Tourism stakeholder and Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) candidate for District Four, Karl Scatliffe, believes there is a more effective way of promoting the British Virgin Islands than the strategies currently being used.
With a number of local students benefitting from government scholarships to study abroad, Scatliffe is proposing to utilise these recipients to actively market the territory.
“We have students away on national scholarships studying all over the world. We can create an incentive programme where students can be given fliers and marketing materials to share on their campuses and through social media,” Scatliffe said.
He noted that direct focus could be placed on sports tourism, which he described as the fastest growing area in the travel industry.
“It is great for any economy for one simple reason – it generates economic impact through direct spending into the community,” he said. “We have the perfect marketing machine to do it.”
Scatliffe, who was speaking at his official campaign launch in Road Town on Saturday night, added: “Let our children spread the news. Use those people to market. Word of mouth is the fastest way to go and you have social media so it is even faster.”
He said this strategy will no longer require the BVI to pay extravagant costs to tourism consultants who are often brought to the territory to offer their services in the sector.
Scatliffe said some of his other plans to improve the tourism product includes hiring staff who are fluent in German, Spanish, French and Creole to be able to communicate to visitors.
“That’s the type of guests we have coming into our shores right now,” he argued.
In the meantime, Scatliffe said a PVIM government would complete the much-talked-about boardwalk from the Tortola Cruise Pier to the Queen Elizabeth II park.
He also said a PVIM government would rebuild the walls around the AO Shirley Recreational Grounds in Road Town and paint them with murals of stalwarts who have contributed to the local sporting industry.
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