BVI News

Over 7K visitors enter through Beef Island Airport since December

Travellers being accessorised with a GPS bracelet upon arrival at the TB Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island. (Photo by BVI News)

Just in excess of 10,000 persons have entered the BVI through the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport since its soft reopening in December 2020, and more than 70 percent of these persons have been classified as visitors.

Following a nine-month closure due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the territory reopened its borders to allow tourists and other persons to enter the territory under the BVI Love rebranding initiative.

Since then, there has been a fairly steady uptick in tourist arrivals to the country.

The cumulative total of visitors entering through the airport between December 2020 and April 21, 2021 was recorded as 7,554 persons.

Meanwhile, 2,805 Belongers, residents, and work permit holders reportedly used the Beef Island-based airport for re-entry into the BVI during the same period.

The airport was the only local port of entry being used to allow persons to enter the BVI at the time. Premier Andrew Fahie said although most tourists travel to the territory by sea, it was important to reopen the airport first as it offered a very controlled environment where systems and protocols can be properly tested and used at other ports of entry.

Previously, as part of its phased Restricted Border & Controlled Re-Entry Plan, only certain approved categories of persons were allowed into the territory and this excluded tourists.

“We want to make sure that we take as calculated a risk to reopen our tourism product without compromising our safety when it comes to COVID-19 because we only have eight ventilators. We have to make sure we reduce risks … because there is always a risk involved once you open your borders to the tourism product,” Premier Fahie said before the airport’s reopening.

Currently, officials are still in the midst of preparations to readmit cruise passengers to the territory in June.

In the meantime, a breakdown of persons using the territory’s main airport is outlined in the tables below:

Breakdown of the number of arrivals through the TB Lettsome International Airport Between December 2020 and April 21, 2021.

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13 Comments

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  1. Ha,ha says:

    Maybe you should talk about the mess at the ferry Dock on Saturday. 150 people trapped for more than 4 hrs.

    Like 18
  2. Wondering says:

    How many of those received their results back in time without any problems…

    Like 10
  3. LOL says:

    Shameful!

  4. shameful says:

    This is 1 week results over in st.thomas

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  5. Wow says:

    It take 5 minutes to clear in St Thomas.
    5 hours here
    Are we on the same planet 🌍

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  6. Vaccinated says:

    How was it 150 exactly? only 50 people should have been on the ferry. If 1 person tests positive the they all have to be quarantined for an extra 14 days. They should only allow vaccinated tourists to come into BVI. Did anyone actually think that opening up the ferries was going to work? Unfortunately, because the majority of the BVI population have not had the vaccine yet the opening of the ferries poses a dangerous threat of infection to those people and the hospital could end up having to decide who to treat – the tourists or the residents of BVI. Only 8 beds people in the hospital. Do you want to take the chance? Get vaccinated to save your life.

    Like 8
    Dislike 7
    • Genius says:

      With the millions of dollars we threw away in tourism revenue last year maybe would have afforded to buy more beds for the hospital. Ever think of that?

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  7. Resident says:

    if i wasn’t a resident i wouldn’t want to come here, its far too difficult and not worth the money anymore

  8. seriously? says:

    My fully-vaccinated St Thomas friend is coming for a week-long visit. So far, it is costing over $800 with Entry Authorization Fee, Tests, Insurance, Ferry, Taxes, Hotel, Taxi. Doesn’t include endless hours and aggravation to fulfill the requirements. Just shoot me.

  9. Liston says:

    Is this supposed to be some kind of success?????
    We usually get 500,000 tourists a year. So if we got 7,000 in 5 months that will put us to a whopping 16,800 for the year?????
    Great job Fahie!

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