BVI News

‘Time to move on’ | Flax-Brutus resigning as BVITB Director

(BVITB) Director of the BVI Tourist Board Sharon Flax-Brutus will be resigning from that post on November 15 this year.

A statement obtained by our news centre on Friday indicated that Flax-Brutus believes it is time for her to ‘move on’ after serving as Tourist Board director for more than eight years.

“It has been my pleasure working with the BVI Tourist Board and Film Commission and to represent this territory which I am so proud to be a citizen of globally. I am gratified by my achievements over the last eight years, but I think it is time to move on and focus on other ways which will continue to benefit the BVI tourism industry,” Flax-Brutus was cited saying.

She was further cited thanking the members of the BVITB as well as stakeholders she has partnered with over the years.

Flax-Brutus — one of the pioneers of the BVI Food Fete that first launched in 2013 — said in the statement that she would continue to work with the BVITB “over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition” and successful re-opening of local tourism following COVID-19. 

Successful stint 

Under her directive as the head of the Tourist Board, the BVI saw record visitor arrivals in 2016 when it welcomed more than one million visitors for the first time.

Her leadership also resulted in the successful rebuilding of the territory’s tourism product following the 2017 hurricanes. The outgoing Tourist Board director is also reported to have had a hand in the BVI receiving recognition as an award-winning tourism destination.

“Mrs Flax-Brutus can be credited for several major achievements during her tenure including inspiring a new generation of tourism professionals via the Management training and tourism education programmes, paving the way for talented BVI Athletes to attend the prestigious IMG Academy through a partnership with The Miami Open, launching a Destination training program in conjunction with the Disney Institute Training, that has been unprecedented in the industry, paving the way for other destinations,” the statement further said.

Rhondi Skelton is the Deputy Director of the BVITB and could likely be her successor.

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41 Comments

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  1. Father Time says:

    It’s like you people are allergic to saying these things to her face. Stop hiding behind an anonymous comment and step in real life.

  2. Question says:

    Mrs. Flax-Brutus,

    Thank you for your service. You have served the BVI Tourist Board and by extension, the people of the British Virgin Islands well in your capacity. Whatever the next chapter in your life is, may it be filled with light and laughter.

    Question: “Why make the announcement PUBLIC 6 months prior to departure?” Something else happening that we the people are not aware of?

    More victimisation happening ‘in the name of Gawdt?’

    Next question: WHO will be the successor? The ONE to be in the proverbial ‘hot seat’?

    The BVI is FULL of potential and persons with fresh ideas. What will be needed is someone with INTEGRITY and can bring something ‘FRESH’ to the table.

    From all accounts, your temporary replacement was not ‘it’ and is sorely lacking in many areas.

    Either way, Good luck Mrs. Brutus. Those are no longer your concerns.

    The Board has some major decisions and perhaps one of the things that need to be looked at is, revamping the entire structure of the organisation.

    Like 20
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    • Good says:

      Time perhaps for someone that understands tourism. Locals clearly don’t have a clue. The tourist board does nothing to attract tourism. They are however experts at going abroad to tourism conventions for their own vacation as they wine and dine on the government. Take a trip to the other Caribbean islands and see what real tourism is all about.

      Like 41
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      • Strupz says:

        You sound like a hater. Tourism is our business.

        Like 5
        Dislike 22
        • Jane says:

          BVI Tourist Board is under performing. There is no need for personal nastiness but the truth is that we have an amateur approach and we are not competing.

          Like 24
      • Hmm says:

        You all are always on here hating on locals there are a lot of things that you can go to the other Caribbean countries that you can see that will make you shudder which is why a lot of you all are here.

        And some of you pulling down the country with your negative habits like hanging out close on prime property and fixing cars on the side of the road. People are people and the Government has to do a better job at placing people in key positions.

        It is a well-known fact that corruption in the BVI is nothing compared to some of those other places. The way some of you come here and disrespect politicians you cant do that back in some of those Islands and not bare a heavy price like not getting jobs or worst.

        Like 13
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    • Pig lips says:

      Please don’t let it be c ¡nd¥

      Like 14
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      • Professional Local says:

        1. We do not need any from abroad to ryn our tourist board. That simple is not acceptable.

        2. I agree Mr. S at this moment is not prepared for such an undertaking and is lacking experience in many of the areas that needs to be addressed. He has little creativity and IMAGINATION. However we do have persons that can handle this undertaking right there. Hope Mrs. Brutus is bold enough to give her reccomendation.

        3. The board members of the TB needs to change effective immediately. None but one has a clue of what our tourism product is and how to get it to where it needs to be. I have respect for all of them as individuals but in this capacity they are lookung like a bunch of poppy shows. Move them all!!!!!!!!

        4. The BVI is multifaceted when it comes to the product that we can offer. This notion that we are just a luxury destination is ludacris. We are also not only a retirement or just a sailing destination. Again we can be all these things but not just one singled out constantly. The melting pot of the beautiful people that choose to and permanently reside here are the true essence of who we are. To be among us is what the majority of our tourist look for at some point.

        What are we having our guest really experience? We need to redefine what we offer to the varied guest that come to our shores. This is a great time to take a look at all of what we do how we do it what we offer how we offer it.

        We are not only sun and sea. We have a history stories and cuisine our visitors need to experience..

        Experience….. we can fill in many blanks.. #BVILOVE #284

        Like 19
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        • Bonz says:

          Your last few sentences should be paid careful attention to. Yes! Your history, stories, foods, restaurants and local culture are a large part of what many come to see. It is just hard to find. RT has lost sight of their history in trying to become a big city. The islands are exquisite testimonials to nature and Gods gifts to us. The real flavor of island culture is being overtaken by nondescript buildings with no ties to the history of the islands. Building next to building, with no architectural nuance, crowd the streets of what was once a charming town. There is a way to build with zoning in harmony. I see that it is necessary to have places for everyone to shop. However, tourism helps provide the money to shop in those places. RT is building what tourists come to escape from; cement, traffic congestion, crowds . . . Bring back that island vibe before it is too late! Yes again! You are more than sun and sea. Your history is being buried in what I call the tomb that progress can become. Aside from RT being overtaken by buildings and traffic; Maya Cove comes to mind. It was one of the most beautiful natural harbours on the island. Nature made it almost perfect. Now, it is nothing more than a large parking lot for a developer who had no vision of what you can do if you work with beauty. My sympathies go to those who now have a view of a place overtaken by docks and boats waiting to be chartered. At one time, I lived in a house that looked out at the exquisite harbour that was Maya Cove. If you want tourist dollars, give them something to spend them on.

        • Peace says:

          Of course we need tourism, and we need clear pathways to this. Look after our marine industry. It is us… and our treasure. Please look after our fragile tourism. Let me spell it out. Charter yachts. Hotels. Restaurants off shore and on Island. This is the what we have. I agree that our story is important [like all the islands in the Caribbean]. We are the ‘perfect’ getaway. How many times do I, and many other people have to spell it out.

      • @ Pig Lips says:

        Never…. Not even a thought

    • Contract says:

      Six months notice is customary in most high level jobs. While some things may appear to be political you did a great job. But the premier wants the ch— to be the director. They had to force SFB out to appoint — as director. After all — father financed his campaign

    • @Question says:

      Points taken about revamping and restructuring the board. I’m posting as a past board member locally as well as past overseas marketing rep. Puerto Rico refers to their tourism as “Puerto Rico Tourism Company” Other countries refer to theirs as “Department of Tourism”. As it is, the department and board members are likewise referred to as “Board”. So you have the Tourist Board and Board members.
      Room for better Budget Management”
      Over the years the TB has been regularly exceeding its budget and running into overdraft. which results in lost marketing opportunities, missing deadlines for advertising in various tourism publications. Salaries were and likely still accounting for 35-38 % of the Budget; thus eating up moneys better spent on marketing initiatives.
      Better Marketing Management: The cruise ships do their own marketing. The bigger, better capitalised hotels, villas and marinas are also better funded and to a large extent fund their own marketing campaigns and can better gauge the response to their marketing campaigns.
      Stretching of Campaign Dollars: BVI has many students studying overseas. Our student I’m sure could be Incentivised to do their share by getting out on holidays and weekends to the various shopping malls and sports arenas passing out brochures and spreading the word about our festivals and special events.
      LAST: There needs to be more bodies overseas in the markets where our potential visitors are instead of sitting in cubicles in the home office.
      My Free Contribution

  3. Longshanks says:

    Well done over the years.

    Sadly, it might be an idea simply to furlough the tourist board for the next year.

    Like 15
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  4. Really sad says:

    Mrs. Brutus is the right person for the BVITB. She is knowledgeable and know her job. Tola people don’t like vg people in position. Can the Deputy handle the job? Good luck.

    Like 14
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    • What! says:

      Don’t like who? Where? If you ask me, it look like VG people don’t like themselves? Gimme a Break.

      Like 19
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      • Observing says:

        Not sure how old you are, but some Tortolians absolutely do not like Virgin Gordians. That dislike did not commence yesterday; it has been in existence for decades and I am almost 60. We Virgin Gordians were raised to believe in ourselves and have manners and respect for people. Sad to say, these characteristics are lacking in the way we Virgin Gordians are treated. You may not be subjected to such treatment so you wouldn’t understand. It is high time to cease referring to the outer islands as “sister” islands.

        Like 10
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        • Know your people says:

          The Board of Directors of Tourist Board are rude and disrespectful, know nothing about tourism and noone from Virgin Gorda on the Board much less Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Board members have said they only care about Tortola and they need to build Tortola. Tortola people need to stop being so unfriendly. Virgin Gorda Anegada and Jost Van Dyke is the breadbasket of tourism. Get over it you Board members and learn tourism and stop trying to destroy people

          Like 17
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          • Bonz says:

            You have nailed it! Tortola has some beautiful places, however, they are rapidly disappearing. Sophers Hole has the island charm tourists come to see. Trellis Bay has been working on returning to it’s pre Irma eclectic island self. Road Town has forfeited its island feel to development. There has been no architectural consistency. It has, for the most part, lost its island style. In the meantime, JVD, Anegada and Virgin Gorda continue to be what tourists are looking for. Stateside, many, if not most of the people I know who visit the islands say they prefer to bypass Tortola with the exception of just a few spots.
            More credit should be given to the harbours and islands that remain tourism magnets. In a town that thrives on tourism, locals are on a world stage. To be fair, this is their town and their home, their shops and their street corners. It would be great if you could get from Beef Island to Western Tortola without having to pass through town. This is obviously not possible. Traveling to and from the islands for a very long time and having lived in the BVI for a number of years, I see the places turning in to what tourists have vacationed there to escape. “If we build it they will come” has another side to it.
            If we overbuild it they will go and eventually not come at all!

        • @Observing says:

          I was born in the 70s and did not write the post you’re commenting on but what I have observed over time is Virgin Gordians always poking and comparing in terms of what the capital of the Virgin Islands may have such as if Tortola was to have something as simple as an ice-cream van it would be like “so we don’t like ice-cream too” snark comment. The simplest of things.

          Picture Hawaii with a number of islands and the islanders on different islands bickering about what Hawaii has (you won’t see that).

          Tortolians have nothing against Virgin Gordians; it’s more like Virgin Gordians are always trying to prove they are better, which is so unnecessary as we are all ONE BVI.

          Like 14
          Dislike 2
        • @ Observing says:

          This is the DUMBEST comment of the week.

          First of all you talking hogwash!

          Second of all that you could have an issue with the term ‘sister island’ shows everything is an issue and it has nothing to do with the mainland.

          Like 2
          Dislike 5
      • Hm says:

        VG will leave you all in the dust. Electricity water inland revenue social security NHI bawlin all day and night since bitter end blow away and LDB close again. We can survive without you. And that’s a fact. You need VG more than VG need you

        Like 12
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  5. Lily Ann says:

    Is this the New way to say YOURE FIRED ?!!

    Like 19
    Dislike 4
    • And KS can do the job. No says:

      Quit before the incompetent board start struggling to keep tourism from drowning. More opportunities ahead. You better off. . What the hell p—- know about tourism. Her brother is a minister political appointment

  6. Well well well says:

    The d*+++***+**l b***y finally gone.

    Like 1
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  7. LOL says:

    Finally…let us move on to better.

    Like 6
    Dislike 15
  8. Great says:

    Good job Sharon!! Well done. Now don’t mind all the noise…

    Like 15
    Dislike 3
  9. Thanks says:

    You worked hard and tirelessly and was a good Brand Ambassador for the Territory. We wish we will and know that you will continue to excel in whatever you do.

    Like 16
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  10. The Reaper says:

    Bull S!!t ….Like we look like fools ..yah ,we are..Mrs what is your name is again ….Smh

    Like 3
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  11. Solomon says:

    Hi mrs. Brutus you have done a great job well done hold your head up God is looking and the part you have walk congratulations to you and your family you will be miss..Solomon

  12. NDP says:

    COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM

  13. Mmmmmm says:

    We know what he name will be put in the role. Simple as that.

  14. Audit says:

    Please perform a forensic financial audit before she leaves…..

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  15. Time says:

    The m—– is gone! Time to go.

  16. ok NOW says:

    GIVE THE JOB TO TREFOR GRANT BECAUSE HE CAN DO IT

    Like 2
    Dislike 9
  17. We are the BVI says:

    Man…all these comments. There are a lot of jealous people in the BVI. Grow up please! Tourism is a business. This Business in not easy (you win some and you loose some). BUT we have a pretty good product and there is enough of it to feed us all. Now we have a lock down. We need to work together to make this place look good to people. All this bickering is not the path to getting this country back on our feet. EVERYONE go to the beach today. Take a photo (please smile!). Post it on line and let people know we have ONLY ONE CASE OF COVID-19. We are blessed to be here. If you are from somewhere else, you should see that and come here when things are better!

  18. Peace says:

    Of course we need tourism, and we need clear pathways to this. Look after our marine industry. It is us… and our treasure. Please look after our fragile tourism. Let me spell it out. Charter yachts. Hotels. Restaurants off shore and on Island. This is the what we have. I agree that our story is important [like all the islands in the Caribbean]. We are the ‘perfect’ getaway. How many times do I, and many other people have to spell it out.

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