BVI News

Pandemic to paradise: This OT has found a way to revive tourism

File photo of visitors inside the Pier Park in Road Town, Tortola.

As Caribbean tourism remains on life-support due to the impact of COVID-19, the Cayman Islands is the latest country to implement a ‘work from paradise’ package, enticing visitors to work and vacation in the Overseas Territory for longer periods.

According to a news release from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, the territory launched the “Global Citizen Concierge Program — a tourism initiative designed for digital nomads looking to take advantage of the flexibility provided by remote work.”

“As thousands of corporations opt to keep their workforce at-home for the foreseeable future, eligible professionals and families can upgrade their home offices significantly, by choosing to live and work remotely in the Cayman Islands for up to two years by acquiring a Global Citizen Certificate,” the news release explained.

Using this avenue, the Cayman Islands will be able to keep tourism alive while giving socially-distanced visitors access to warm weather and a beautiful tropical backdrop.

It’s the new trend currently overtaking the global tourism sphere. With a widespread fear of travel, Caribbean destinations with low COVID-19 rates are trying to revive their tourism by encouraging people to move their home office overseas and vacation for longer periods.

Already Barbados and Anguilla have implemented the scheme to lure professionals to work in paradise.

Barbados, the first in the Caribbean to explore the option, started offering a “Welcome Stamp” in June, allowing tourists to live and work on the island for one year.

The application cost is $US2,000 per individual or $US3,000 for a family.

As of mid-September, Barbados reported earning of more than $1 million from the programme. The country also said their social media pages are racking up numbers of interested persons all over the world.

Other Caribbean countries that have implemented digital nomads packages include Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic. Latin American countries like Panama that are also heavily dependent on tourism, have been cashing in on the niche market as well.

Premier Andrew Fahie has stated that the BVI’s Financial Services Industry has taken a hit in recent times, adding that his government recently passed Gambling and Cannabis bills in an effort to diversify the economy.

The revenue that can be earned from ‘work from paradise’ visa fees and the business such tourists can offer to local entrepreneurs could be the lifeblood that the BVI’s tourism industry needs right now.

With no active COVID-19 cases, a push to diversify the tourism product and economy, the question remains: could this be a viable option for the BVI?

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31 Comments

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  1. Reasonable Man says:

    Great idea but good internet and telco connections needed.

    Like 50
    • True says:

      But also the reason even expensive cayman has cheaper better internet is that they have more customers and the economies that come with that. Despite our present infrastructure issues, we need another 5k+ Professional people in the BVI to help make businesses sustainable 12 months a year.

  2. Laura says:

    One thing stands out as a hindrance this working effectively in the BVI..INTERNET CONNECTION SPEED…urgh

    Like 38
  3. Wow says:

    This is what you call innovative.

    Like 14
    • Out Of The Box Thinking says:

      Clearly this is “Out of The Box Thinking”. Almost 2 years ago, during the political rallies, the word Innovative was regularly spoken by an At Large candidate. In every Calamity Fortunes are earned. During a stock market crash, wealth is lost but also transferred. As much as we dare to be optimistic, Who ever thought Financial Services would last for ever in their ole school state?. In the world of evolution, Survival is for the Fittest. Whelks die and Soldier Crabs inherit the shells.
      Albert Einstein, a rather brilliant man, Physicist and scientist surmised that mankind uses less than 5% of the brain.

  4. 🤐🤐 says:

    Stop using this pandemic as an excuse
    Back in the 1800s there was a worst virus that last for over five years millions of ppl die but the daily lives of surviving ppl still went on
    So grow up this coronavirus isn’t going anywhere soon
    We have to adjust our lives it will be different from what we are accustomed to
    Here in the bvi the vip using it to not only destroying tourism but the entire island
    Look how all the other islands open for business
    Only the bvi or should I say “bvi love” even tho I don’t see any love, get no plans and had no intentions to open up the economy
    The only reason the vip doing this is because them know most expats are working in the tourism industry and the want to get raid of them
    So vip y’all need to come out straight and tell all the expats to leave y’all island and stop hiding y’all wickedness, the entire world is already seeing that y’all don’t wasn’t expats here

    Like 15
    Dislike 11
  5. Never says:

    The BVI will never implement such a ting. First, it makes too much sense to do this and second there would be an increase in white people living on the island. Thus no shot to have people come and work. These scenarios only work where there is a leader who knows how to lead.

    Like 26
    Dislike 5
  6. Rubber Duck says:

    With zero cases there is some possibility of attracting long term stay tourists and internet workers to a “ safe haven “ in the sun.
    You can bet though that this government will do nothing at all to encourage that and everything it can do to prevent it.

    Will Mr Malone be telling people there are hundreds of “ secret “ cases again?

    Like 15
    Dislike 2
  7. Joined up says:

    Has the Foy ever considered that a country with Gambling and Cannabis bills may be a disincentive to tourism from the wealthy people that we need to come here given our small size and poor infrastructure?

    Like 18
    Dislike 3
  8. no says:

    without great internet the answer is no, but if they do come then private health insurance,private school no public services

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  9. BVI lawyer says:

    Cayman has always had a very different approach to the BVI. For example, they have no alien land holding regime – anyone has the right to buy property in Cayman. They recognise that people who spend an extended period of time in Cayman contribute as much if not more to the local economy than transient tourists. In the current “work from home” economy, it is a smart idea to bring people into your national economy on a temporary basis.

    Like 30
  10. Awwww says:

    Innovative.

    Foy, you too late because you still need to put a corona plan in place to open the Territory properly. Greed, Power and Control are bad traits to acquire and nurture

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  11. Cayman ahead of us says:

    Cayman is way ahead of us in all respects.

    But most of all you have reliable internet in Cayman!

    Like 23
  12. LOL says:

    Premier’s response: “I WILL NOT BE PRESSURED!”…..

    HAHA!!!! We are all F**KED!

    Like 27
    Dislike 3
  13. hmmm says:

    NO WAY WITH THIS KIND OF INTERNET SERVICE.

    FLOW, DIGICEL AND CCT WEIGH BVI DOWN TO PROGRESS. IT IS A NATIONAL ISSUE BUT TURNING A BLIND EYE.

    WAKE UP GOVERNMENT OF BVI. FIX THE INTERNET SERVICE.

    Like 13
  14. Heckler says:

    Years of neglect leaves BVI behind the 8 ball again while other scoring.

    Like 17
  15. Lol says:

    Its so amazing dat all dis government was waiting for was for another country to put out a plan for them to try day never cud just come up wit anything on day own always looking to follow other other country plan no plan he wver make is ever bvi original wat a shame but all in all its a gteat plan

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  16. Leadership that working.. says:

    This is admirable leadership…Innovation, Out of the Box thinking, Putting their Country, their people and economy first…

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  17. V4 says:

    Gambling and cannabis Mr Fahie that’s really obeying the bible you preach on about all day long!
    Let’s hear the sensible opening plan and get on with it, your just power hungry, unethical and your lack of self awareness and global understanding is marginal at best

  18. LB says:

    Here comes Drew with the follow-fashion to unsuccessfully implement this in the BVI with horrid internet access and speeds, and higher cost of living than most other destinations who are trying this.

  19. Not a solution says:

    I do not see how 150 families at $3000 each can in anyway inject into the economy anywhere near the amount of money seen in a typical tourist season and do not see this as a solution. $1mil is a drop in the bucket. The solution is a safe way to get our charter industry back on its feet – especially crewed yachts stop the fleet from sailing off elsewhere!

  20. W.E Man says:

    We should be doing this here in the BVI, the cash injection into our economy from wealthy families that are able to work remotely will be phenomenal, it is not just about the permit fees, it is about car rental, restaurant, groceries, taxis, and every other ancillary service that we offer.

  21. YEA YEA says:

    This is the kind of s**t talk Christopher Columbus gave the “LOCALS” back in the day. And where are they now.

  22. The Nation says:

    Well sah…them want to run expats…now them begging expats to come…look thing to talk…

  23. Concerned says:

    We would need that for the required Economic Substance for companies registered here. But as it looks the current administration seems to have never heard of that.

  24. Copy Cat? says:

    BVI don’t have to copy cat. Once the BVI is innovative it means they can come up with their own “out of the box thinking.”

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