BVI News

Start-up tourism business blooms after hurricane


Owners and operators of Ultimate Vacation BVI had not been in business for more than four months when Hurricane Irma struck.

Like many other businesses in the local tourism and hospitality industry, the company’s operations were severely impacted by the hurricanes.

Chief Executive Officer and President Sandra Massicote said Irma marred the business’ highly-recommend camping experience offering at Sandy Spit on Jost Van Dyke.

However, Massicote and her two business partners Gillian Stoutt and Tashima Martin were not prepared to let their new venture die.

The trio transformed what was taken from them by the hurricane into opportunity, by offering art therapy for hurricane survivors.

They have also begun to reel in customers by giving persons a taste of the business’ ‘Dinner Under the Stars’ package.

With now limited resources, the trio tapped into their creativity and was able to set up a sophisticated massage and dining experience on the beach for locals and, eventually, visitors.

Massicote said that experience, which even comes with a personal violinist for romantics, was tailored for one of their newest customers; adding that their business allows for them to set up shop wherever or however the persons require.

“You could come with the craziest idea and be like girls this is what I want. That’s what’s going to be done. We are very resourceful – myself and the two other ladies,” the business woman, Massicote, told BVI News.

“What we do is we put all the local spin on things. Instead of booking a restaurant, we create an experience for you,” she said.

We need to still find beauty in where we reside. We need to understand that there is more to the BVI than just going to clubs on a weekend. That’s fine if you’re into that but there is more to it than that,” Massicote added.

Ultimate Vacation BVI was initially started as a vacation planning business that catered to residents and tourists.

“Hurricane Irma kind of put a full stop to that. But we decide that it’s not going to put a full stop to everything,” Massicote declared.

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