With the announcement that American Airlines will start operating flights to and from the BVI as of June 2023, property owners are being urged to get ready to cash in on the increased number of overnight tourists the territory is expecting.
Speaking at a press conference last week, Premier Natalio Wheatley said BVIslanders are poised to benefit from the increased traffic because the government has already set the foundation for locals to benefit from ventures like Airbnb.
“The good thing about Airbnbs is that you can use your house, you can use your property, and one thing that we have in the Virgin Islands
that really has helped to elevate and propel us is land ownership. In fact, a number of years ago, we waived stamp duty to allow persons to buy land,” Premier Wheatley explained.
“When you have land, you can build your home but you can also build a business where you can build a property and Airbnb is a quite simple thing. Once you have an existing property, anyone can get involved.”
“The private sector and our people also have a responsibility to do their part so that when the tourists come, you are ready to be able to provide services to them. The Deputy Premier and the team at BVIAA (Airports Authority) and the tourist Board and all other parties involved are doing their part by getting the persons here. And, of course, it’s a partnership. We need our persons in the business community, those persons who want to form businesses to do your part as well,” Premier Wheatley stated.
BVIslanders take pride in presenting clean public spaces to tourists who visit their shores. Many have expressed concerns about the state of public infrastructure such as roads which they say aren’t suitable to accommodate the increased airlift the territory is expecting.
In that same press conference, Works Minister Kye Rymer vowed that roads on the eastern end of Tortola that will be frequented by visitors will be ready for increased arrivals in June 2023.