BVI News

Start meeting with local tourism players, Premier told

Sam Henry

Social commentator and tour operator Julio Sam Henry is calling on Premier and Minister of Tourism Dr D Orlando Smith to host regular meetings with local tourism stakeholders to boost the industry.

He made the call while criticizing the Premier for not doing enough to revive the industry which was battered by the September hurricanes.

“Dr Smith needs to come out of the office, come out of the Ritter Building and start walking the streets more often,” said Henry who further criticized that the National Democratic Party administration was not a ‘grassroots’ government.

“He (the Premier) needs to get his team of people to go through the neighbourhood on a more consistent and regular basis. He should be meeting every week with the tourism players the same way he’s meeting in England or Hong Kong with the financial services,” Henry added.

The tour operator, in the meantime, supported Dr Smith’s decision to welcome tourists back to the territory. The Premier had received criticism from within his government about ‘prematurely’ welcoming cruise ship passengers back roughly two weeks ago.

Those criticisms were led by Second District representative Melvin Turnbull.

However, Henry said this week that Turnbull’s statement was misguided.

“My views are the same as the Premier and it ain’t just cruise ships. It’s tourism. When the Representative for the Second District made the comment, he said we were not ready for tourists to come back to the territory, and I totally disagree. At what point are we ever going to be ready?” Henry questioned while stating that tourism would help the territory to bounce back faster.

“You have to start opening up the territory in order to start stimulating the economy,” Henry asserted.

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