Former BVI Tourist Board (BVITB) Director Sharon Flax-Brutus has argued that the BVI‘s arrival experience is unduly painful.
Speaking on the Talking Points radio programme yesterday, March 4 the former director said: “I’m not saying that nothing was achieved for the last couple of years, but it (the arrival experience) should not be so painful.”
Flax-Brutus, who said she now prefers to be referred to as a Tourism Experience Curator, helms the Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals establishment and said she also has responsibility for the Leverick Bay Restaurant in Virgin Gorda.
Flax-Brutus said guests who have already committed to visiting the BVI know that it takes a while to get here, but said it’s still a painful process.
According to the former director, she recently returned to the territory from Miami and related that it was really tough.
She suggested that persons that arrived with other ferry connections, as well as those who are elderly and handicapped, should ideally be given first preference as they disembark ferries.
“I think we suffer with that arrival experience and it’s made even more cumbersome with the (COVID
-19) protocols,” she said.
Flax-Brutus argued that while protocols are important and need to be in place, they should be explained in normal English.
She also spoke about the BVI‘s online entry registration portal which makes reference to patient registration for arriving guests.
“Why can’t we call it guest? We’re not checking into a hospital, we are coming on a vacation,“ she said.
The former director also listed benches for persons to sit and decent bathrooms as being among some of the little things that would assist in improving the BVI’s guest experience.
“It doesn’t cost us $100,000 to have nice bathrooms, those are the little things that the type of guests who come to our destination expect,” Flax Brutus stated.
She also recommended that Tourist Board staff be placed in positions to assist with guest arrivals at both the airport and seaports as they did in the past, particularly with filling out forms for tourists who arrive.
Flax-Brutus was keen to note however, that despite what others might think, her opinion about tourism is never personal as she simply says what she has to say and moves on.