The Hospitality Committee of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA), chaired by the President, Mrs Chaunci Cline, convened a stakeholder’s meeting on Thursday, 19 September 2019. The meeting attracted major hotel managers and villa owners, who expressed a sense of urgency to see greater improvement in the Tourism Industry.
The main topics of discussion during the meeting was the need for a Comprehensive Tourism Sustainability Action Plan that would facilitate the development of a long-term plan, strategies and policies for the development and promotion of the Territory. Secondly, there was a desire to understand how the Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Andrew Fahie, derived at a goal to increase the number of hotel rooms and accommodations to 5,000 over the next five years.
The feedback from the industry stakeholders led to a unanimous decision to schedule a meeting with the Minister of Tourism to gain greater insight on the matters at hand and work together towards building a strong tourism product, thereby the economy.
In addition to the main concerns, an update was provided on the pending amendments to the Liquor Licence Act of 2019 that was approved by Cabinet of Government this year but awaits a reading in the House of Assembly. Several members of the group were happy to hear that the Liquor Licence Act would create a less bureaucratic process for businesses while building a more business-friendly and customer-focused environment.
Lastly, a special presentation on the 1000 Jobs in 1000 days by Mr Claude Cline was a featured highlight of the meeting. The Hospitality Group gleaned more information about the Premier’s special project and found the incentives for employers to participate quite encouraging. The government has committed to reimbursing employers up to 10% of the employee's salary compensated for up to one year.
The BVI Tourist Board also provided a brief report on destination marketing activities and the support service opportunities available to Hotels and Villas through their agency.
Overall, the meeting was a good success and several of the stakeholders at the meeting joined BVICCHA to ensure their voices are added to the conversation and the desire to help build a stronger Tourism product in the BVI.
The next Hospitality Stakeholders Meeting will be held on Thursday, 8 November 2019. For more information and details, please contact BVICCHA at (284) 494-3514 or go to the website at www.infobviccha.org.