BVI News

Tourist Board should utilise local athletes to further promote the BVI

Kyron McMaster (left) and Chantel Malone are two of the territory’s most successful athletes at the professional and international level.

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

Opposition Legislator Julian Fraser is calling on the BVI Tourist Board to further promote the British Virgin Islands through the use of its local professional athletes.

Fraser made the call during a December 2019 session of the House of Assembly after making suggestions that the Tourist Board was not maximising on all the marketing assets available to them.

“When the Tourist Board came before us, I had a question for the Tourist Board, and my question was, are you satisfied that you are utilising the vast potential that is available to you, through our athletes by making them poster athletes for the Virgin Islands? I am not convinced that they are,” Fraser stated.

He further said the level of exposure an athlete provides for a country on the international stage far exceeds any traditional means of marketing.

After making those arguments, the senior legislator then began to list the quality of local athletes available for the territory to utilise as a marketing tool.

“We have a Commonwealth gold medalist, Pan American Gold Medalist, CARIFTA gold medalist but I don’t see them being the face of the Virgin Islands, and I believe that the Tourist Board should take the charge in making that happen,” Fraser stated.

“I implore the Tourist Board to make a push in this direction. It can work and in so doing these people who are desperately in need of financial support can get it,” he added.

Meanwhile, during the recently held BVI Athletics Association’s Athlete Gala, President of the BVI Olympic Committee Ephraim Penn made a plea to Premier Andrew Fahie to establish a sports ambassador programme in the territory.

He said: “Mr Premier, I would like you to find some way where we have a sports ambassador programme and I would nominate Tahesia [Harrigan-Scott] to be one of those persons.”

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  1. BVI says:


    Dislike 20
    • Great idea says:

      I think promoting athletes to attract tourism is a great idea. But first you need to get a bobsled team and compete in the Olympics…..lmao

  2. Oh yeah says:

    Promoting the athletes through tourism is going to make an impact on the tourist trade of the Territory? Are you nuts? Have you no sense of reality? Oh let me see, BVI athletes did well in some non significant tournaments. I think I’ll go on vacation there. Is that what you think a tourist looking for a destination will say. You all need to peek around the tiny box you live in and get a sense of reality and the real world.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
    • Perhaps says:

      Perhaps an ad in Departure magazine which is widely read by affluent travelers would be a great idea. Oops forgot that magazine is published by American Express. Since the wise ones of the Territory have decided they are too good for Amex that won’t be possible. Or is it Amex declined the entire Territory? Anyway please go ahead and shoot yourselves in the foot once again. Spend the $3.5 mil on pictures of your athletes and have life size cutouts at the airport. That will certainly drive up tourism….lmao

      Like 6
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  3. E. Leonard says:

    Tourism is the main economic driver for many regional countries; it is 1/2 of the VI economic twin pillars; financial services, the other. The regional competition for the tourist dollar is fierce. Most regional countries use the sand-sun-sea model; the sea is a major attraction. Stay over tourists want to walk from their hotel room onto the white sand beach and into the blue water(this model has disaster risks but that is for comment).

    To be highly competitive in the tourism sector, the VI has to differentiate itself, providing a difference it can preserve. It must provide greater value or provide a comparable value at a lower cost or do both with efficacy. A First World infrastructure(water, wastewater, electric power, drainage,telecommunications), transportation, a myriad and variety of attractions, security/safety…..etc is vital to being one of the top small destinations in the region. Though financial services generate more government revenue, tourism provide more direct and indirect employment. As such, tourism has as to be strengthened, deepened and diversified (the whole economy needs to be diversified).

    Moreover, local athletes success at the Summer Olympics, Pan Am, World Championship…..etc games helps immensely in putting the VI, a small brown dot in the Caribbean Sea, on the map, making millions, if not billions, aware of the VI. Local athletes success on the big stages create priceless curiosity among millions with the discretionary income to vacation in the region.

    The VI needs to coalesce with other regional countries, ie, USVI…..etc to deepen and extend the visitor experience; it can be a win-win for all locations. The visitor must leave with a “WOW” factor that they can take back and share with family, friends, co-workers, social club members, church members…….etc. The VI must become a must see destination and successful athletes on the world stage can foster the curiosity to come and see the destination.

    Like 10
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    • TurtleDove says:

      Agree…Sage mountain is a gold mine if developed properly….Create some look outs and well maintained walking trails. Have golf carts for people who need them for a fee with a driver..sell local food samples…..etc… create a better habitat for the birds and animals that live in the area to thrive…

      Like 2
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      • Wow says:

        Can’t wait to walk through Sage Mountain. That’s surely what I want to do for an island vacation. How about developing the beaches with toilets and beach bars. You people are clearly morons that’s why all your so called financial pillars are dying off. Get a grip

        Like 3
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        • TurtleDove says:

          @ WOW

          Name calling is not necessary….yes the beaches need showing up…that’s been said thousands of times…you also need different things..there are a lot of people who don’t like water and would like something diffferent..if you have ever been on a cruise you know this would be a good thing for all that free food on the ships….that being said divercification is also a good thing…stay positive…

        • @Wow says:

          @wow, the water is the prime attraction but the destination and needs more than sand-sea-sun. It needs more than a one trick pony; It needs a myriad of attractions, ie, sand-sea-sun; archaeological, cultural, and historical sights, heritage, ecological tourism …….etc. Agree that tourism is a major part of the economy, a service economy, a definitely needs more tourist facilities, ie, rest stops along the tour routes……..etc. By the way, Turtle Dove input/opinion is valued. Nuff respect.

    • RealPol says:

      “Moreover, local athletes success at the Summer Olympics, Pan Am, World Championship…..etc games helps immensely in putting the VI, a small brown dot in the Caribbean Sea, on the map, making millions, if not billions, aware of the VI. Local athletes success on the big stages create priceless curiosity among millions with the discretionary income to vacation in the region.” Real talk!

      The VI is a small locale of approximately 30,000 and Malone, McMaster…..etc competing successfully and beating athletes from BIG countries at world stage is a BIG deal and definitely grabs the attention of millions world-wide, curiously wondering where is the VI/BVI. The TB definitely can capitalize on the success of athletes to help market the destination.

  4. :) says:

    It’s a good thing to wish and strive for but unfortunately putting Chantal or even Kyron as the face of tourism will not get the type of reach that is needed. If anything it could help promote the athletes themselves as there will be a lot of questions about who they are or what they did. They aren’t on the level of Bolt etc. that transcended well beyond a local and regional level to the point where his name is Worldwide and marketable .

    Like 5
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  5. Leave them alone says:

    Kyron and Chantel should not be used to promote tourism. Sports is their thing. They are better off accepting endorsements from NIKE and Sports Drinks.

  6. Yagga says:

    What about Iyaz or the girl that won the 5m on the voice? I mean are they involved with the BVI development in any form or ways?

  7. Truth says:

    BVITB is a waste of f***ing time. What has that unit done for the BVI for the last 10yrs after Government would’ve spent over $100 mil on it over that period? For that money we could have bought some jets, proper ferries and partner with the private businesses to market the Territory’s tourism product abroad.

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