Where is govt’s promised online portal for tourists?
As it continues to lobby for consultations with the government, the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) said business owners are asking about the status of the BVI’s online portal where visitors must register before traveling here.
The portal, BVI Gateway (http://bvigateway.bviaa.com/) was proposed to be launched on November 2. Visitors are mandated to use it to register and upload their relevant documents at least 48 hours before their intended flights.
Among a slew of concerns, the BVICCHA said its members are asking why the portal hasn’t been launched as promised.
The BVI is less than two weeks away from officially reopening its borders to visitors. And up to the time of publication of this article, the portal still appeared to be under construction with the message, “Coming soon – Check back later”.
In the meantime, the Association also said it does not believe the quarantine protocols are conducive to the urgent needs of the yachting sector.
“The industry needs to be engaged so that creative solutions can be provided as the majority of visitors will not want to be confined to their vessel for four days of their average seven-day visit,” a statement from BVICCHA read.
The association is also calling for the government to release an economic plan that will show how it plans to revive the economy.
“Now is the time to have a full economic plan (not to be confused with a reopening plan) that addresses how to avert more business closures, higher unemployment, and hundreds of cancellations in the hospitality and yachting sectors while restoring customer confidence,” BVICCHA said.
“The existing and even new market confidence is at an all-time low. We are losing more of it each day that passes without a complete reopening plan. The 2020/2021 season has been dealt a heavy blow and without an immediate major change in the policymaker’s attitude, tourism is on its way to a death sentence,” the statement read.
The BVICCHA has previously expressed that it is disappointed in the government’s refusal to engage the Association in discussions relating to the territory’s December 1 reopening.