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Moving vendors directly off Long Bay Beach shoreline might stimulate economic activity

Junior Trade Minister, Shereen Flax-Charles

Junior Minister for Trade & Economic Development, Shereen Flax-Charles has said she does not believe moving vendors from the shoreline at Long Bay Beach will impact their economic activity.

The legislator said moving them would rather stimulate their revenue-earning as more space would mean more people to enjoy the beach and eventually engage in business with vendors.

Speaking at the Long Bay Beach Management Community Meeting, Flax-Charles said there needs to be a balance in protecting the pristine environment of the territory and the economic activities that are derived from utilising natural resources.

The junior minister also shared a personal experience she had with The Baths in Virgin Gorda and having to move her concession stand off the shoreline.

“Many persons might have known that I have a vending concession at The Baths in Virgin Gorda and I have it from 1980-something from when I was in high school and initially when I started out we were actually right under the grape tree in the sand, closest to the sea, selling our shirts, our souvenirs etcetera,” Flax-Charles said.

“When the National Park got some funding from somewhere in Europe to install some concession buildings, it was not a feeling of, ‘okay, are we included, are we going to make more money or less money if we are further off the beach itself’. And I can say from experience, moving off of the beach itself from under the sea grape trees in the sand made a major difference,” the Junior Trade Minister said.

She noted the benefits were not limited to an economic standpoint for her and the other vendors, but it also made a difference for the visitors that came to the beach.

Flax-Charles said visitors had more space to lie in the sand and they had more shade.

“I know that persons are sceptical, and each beach is different but what I can say is if it is done right as what was done at The Baths — protecting the environment firstly — the economic benefit will still be there for the vendors,” she said.

“I can safely say that the plan that the National Park has works for both the vendors as well as the persons that visit the beach. I would say to the vendors, don’t be discouraged. Don’t feel that things are being done to take bread out of your mouth,” she continued.

The junior minister said she thinks it is an opportunity for people to enjoy the beach more and when they enjoy the beach, the economic spin-off for vendors will be greater.

“I know that some persons might not feel that way because of the proximity to where people actually layout but from experience, moving away from the sand, giving visitors whether locals or tourists the opportunity to use that space, it also gives them a better experience in enjoying the beach and therefore they are more open to spending their money,” Flax-Charles said.

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15 Comments

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  1. Parasitic says:

    They aren’t there legally in the first place. None of them have planning permission to be there.

    Like 31
    Dislike 1
  2. Rubber Duck says:

    Is ruining that beach with the hideous wooden “ shelters “ and the down market nasty vendors tent city, part of your plan to drive tourism away?

    If so it’s succeeding really well.

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  3. Finally says:

    At last, something sensible and relatable coming from the mouth of an elected politician. Well done Shereen, this is the correct way to be approaching the Long Bay situation

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  4. VISION says:

    The representative could be right.

  5. Agreed says:

    I haven’t been to that beach in a long time because of these negative changes and I live East.

    Like 16
  6. truth says:

    are the vendors paying rent for the stalls and lounge chairs taking up half the beach? if its a public beach then how is this legal to allow loungers to just be left there? just for benefit of cruiseshippers and couple vendors? they used to pack them away and now that stopped. Why? what is stopping more vendors to copy and then there is no more space on the beach for local beachgoers to enjoy? current situation benefits the little few and negative for many who want to enjoy the beach . the minister is correct and I hope they can do something about it.This beach is looking tacky

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • @truth says:

      You are right … in Cane they are suppose to pack up the chairs at the end of every day. That doesn’t happen as it once did. Lack of enforcement.

  7. wait says:

    So how many vendors are at that beach now?… Last Time I saw about 2…I can never understand how Government get to be in charge of Land that we came on this Earth here and met. As the Bible said Our Father created this Earth so therefore it is ours to share. The Only people want to govern and make money off the land is Government. It should not be so.. Live and Let Live but let us do it in a Brotherly way.

    Like 2
    Dislike 8
  8. @ TO AGREED 👍 says:

    those crackheads on scooters are entitled and untouchable ,when the police try to enforce the law there is an out cry of harassment and when they are seen doing their stunts the police are accused of not doing anything 🤔

  9. Hm says:

    I guess you don’t read the book enough to see ‘Land Ownership’ …. Which He assigned?….and which He allowed?.

  10. Fuzzy Logic says:

    Hon Flax your logic is fuzzy. You cannot attribute moving further away from the beach with increased sales. I’m sure there are other factors that were more impactful, probably including your physical structure, display of items, inventory and # of beach visitors. Besides you sell t-shirts, trinkets and souvenirs. This is not the same as selling food, drink and beachchairs which require a different type and level of interaction with the guests.

    Jeez man…

  11. ABC says:

    All they have to do is take a copy of Magens Bay St Thomas The number one beach in the USVI and see how it is done. Implement that plan, it is working for them for years.

  12. Not nice says:

    This is not nice at all.Black people just keep fighting down each other.Can’t you all see we not getting anywhere,every other color in the nations look out for each other except us Black.Two bars on the beach own by Black persons you all have a flicking problem. But when election comes you want the same people to vote for you. My people please take note of what’s happening here.Our freedom have been taken away.Everything is about the $$$$.

  13. hmm says:

    leave the ppl them there alone, they are just trying to make a living, instead of trying to get them out try to work out something with them so they can be there permanently.

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