The meetings will be held virtually over the next two weeks and hosted by officials of the BVI Tourist Board.
In a press release issued October 5, Premier Fahie — who is also the Tourism Minister — said, “it is critical that the government meets with stakeholders in the service industry at this juncture as it actions its reopening plans for the territory”.
“As I have said on many occasions, we are in this together, Government officials, Government agencies and private sector in ensuring that our guests are welcomed in the safest manner possible and that our communities remain safe as well,” he stated.
The Premier said the discussions are expected to be productive as the industry experts get an opportunity to review the plans and give input which will ultimately aid in the finalisation of the COVID-19 protocols for tourism.
In recent times, members of the parliamentary Opposition, as well as the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVICCHA), have criticised and raised concerns about stakeholders being left in the dark in relation to the safety protocols that will be obtained when the territory reopens on December 1.
The BVICCHA also released a statement expressing disappointment in the government’s rejection of a set of protocols it created to assist in the safe reopening of the territory.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the BVI Tourist Board, Kenisha Sprauve said the board is eager to lead the discussions with its industry partners as they finalise the COVID-19 health and safety protocols for the various sectors of the tourism industry.
She said: “The frank and impartial discussions will be the perfect opportunity for experts in the various industries to lend their voices to the COVID-19 strategies proposed for the reopening.”
Sprauve added that stakeholders who have not received an invitation may contact the BVI Tourist Board for the meeting details.
See below for the scheduled industry meetings:
• Tuesday, October 6 with resorts, private islands and large hotels
• Wednesday, October 7 with small hotels, guesthouses and villas
• Thursday, October 8 with licensed taxi operatives
• Tuesday, October 13 with tour operators, shuttles, car rentals
• Wednesday, October 14 with marinas and crewed yacht charters, bareboat yacht charters
• Thursday, October 15 with diving and water sports
• Tuesday, October 20 — restaurants and bars
• Wednesday, October 21 with spas and salons
Interested stakeholders are encouraged to contact the BVI Tourist Board at (284) 852-6020 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org