BVI News

Premier wrong to blame tourists for booking ahead of protocols — Penn

Premier Andrew Fahie

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has said it is wrong for Premier Andrew Fahie to cast blame on tourists for pre-booking ahead of the announced travel protocols.

Following Monday night’s announcement of the protocols for tourists to enter the territory, hundreds of pre-booked guests had begun cancelling their trip to the British Virgin Islands.

At a subsequent media briefing on Tuesday, Premier Fahie indirectly cast blame on the tourists and tourism-based businesses, stating that it is difficult for his government to accept full responsibility for the growing number of pre-booking cancellations.

The Premier said he believes the majority of the bookings were made prior to the release of government’s travel protocols and said that should not have occurred.

That’s not how the system works!

Responding to questions posed by reporters at an Opposition media briefing on Wednesday, Penn called out the Premier for his statement and said the tourists followed the course of action that they have been taking over the years.

“You have our Premier blaming our guests, our long-term guests who’ve come to the BVI for 20-30 years. Some of them have come here from they were kids — repeat visitors who want to continue to contribute to our economy, and he’s blaming them [saying]: ‘well, you should’ve waited until I put out the protocols’. But that’s not how the industry works,” Penn argued.

He added: “People book for the Christmas season a whole year in advance cause it is the busiest season, it is the toughest time to get a booking, so they put their booking down a year in advance.”

The BVI value tourists’ contributions to the economy

Despite the comments made by the Premier, Penn assured all tourists that they will continue to be welcomed to the BVI’s shores and asked them to continue supporting the territory.

“I want to say to those people, you are welcome to the BVI. We value your business, we value the contribution that you continue to make to our economy year in, year out. We in the Opposition would never blame you for anything, cause you’re doing what you’ve done for years. We now have to meet them halfway,” he said.

Government had ample time to get the right balance

The Opposition Leader also said he believes the government had ample time to come up with balanced protocols that would allow for the safe reopening of the territory while attracting guests.

“This government had eight months to come up with a plan, a plan that could keep the balance of health and the livelihoods of our people. They’ve gone the other extreme …You put out protocols without consultation with the stakeholders, without the marine stakeholders, without the tourism stakeholders – an industry that represents over $600 million – and we saw the results. The results were a catastrophic cancellation process,” he argued.

Urge to ministers to stop enabling this behaviour

Penn further called on the other members of government to take a stance on behalf of the people of the territory who are against some of these decisions being made. He also urged the Premier to listen to the many concerns of the people.

“I want to say to the members of that government, stop enabling this behaviour. Step up on behalf of the people of this territory especially the representative for the sister islands. Your people are hurting, your people need support,” he said.

“I want to make an appeal to the government, listen, engage the stakeholders, engage the persons who have been in this industry 40-50 plus years, who’ve vested their lives, their family’s life savings to rebuild this industry … listen, Premier,” Penn added.

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22 Comments

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  1. OWNER says:

    HOWCAN THE PREMIER BE WRONG HE HAS TO MAKE SURE ALL IS DINE WRIGHT AND PROPER SO THAT TOURIST CAN COME WHEN THE TOURISTS COME AND COVID START FLYING YOUALL WILL TURN AROUND AND PLAME THE PREMIER/ PEOPLE BE REAL YOU CANNOT WANT THE WEALTH AND THEN THERE MIGHT BE DEATH. THE PREMIER IS RIGHT PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THE STSTUS OF THE COUNTRY FIRST BEFORE THEY BOOK TO COME. ALL THE CARIBBEAN ISLANDS ARE DOING WHAT ANDREW IS DOING IS THE CORRECT THING TO DO. PEOPLE YOU ALL THE VIRIS TO COME TO THE BVI OR DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE WITHOUT VISITORS MAKE UP YOUR MIND HEALTH IS BETTER THAN WEALTH

    Like 7
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    • informed says:

      Yes I agree with you that he needs to make sure everything is ready for the tourists to come in.
      However the whole roll out of this press briefing and the protocols all should have been announced in one press briefing.
      We are opening on the 1st December and here are the protocols.

      Instead Andrew decided to announce a date then talk to the business community then not listen and roll out an unworkable plan.

      google any other country and there are clear and concise entry requirements online. Some assess the risks of the country of origin e.g. USA. is a high risk so stronger measures in place.

      He said he had a plan since march. The charter industry put a plan together for you months ago and just ignored.

      This poor rollout of the border opening has killed another charter season.

      We are all 100% behind Andrew in keeping out covid and will work together to implement the safety protocols so we don’t catch it in the first place.

      Like 7
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    • @Owner says:

      You are simply trying to make excuses for the Premier’s mess up. He did a terrible job and should own up to it. We are not talking about how the pandemic was handled, we are talking about how he handled the Tourist thing which was misleading.

      Like 19
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  2. vip heckler says:

    Andrew Trump blames everybody but himself

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  3. What? says:

    He’s right. Would you book a full vacation in a time like this knowing there can possibly be rules and regulations that can effect your trip? Who In there right mind does that? Oh, I know. Tourist who think that we here in the BVI are clueless and have no rules and regulations. Let them take that . He is fully right. No one in their right mind would do such a thing and book full vacations Based on an announcement of boarders opening. Wait for the follow up of rules and regulations. Then proceed to book . Once again Marlon trying to be relevant. You can not be premier. We will be doomed! Take a back seat where you belong sir. Let Hon . Fahie do his work without any interference. Smh

    Like 12
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    • @What says:

      What you should be asking is who the f**k in their right mind with 8 months to plan, would wait until September, to announce re-opening at the peak of season on 1 December. Furthermore, if you had a slight clue of the BVI tourism product you would know that many people plan their vacations months, even a year in advance and those are the ones that are struggling now because they were booked, held on awaiting announcements and now forced to cancel or delay because of last minute announcements.

      The question you should ask is why did the Government ignore the industry practitioners themselves from the planning. We could have made decisions earlier and notify guests that were already booked, of their options. Why did it take 8 months for BVI to have phase 1 for travel? Why? You obviously drank the VIP koolaid and now typing drunk but not everybody is a blind jacka**.

      Like 24
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    • Blind Allegiance says:

      In the land of the blind the one eye man is king! You people are so simple that you can’t see pass your noses. You will let blind loyalty allow this gang to destroy our country.
      The Premier should have never put out a date without protocols. For crying out loud he had 8th months! The bottom line he’s an epic failure and is sinking our country.

      Why does Hon. Penn have to try to be relevant!? What a asinine comment, if you people don’t have anything productive to the conversation why don’t you just keep out. I would take Hon. Penn any day over this failure of an administration. We need logical and practical people leading this country, not a bunch of power and money grabbers.

      Like 15
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      • Ok boss says:

        Like the Coronavirus said to itself this month I’m going to visit the BVI. Then I will let the Premier know when next I’m visiting. Because the Coronavirus is soooo predictable. Everything is predictable with a new virus that killed millions. Your logic spot on….right… How much Tolans lives is worth the risk????

        Like 2
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    • Corrections says:

      Correcting myself…. “Affect” and “ their”.

  4. Bla bla bla says:

    Marlon and co knows the financial position if the country. The message from Their “press conference” was very disjointed, illogical and badly articulated. Its understandable they have a role to play as the opposition but they also have a responsibility to tell the people the truth (which they aren’t doing) fair enough “Calwin” is has had a few disrespectful out bursts (cring) which the Premier needs to reprimand himself for. People should not expect to live the lacerish lifestyle they did 5 years ago. Let’s face it the NDP rob us blind and they are all now chilling with millions. Keep it real.

    Like 9
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    • @Bla bla bla says:

      You minions who drink the Jim Jones juice can’t see that Andy Foy is destroying our economy and by extension our country. The opposition was on point and are the only group fighting for the people of this territory.

      How can they know the financial position of the country unless the Minister of Finance puts it forward? Stop misleading the people the opposition don’t have access that information.

      Again with this NDP nonsense! The NDP loss, they said they could do the job. All their are doing is driving the country into the ground. God see for us with minions like you supporting these clo€n$!

      Like 8
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      • Bla bla bla says:

        Lol poor thing. You haven’t woken up as yet have you. well its minions like me who owns business, keep people employ holds no political affiliates and has be best interest of my people at heart. Marlon and co was with the Last government when they ate first and serve the country last. People are watching.

        Like 2
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  5. CONTABLE says:

    BOY ANDREW DOING THE RIGHT THING IF COVID DID NOT COME ALL THIS S**TWOULD NOT BE HEAR ABOUT SINCE WHEN MARLON HAS EVERYTHING AT INTREST, mARLON YOU DO NOT KNOW A S**TING THING TO DO WATCH WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE STATES THEY HARDLY HAS BEDS AND THE BVI DOES NOT HAVE THE KIND OF EQUIPTMENT THE STATES HAVE AN WE ARE DOING BETTER THAN THEM. MARLON BAD MINDED NESS IS NOT GOOD LEAVE ANDREW ALONE YOU DO NOT HAVE NO SENSE TO RUN A SHEEP MUCHLESS TO RUN A COUNTRY. MARLON REMEMBER THE STUPID NESS NDP DID A WHOLE LOT OF UNDERS**T BUT THE LORD PUT ANDREW TO GUID THIS NATION SORRY THAT THE COVID CAME IF THAT DID NOT HAPPEN THE COUNTRY WOULD BE FLYING . YOU NEED TO TAKE A BACK SEAT AND GO GET THE MONEY FROM THE SEWRAGE AND HELP PEOPLE ASK THE FOURTH DISTRICT MAN TO GIVE YOU THE MONEY BACK YOU ALL GOING RIGHT TO H**L WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN SO MARLON STOP OPPOSING JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN OPPOSE YOU MAY NOT GET IN IN THE NEXT ELECTION SO BLOW YOUR TRUMPET FOR AS LONG YOU COULD

    Like 4
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  6. Stimulus says:

    So if you want to keep all of the tourist based businesses alive then help financially. At least pay essential needs such as electricity, phone, & internet or we all go belly up and gone forever. All charter companies moving to places they can operate, all crewed yachts leaving to STT, SXM, Grenada, St. Lucia and places where the governments have good sense. Please protect your tourist sector who have put millions of dollars into government pockets. This is really sad.

    Like 7
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  7. YBM says:

    IMO. I feel he was wrong as well, Why didnt they list the protocols the same day they made the announcement that the borders were opening on Dec. 1st? Why wait a whole month after? That didn’t make sense to me. Y’all wrong for that and if the Tourist Season Fails this December only VIP to blame. I still got love for you tho Hon. Fahie

    Like 3
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  8. Bigger problems says:

    Things are not the same as before Covid. Everyday situation changing nowhere in the world have a solid plan for this one. After 2017 hurricanes NDP had no plan on how to move the territory forward VIP was on the process of bringing back the country when Covid came. Now you all here
    complaining about who had to cancel reservations. Tourists should be happy to know that the BVI is being cautious about keeping the Virus out. If the BVi becomes highly infected they still will not want to visit. It is just a bad time for the entire world.

    Like 1
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  9. Banner says:

    Tourist are welcome they just have to follow our protocol. It is there to protect everyone who is living on the islands.

    Like 2
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    • Concerned says:

      yes Tourists are welcome at a ridiculous rate of $ 500.00 per person to be in prison for at least 5 days and go through 4 unpleasant tests. The hightest fees I see in other islands is $ 160 per person with most islands charge $ 0 or $ 40.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  10. Wow says:

    No body as the guts to go on the street and tell the Government what you want. Just get together, and tell him we elect you you have to listen to us.THAT,S IT

    Like 1
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  11. Ausar says:

    Ah warn ya, Premier, if ya do right by our people, I’ll praise ya!

    But,if ya do wrong, ah gon talk bout you!

    And now, you’ve done wrong by the people, and I’m gon chide ya!

    Tourists’ vacations to this area of the world, places bread on MAAANNNYY tables, ensuring a comfortable living.

    You know,your government jobs cannot give many of us the kinds of incommes needed to sustain our colorful lifestyles!

    And to blame them-tourists-for wanting to PAY, to enjoy our vistas, in a manner and time frame, not suitable to so-called COVID protocols, is WRONG!

    And you should apologize to the people of the BVI for trying to condescend, embarrass, and chide the people that sustains our livelihoods!

    You need an effective solution, Premier,to this debacle and the current plans, so far, are inffective!

    We want to continue to believe in you, Premier, but a hungry man is an angry man!

    DO NOT CONTINUE TO SUSTAIN OUR HUNGER, OR YOU’LL SOON SEE, OUR ANGER!

    Like 1
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  12. David says:

    With those Protocols No need to open. Stick a fork in the coffin.

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