Calling the current marketing strategy a ‘lack of imagination', Skelton-Cline on the Tuesday, September 7, 2021, edition of his radio show, said the BVITB should already be planning for the new era in the COVID-19 pandemic downtime.
“I hope that the tourist board has been able to present to this government a plan, a programme, a vision fit for purpose that can be executed going forward,” he said.
He continued, “Because what I’m noticing, and I hope I’m wrong, is a failure of imagination in this country about how we deliver the goods, services, the products that are indigenous to us, how do we continue to deliver that product in a whole new world that has changed as a result of the pandemic.”
According to the man of the cloth, while the same product will exist for the COVID-19 era, more needs to be done to deliver it to a new world, under new conditions and circumstances.
“Is there any re-imagining of our tourism taking place at the tourist board level? Are we diving deep to look for the soul, the emotional thing, the storytelling that can pull and tug at the hearts of guests and locals alike who visit and inhabit this country?” Skelton-Cline questioned.
He said the VI must also use this era to ‘put ducks in a row’ for the investments that are necessary to stop talking about tourism and start executing its plans.
“I hope in this downtime that we have a system, a plan in place, that takes our hospitality industry from the ground that it is on to a whole different level. I hope that there is a holistic approach that is coming out of the tourist board to this government,” he said.
He called on the BVI Tourist Board to re-imagine tourism into the future, whether it be marine tourism, land tourism, cruise tourism or overnight guests and day-trippers.
“I hope that relationships are being leveraged to bring to bear the requisite persons that help us to catapult, to spring forward. I am not interested in tourism that just spends hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to have an ad in the book, because that's not the new world,” he said.