Premier and Minister of Tourism Dr D Orlando Smith has said government will be rolling out incentives to retain and attract hotel developers to the British Virgin Islands.
The Premier made the statement yesterday while noting that the territory’s regional competitors in tourism are already attracting hoteliers.
“I know, for example, that [operators of] Little Dix Bay has just opened a property – another hotel– in Antigua for their competition,” Dr Smith said.
“So, we’ve got to offer some incentives to get them (hotel/resort developers) to come in because we need to rebuild too… We got to attract those developers so that we can have that powerful business [product] again,” he added.
The Premier Smith-led government is already offering Customs duty waivers on building materials and other imports to help residents and businesses– especially those in the tourism sector– rebuild quickly.
“We are going to be continuing that and looking at other incentives to give to those persons because there is a lot of competition for individuals who want to build hotels and so on,” the Tourism Minister said.
Big tourism players to stay
Major local resorts such as Little Dix Bay and Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda as well as Peter Island Resort sustained massive damages during the hurricanes.
They are now no longer in operation.
“While they have acknowledged the extent of the damages to their various hotels, they are all committed to rebuilding. Obviously, it may take a little while but they’ve all committed to getting their businesses back up and running,” Dr Smith said.
He was speaking at a public meeting in Cane Garden Bay at the time.
Tourism is one of the top revenue-earners for the British Virgin Islands. The entire sector was wrecked after the category 5 disasters but have since shown signs of recovery.
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