BVI News

Tourist Board receives $3.5M for product enhancement; creates Director of Projects post

Government legislator Sharie de Castro.

While announcing major plans to enhance the BVI’s tourism product, Junior Tourism Minister Sharie de Castro has said a new post called the Director of Projects has been created within the BVI Tourist Board.

De Castro has described the Tourism Ministry’s plans as necessary and said the Director for Projects post was created to facilitate the “smooth delivery of this agenda”; especially because of the challenges being faced by the territory’s main economic pillar – the financial services.

To that end, government has given the BVI Tourist Board a few extra millions to get their projects underway. 

“This government has made an allocation of $3.5 million to the BVI Tourist Board for product development. This is a huge investment, but we do this in order to ensure that the level of attention and management that are required to succeed happens,” de Castro said during Friday’s budget debate at the House of Assembly.

Projects

The Junior Tourism Minister said several of the Tourist Board’s projects are expected to commence on all the territory’s major islands soon.

“Some of the projects that the BVITB intends to peruse based on the budget allocation is directional signage on Anegada, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda; key enhancements at our national parks especially Sage Mountain and The Baths, beach huts and cabanas on seven beaches throughout the BVI; [and] welcome and information centre at Trellis Bay,” de Castro said.

She continued: “[The] first phase is rehabilitation and enhancement of our capital city of Road Town and historical and cultural attractions. The reopening of the Sugar Works Museum, and the first phase of the Cultural Village at Carrot Bay and bathroom facilities at some of our beaches [are also projects to be undertaken].”

The junior minister further said the first phase of the maritime museum on St Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda and additional lookout sites on the four main islands will also form part of the string of undertakings territory-wide.

Job creation

De Castro further said the upcoming works will result in considerable job creation.

“During the implementation phase, we will create jobs in the construction industry when the sites are open. In some instances, some persons will be able to manage and run the activities that will seek to ensure that customer service and maintenance are the top priorities as well,” she said.

“We will also need tour guides who are well aware of our culture to facilitate tours. These tourists will need food and beverages and refreshments. So we have direct opportunities for entrepreneurs to be able to earn money through creative and innovative ways,” the first-term legislator added.

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18 Comments

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  1. Really says:

    Didn’t the Premier just complain about all these posts in government? smdh

    Like 20
    Dislike 5
  2. Great says:

    Great projects. The total cost should be around $100k. The rest I guess is for first class travel, first class hotel, limo’s and the finest restaurants has the junior minister and her staff to travel around to find a tourist. Wake up idiots!!! This is not how you attract tourists to your island. First and foremost clean the place up. Get rid of the garbage, derelict cars and boats. Show the world your not really pigs. Second, make services available. Not BS museums and toilets. How about a Jimmy Buffet restaurant or other places that tourists want to visit. However that would mean that you would need to keep your dirty hands out of the pockets of investors. Sooo, we all know that would never happen so while the financial sector dies, so does the tourist sector. Your all done. Just keep denying it.

    Like 19
    Dislike 4
    • @Great says:

      We are far behind here! Look at some of the other Caribbean Islands, they don’t spend all that money and reap the sweets, why? They have branded/flagged properties and other entities that do the heavy lifting for them. Why should BVITB have so much strain when we can get Moorings and encourage decent lodging under known brands, to market to the millions they already have in their database.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
    • Rubber Duck says:

      A Jimmy Buffet Restaurant? Have you been in the one in San Juan or Cancun Airports ?

      You think that really lousy expensive food will attract tourists?

      You should be in government.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      There are two major problems; image and access.

      The image of the BVI abroad is dreadful. A crooked haven for tax evaders is how most people see us because that is how their media always refer to us. The hurricane definitely did not help. And if you do come what will you report : A tax on arrival, unfriendly immigration staff and long waits. Dirty , broken down, overcrowded rip off taxis. A place that looks like a third world garbage dump complete with poisonous smoke and fumes.

      Access to the BVI is worse than ever. Fewer, more expensive flights, ever more unreliable schedules, probably the worst incidence of lost and delayed luggage anywhere in the world. Dirty, noisy, expensive ferries to the horror story that is St. Thomas.

      Fix these problems and the tourists may return.

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
  3. @@ Great says:

    It all comes down to know how and execution of smarts. It is believed that the approach of the BVITB and government has been to just throw huge sums of money at the industry.

    Without, no proper plan, no specific targets, no application of best and common business practices and worst of all, rookie inexperienced managers running a multi million dollar enterprise/industry.

    Such is a receipe for mismanagement and ultimately, disaster. However, i hope your dreams and goals do not come through.

    And indeed, there are many, particularly those of the UK stock, just sitting like a preying mantis waiting to strike at that industry and take it over for their own benefit.

    Are you one of them Great? Of course you are.

    Such an industry is to good for those “low life’s Black BVIslanders” to have and to control.

    See, we who know can see right through your comments. Possession is your motivation that is hanging up your mental construction.

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
    • @@@ Great says:

      You are exactly the problem with Tourism. You want the Tourist dollar but not the Tourist. Your mind set is that the whites owe you. Well they don’t owe you squat and have proven that by spending their money on other islands. Stop sounding like your an educated man smarter than the rest of us. You wallow in your racism and will remain there as you destroy the opportunity for a better land

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
  4. Tourism Business says:

    Imagine, here we are over 50 years in the tourism business (LDB opened 1n 64, the Moorings and Caribbean Sailing Yachts 79, I think). Yet St. Kitts and Nevis is hardly 15 years in tourism and have long moved ahead of us.
    My big Peeve.
    With these wealthy companies benefitting tremendously, at the expense of the people (pioneer status, duty free, 6.00 p/h wages etc), why can’t Branson, Scrub Island, Leverick Bay, Nail Bay, Valley Trunk, Pirates Pub, Willy T, Peter Island, Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals ++++) join with the tourist board by pooling their moneys and get much Bigger Bang for the money; including Mass Marketing on Television? American companies are already benefitting under American Tax Laws that favor business. Then said companies establish business here in BVI and Reap the rest of the benefits off the Taxpayers. They throw a little in the BVI kitty if/when a hurricane hits. This is a no brainer. We are spending millions to promote these business so they can employ us at bear minimum wages (without significant positions). To top it off, the profits these foreign companies garner, ends up in American Banks. Does this Business Model really make sense? Hell no. It is “BS Policy”; policies made up by “Square pegs in round holes” policies.
    Another of my Peeves is the close to 50 staff sitting here in cubicles in Road Town doing diddly squat and highly. Salaries at the TB accounts for some 38% of the Tourism budget. So the TB staff is in Road Town, but the Tourism Markets are in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and elsewhere. Makes no darn sense. Again, “Where there’s no Vision the people perish”

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  5. BVI says:

    BOY WE REALLY STUPID IN THIS PLACE…WHY SHOULD WE SPEND TAXPAYERS MONEY FOR LAVISH TRIPS AND ADVERTISING FREE FOR MILLIONAIRES??????????

  6. Hmm says:

    They done know monique Hodge getting that job

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  7. ONE THING FOR SURE says:

    SHE WILL BE ANOTHER ONE-TERMER

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  8. @Great says:

    Umm..I’m a BVIslander born and raised just to clarify and my points remain. This has nothing to do with talking down the officials at BVITB, it’s to do with them being able to do a lot more with less money. Nowhere did I say fire all the TB staff, I’m speaking about the marketing dollars being spent in not so smart ways. That’s one of our biggest problems, as soon as someone points out how something can be done better or is not being done as good as it should, it becomes an ‘us vs them’ fight. Are you going to sit here and tell me that BVITB makes good use of over $10 mil annually? How is their success measured?

  9. @ Tourism says:

    First, the locals decided to tax every tourist as they enter the Territory with an environmental tax. Is this how you greet people and ask them to come back. Second, perhaps a smiling face on the Belongers working customs and immigration would help. Third perhaps it would be nice not to make all the tourists wait until all the locals are taken first. In every other country it is done simultaneously. The first and foremost issue with Tourism is the mindset of the local. Before that is remedied then spending money on anything else is just a waste. Last, if that gets fixed which it won’t, the way to increase Tourism is to advertise. Nothing else works and that is where the money needs to be spent.

  10. Wake up BVI says:

    Can we have a list of KPI’s? (Key Performance Indicators) that track how efficient the use of capital has been in the past?

    Can we agree that without a clear correlation between costs and revenue, we should not be funding this with taxpayers dollars?

    How much is spent on salaries/travel/accommodation/perks vs. actual marketing events? Why are we sponsoring the Miami open for a third year in a row without clear results that this brings in ANYTHING??

    I am afraid that the BVI is headed down the drain with no accountability for where the money is going. I had so much hope… news like this makes me sad.

  11. No nonsense says:

    Well for all that money, I aint seeing much more tourist on our shores. I advertise BVI all the time in my travels and that’s for free. So more people can do it and we can save a bunch. And Bvi people do travel the world. Let’s each one tell some one and cut out this unedited spending. The budget is getting too high for a small place

  12. Faxts says:

    The stats are available. Just ask. Ask Statistics department

  13. ok says:

    Crazy! No vision, people perish for sure.

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