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BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association

Woes of Businesses Are Heard by BVICCHA

As the advocate for all local businesses, the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) continues to hear the outcries of businesses still struggling to plan the remainder of their 2020/2021 Tourism Season as 1 December looms over everyone's head.  Notably, the following concerns have been registered:

  • How will visitors get to the Sister Islands? What’s the protocol for testing once there?
  • The reopening portal (http://bvigateway.bviaa.com/) was scheduled to have been ready by 1 November, and it still has not launched as promised.  
  • The government announced a Reopening Committee this week with less than 20 days before the opening of the borders.  Through the Reopening Planning Process, the voice of the business sector (the Chamber), with hundreds of years of combined world-class experience through their membership and leadership, has been conspicuously denied for any level of collaboration or consultation, which remains alarming and disappointing. 
  • The quarantine protocols are not 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.
  • 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 policymakers' attitude, tourism is on its way to a death sentence. There is still precious little time, but the Virgin Islands must re-think and act NOW. Otherwise, almost next to nothing can be done to save it.
  • There has been no clear or timely economic response or plan to the pending economic fallout from the lack of a cohesive reopening planning process.
The Chamber hears the voices of ALL businesses that reach out to the office and will continue to address concerns and issues raised. 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 cancelations in the hospitality and yachting sectors while restoring customer confidence.  

As the body that represents all local businesses, the BVICCHA remains ready to address issues and work with task forces/steering committees, and advise and provide valuable input on all decisions made. To assist with this effort, the Chamber has launched a survey to assess the current status of the economy. BVICCHA asks ALL business owners to complete the 2021 Business Outlook Survey. This will help the BVICCHA generate informed recommendations that are inclusive of ALL businesses in the Virgin Islands.  The results of this survey will be shared with the public on 2 December. No personal or business identifying information will be requested.  Please visit the Chamber’s website at www.bviccha.org to complete the 2021 Business Outlook Survey and to join the BVICCHA.

The BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association remains available to hear your concerns. Please continue to call 345-3513 or email info@bviccha.org to have them registered. You may also complete the Chamber’s Report a Concern Form found under Advocacy on the Chamber’s website’s main menu.
 

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