking all over the island will not draw tourists.
      4. Your import duty makes it impossible to provide shopping destinations for land based tourists and ship based tourists. How about the locals pay income tax and stop asking the visitors to support your lazy asses.
      5. Stop trying to suck every dollar out of a tourist with your schemes. Tourists are more apt to spend when there is value in what they are receiving. Tourists are not stupid. They have the money to travel because they work and are smart. How about you locals?
      6. Make incentives to bring tourist type facilities such as bars and shopping. Allow franchises to open. Locals don’t have the ability to do anything except be rude and arrogant. Give people a reason to visit.

      Well, there you have it. Free of charge, no consultant fee necessary. The only problem with my advice is that it won’t be considered because you all think your smarter than everyone else. Well check around the world. Your obviously not!!!!

  2. Albion says:

    Government loves to make plans. They just can’t execute them. Anyone remember the McKinsey report? Or the national plan for financial services? All good plans. But never any action.

    Like 17
    • Where's the Vision? says:

      During sometime in the late 1980s – early 1990 a consultant/s were hired to create a cruise tourism plan for this new sector of our tourism offering.
      Government paid $300,000 to the consultants and they, (the consultants) advised that the smaller ships, 1000, 2000 range was the right size ships considering our space, roads etc. That was after they went around the islands meeting and talking with locals, property owners and guests; (the right persons to talk to).
      They suggested that we should construct “Lookout” points so visitors can stop and take in the views and capture the scenery. Some of that was done; however, the trees and shrubs are hardly ever cleared and maintained; and as usual, the views are overgrown and obscured. They reasoned that with the smaller more manageable ships, the experience would be better than otherwise; since there would be less traffic, less crowding of beaches etc. Further, they suggested that we should plan activities at sea, (learn to scuba, sail, sail by power and yachts etc). That way less strain would be on the roads and traffic.

      Was the $300,000 cost money well spent? and compared to what we ended up doing,(larger ships and crowds, less spending), What’s your take?

      Like 11
      • Rubber Duck says:

        Why is it assumed that “ consultants “ know more than the people who run the most successful tourist operations in the country?

        Get some of those folk together to devise a plan. They might even do it for free.

        Like 6
        Dislike 1
  3. Gerance P. says:

    That is wonderful news. Think it, say it, do it!

    Now we need to clean up our island. Yes, there are efforts being made to do that. And now everyone who is able to do so, needs to clean up, repair, and put fresh coats of paint on their own properties. We need the govt to offer incentives for cleanup. Maybe utility or food vouchers for cleaning up. A tourism plan includes everyone.

    Like 11
    • Fairy Nuff says:

      In most developed nations it is illegal to leave trash, old cars, rusting iron and other eyesores out side your house. We need incentives and laws if we are going to stop looking like the local junk yard.

      Like 11
    • @Gerance P. says:

      You have hit the nail on the head. I am a BVIslander that visited Bermuda in Summer 2009 and had the experience of speaking with the locals there. I found out that there is a programme where the property owners are monitored to keep up the values of their property assessments by weekly maintenance of their properties through painting, cleaning and mowing their lawns. Anyone violating, are contacted by phone or a visited by a government agency to remind them or given a citation. Here in the BVI, the inland revenue department assesses properties, but there are no enforcement in the legislation to force owners to do maintenance upkeep to maintain property values. It is about time.

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
      • Sam the man says:

        good point but unfortunately nobody in the “No Direction Party” follows through with anything so it won’t happen, just before election time its we’ll do this, do that and promises, promises. Enforcement is non existent – just look at all the wrecked cars still littering the land after 11 months!

  4. TurtleDove says:

    If the government takes care of the infrastructure for the most part tourism will take care of itself…having a plan with the ports not being optimal is not wise….bring people here to drive on bad roads and look at trash is not wise….i can go on but…..

    Like 14
  5. International best practise? says:

    So that means we will not reinstate the dolphin place?

    Like 12
  6. Sam the man says:

    Plans, reports,studies blah blah all hot air and no action we have a beautiful country and the “No Direction Party” doesn’t have even one minister with real vision or drive to enlarge our tourism offer effectively…nope but they’ll bleat on about another airport runway expansion because any big project has plenty of lovely facilitation fees. As for taking action to replace the West End ferry terminal….nope lets provide a tent and container! says it all really where the priorities are….

  7. Maggie says:

    Here we go again…..! Just take a look at how other countries work at their tourism economy for example.
    Above all you need really good hotels, well designed, well planned and well managed. Encourage the investment from outside to do this so that you have properly run accomodation.

    There was an attempt at medical tourism. You have a wonderful new hospital but nowhere for people to rest and recover. Another opportunity missed.

    Above all, tourists don’t like to look at trash, rusting vehicles and heavy equipment nor have to smell raw sewage.

    Cruise ships are just a small part of this. There is not much on land to spend money on.

    Like 10
  8. To the NDP says:

    Another major revenue generating product is the gambling industry, casinos etc..

    Such will create and enhance the tourism life.

    It will require great good planning, major investment, good management and stern government over ]sight.
    `The major ob]stacle will be getting the religious] and puritan]s on board.

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  9. CW says:

    Let Sharon Flax do her job and leave her alone. She has done amazing work considering all the BS and interference she has to deal with. Tourism was setting records up until the storms. A poor recovery has made it much harder for tourism board to get things accomplished!!

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
    • Hotelier says:

      They have next to zero impact. And what can they do if the the place looks like a junk yard the roads are dreadful, the immigration is like the Gestapo, stupid taxes are imposed on both arriving and leaving, and it’s next to impossible to get here.

  10. E. Leonard says:

    If you do not know where you are going any road will get you there—-Lewis Carol. Winning is not everything; it is the only thing—-Vince Lombardi. So too planning is everything; everything starts with a planning.

    Tourism is 1/2 of the VI economic twin pillar so tourism surely needs a master plan to deepen, strengthen and sustain it. Additionally, the territory also needs a national development master plan. Plans have to be executed to be even worth the paper they are written on. Further, plans alone cannot get things done; it takes commitment, people, the right people to execute them to get the desired outcome.

    Like 10
    • Political Observer (PO) says:

      “So too planning is everything; everything starts with a planning.” Indeed, planning is everything; without a plan, usually a fire-ready-aim ineffective approach is used. A pilot does not leave the runway without a flight plan nor a captain leave port without a float plan nor a bus driver leaves the station without a destination plan.

      Nonetheless, the best developed/designed plan is useless without proper execution. The BVI hires many consultants that roll out plans that serve as expensive book ends. Like successful entities, the BVI should follow this typical organizational/management approach: planning, orgainizing, directing, controlling, monitoring, measuring, and replanning. The Tourist Board should developed a 3-5 rolling plan; overall, the territory also needs a 3-5 rolling plan.

  11. Windy says:

    if the government is doing it will fail and “some” will walk away with full pockets

  12. Rubber Duck says:

    The USSR had lots of plans.

  13. RWalters says:


  14. Richgdgy says:

    Sounds like the people dislike the government!Vote them out.Go back to a Conservative gov,get real tough on drugs and the crime will rate will fall.When we stayed in Anegada for 15 years it was the friendliest place in the world.You guys can get that back.

  15. Virign Gorda Resident says:

    Why does every government program need consultants to implement them. Seems locals should be able to point the right direction. Let Sharaon run the tourist board and stop with the consultants,

  16. Virign Gorda Resident says:

    Why does every government program need consultants to implement them. Seems locals should be able to point the right direction. Let Sharon run the tourist board and stop with the consultants,

    • Please says:

      She is the one hiring all the tourism consultants to do her job. She can’t let go her high price st Lucian Consultant paying her for years now!

  17. Jane says:

    The NDP couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery. At this point in their term of office I think we would appreciate an announcement from them that they WON’T spend any money on more consultations. Fix the damn schools, the roads, the sewerage. Show us through actions why you are fit to lead. Just a bunch of grifters….

  18. Ausar says:

    Because ” Rubber Duck”, sometimes an outsider with a different viewpoint, may see things that persons who’ve live here year ’round do not see.

    With that said, yes, it is time for a much needed comprehensive review of our tourism product

    And I’m happy to see that government will take action in that regard.It wasn’t too long ago that many of you eschewed enhancing this industry. Thank God, the Premier in his wisdom forged ahead and today we now have Pier Park.

    Where would the country be without such a development given the newer realities regarding financial services

    • Are you serious says:

      Thankgod for the pier park ?? Do you not recall the ridiculous amounts of money to build that warehouse facility??

  19. Hmmm says:



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