BVI News

Tourism bounces back: hundreds of rooms occupied

A section of Tortola captured recently. (BVI News photo)

Four months after two category 5 hurricanes smashed into the British Virgin Islands and wrecked the local tourism sector, hundreds of rooms on land and on sea are now occupied in the territory.

The sector is one of the main economic pillars and is said to have produced the highest number of job losses after the hurricanes.

“From initial assessments completed by BVI Tourist Board, they have reported that we do have in use, approximately 300 rooms across the territory, and approximately 800 berths on sea,” said Premier and Minister of Tourism Dr D Orlando Smith.

He made the announcement at a press conference yesterday and said assessments are ongoing.

“Though our tourism sector has been severely impacted by the storms, I am reassured by seeing the use of our villas and smaller properties, as well as our yachting industry to ensure that we can welcome guests and that our hospitality professionals are back out to work.”

Smith also said the BVI Tourist Board will continue its involvement throughout the industry by sponsoring key events such as the Miami Open tennis tournament scheduled for March.

“We will also be welcoming guests from around the world for the Second Annual Anegada Kite and Paddle Festival, also in March,” Dr Smith said.

The event features kitesurfing and standup paddleboarding competitions, downwind races, among things. Anegada’s kite festival was held in January last year.

Forum with yachting sector

The Premier also announced that a stakeholder forum is being planned with the operators of large properties and stakeholders in the yachting sector on January 26.

He said timelines for their reopening will be discussed at the forum.

The Premier said a substantial amount of progress is being undertaken on all the islands in the territory and said he is pleased with the headway being made to maintain the territory’s economy.

“It is very important that our destination remains a viable option for guests and that we maintain our presence in the industry,” the Premier said.

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  1. Tourism, Hmm? says:

    Yes, full with loss adjusters.

  2. "Crabs in a Barrel" says:

    They’re occupied by a lot of people that do not have their homes back yet, along with others dealing with hurricane related issues!

  3. Georgeemund says:

    Good morning I Have HOT clients to your business. How can I contact With you in Phone ?

  4. Watcher says:

    Only the commercial hotels are open. They are not usually filled with tourists. But we will be back. Next season.

  5. Brad says:

    Stop freakin lying. You mean the political gang suck up the tourism people too. stop the lies.

  6. LC says:

    Get the power going and you will have more of the villas filled.

  7. @ says:

    This is miss leading! And TB needs to assign people on the street to direct the loss tourist coming off the ship – who have no idea what to do among all the broken buildings in dirty road town.

  8. Miami Open Waste of $ says:

    Didn’t bring any business to my property not even inquires !
    Big waste of money AGAIN !!
    Rooms are filled by people handling hurricane issues not
    for vacation.

  9. Concerned says:

    When will the Premier stop trying to fool people? Countthe number of adjusters, expate electric workers, people with no homes and others here because of Irma, then subtract. Tourists are at a minimum. And yachting? He is counting how many every boat sleeps. Many say “sleeps 10” , when 2,4,or maybe 6 charter. Even then some numbers are fudged. How dumb can the Premier who is scared to death that an audit will show he done wrong, think we are??

  10. Retired says:

    Cruise ship tourists live on their cruise ship and are only day visitors.

    Charter vessel tourists live on their charter vessel for 7 to 10 days in the waters of the BVI.

    Hotel/villa tourists: I would be grateful for the Premier to provide the public with a list of the operating hotels/villas in the BVI that only have tourist guests here on a land-based holiday. Please exclude the hotels/villas full of recovery workers/adjusters/consultants/homeless/etc. since they do not have rooms available for tourists.

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