Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

VI must 'aggressively & assertively' expand its tourism sector- Skelton-Cline

- Points to declining financial services sector as a precursor to boost industry
The Virgin Islands needs to do more to expand tourism, according to commentator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline. Photo: Oil Nut Bay/Facebook
 Alluding that the Virgin Islands (VI) tourism product is the one thing from the territory that cannot be outsourced, ZBVI 780am 'Honestly Speaking' social commentator and radio host, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has challenged the government and authorities to embark on an extensive expansion of the territory's tourism product. Photo: Facebook
Alluding that the Virgin Islands (VI) tourism product is the one thing from the territory that cannot be outsourced, ZBVI 780am 'Honestly Speaking' social commentator and radio host, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has challenged the government and authorities to embark on an extensive expansion of the territory's tourism product. Photo: Facebook
During his 2020 budget presentation, Premier Fahie had shared several plans to boost tourism activities such a duty-free fuel for mega-yacht and drag racing amongst plans to diversify the industry. Photo: VINO/File
During his 2020 budget presentation, Premier Fahie had shared several plans to boost tourism activities such a duty-free fuel for mega-yacht and drag racing amongst plans to diversify the industry. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - Alluding that the Virgin Islands (VI) tourism product is the one thing from the Territory that cannot be outsourced, ZBVI 780am 'Honestly Speaking' moderator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has challenged the government and authorities to embark on an extensive expansion of the Territory's tourism product.

"We must be about doing or being more assertive and aggressive in expanding and enhancing our tourism product... I do not yet see the materialisation of it and I want to challenge all of us... who will have a role to play in expanding and enhance our offerings," he said on the Tuesday, February 18, 2020 edition of the 'Honestly Speaking' radio show.

Skelton-Cline continued, "Sun, sea and sand are there. They are God's natural gifts to us, but how we care for them, what we do with it, how we enhance and how we expand off that is important," he said.

Pointing to the airport expansion, he said better airlift should be a matter of priority to bring more tourists given that the financial serves sector is on the decline.

"Clearly it's taken a hit, clearly it will continue taking hits," he said regarding the financial services sector.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has indicated that the VI's financial services sector had faced huge losses in 2019. 

Recalibrate sector - Selton-Cline 

"We have to be more aggressive in branded hotel in this country, ensuring that the hotels that are down are back up as soon as possible... we have to be more aggressive,' Skelton-Cline reiterated.

He said the tourism sector must now be the key focus in terms of promoting the cultures and telling the stories of Virgin Islanders, and to put measures in place to get things going, which will in turn, secure the future for generations to come.

"We cannot determine the future, we must be willing to exert our efforts and our energies in determining what kind of future... and impacting that future, helping to shape that future, and tourism is a major part of that," Mr Skelton-Cline said.

During his 2020 budget presentation, Premier Fahie had shared several plans to boost tourism activities, such as duty-free fuel for mega-yachts and drag racing amongst other plans to diversify the industry.

10 Responses to “VI must 'aggressively & assertively' expand its tourism sector- Skelton-Cline”

  • bvi (19/02/2020, 17:58) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
    WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS TO TAKE YOU OFF THE GOVERNMENT PAYROLL. YOU! YES YOU MR SKELTON CLINE
  • Expand tourism (19/02/2020, 19:50) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    To bring corona here
  • biker (19/02/2020, 20:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The negative publicity from the 2 visitor fatalities by high speed motor yachts during the Christmas holidays has irreparably damaged the marine tourism product in the BVI.
  • Too true (20/02/2020, 00:00) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please, no drag racing.
    This is totally in conflict with the concept of Nature's Little Secrets….
  • NezRez (20/02/2020, 09:34) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Drag Racing????? Are you kidding me???? We will suffer from too much noise and automobile crashes, yes that is what drag racing brings. Our peace and serenity is at stake here. I am very surprised you even mentioned this Mr Skelton. Usually you are on point, but not this time. I see locals trying to create quiet Tourist spots on their properties like selling coconut water, straw hats made by them, people wanting to have history information booths w, booklets to sell, painting their portrait while they sit and pose, hair braiding etc., only to be stopped. Why is that? That needs to seriously be addressed. Tourists love one on one interaction with them by Locals.
  • Vitamin X (20/02/2020, 10:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sun, sea and Vitamin X, like they alluded to in the Foreclosure. Bring what sells. Bring a carnival street everyday.
  • nonsense (20/02/2020, 10:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Prospect reef need a major overhal and need serious CPR and ICU service asap to help with the tourism and hotel industry.
  • Gror and Expand Our Skill set! (20/02/2020, 10:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Caribbean countries must also grow and expand our Skill-sets. We used to build our own boats, but that skill died on the vine. We used to grow a significant amount of our foods. Some Accuse a certain politician for killing that (~/\~). While tourism money is clean and easy money, we must at the same time think about breaking our Service-only economy building module and expand to include "Self-sufficiency and Export"; (growing/producing the things we consume; but realistically so) and the things we that has Export possibilities. The BVI has a much greater seafood production than other parts. The Chinese and Japanese are believed to be "eating our proverbial lunch"; Fishing in our waters (while we sleep). With a bit of clear thinking, creativity and renewed vigor we can Definitely grow lobsters, and Possibly produce shrimp. I am aware of some yachts cruising in our waters that serve their guests a smaller size and breed of lobsters than the ones in BVI waters; purportedly grown in the waters of Martinique and Guadeloupe. There's a company in Dominica that creates and distributes windows and doors (made from PVC materials). Top exports of Saint Kitts and Nevis are Broadcasting Equipment ($15.6M), Other Measuring Instruments ($11.6M), Low-voltage Protection Equipment ($8.86M), Scrap Vessels ($6.32M) and Electrical Resistors ($4.82M); 42.2 million dollars. BREAKING NEWS! BVI wake up. We haven't arrived or anywhere close.
    IRONICALLY, a book commissioned by BVI Tourist Board, authored and published in 1989 by "Pierre Encontre" listed on Amazon: "Why does the tourist dollar matter?: An introduction to the economics of tourism in the British Virgin Islands" was meant to be taught in our schools; but for reasons I am not aware, never made it to the schools. A major highlight of the book was the LEAKAGEs (the moneys that Flow out of the economy to other countries and Producers; example the vehicles, clothing, food, Fossil Fuel ++++. That was before the days of the Lottery tickets and Pala.
  • E. Leonard (20/02/2020, 19:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Caribbean is one of, if not, the most tourism dependent region in the world. With the decline of agriculture, ie, sugar cane, banana, cotton, ........etc in the region, ie, former Anglophone countries, there was a shift towards tourism, mass tourism. In most regional countries, tourism is the mainstay of their economies. In the VI, tourism is 1/2 of the economic twin pillars; financial services, the other. Through direct, indirect and induced employment, tourism is a major employment sector and generates approx 40-45% of national income and contributes significantly to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The VI, like other regional countries, is a mass tourism, resort-based and sand, sea and sun destination.

    Moreover, looking outward, tourism is one the core economic pillars that needs to be strengthen, deepen and extended. Further, the VI must look outward beyond sand, sea and sun and focus on upscale, heritage and eco tourism. To make this happen, it must invest in First World infrastructure, ie, port, water, sewage, electricity, telecommunications, drainage, roads, gas......etc. In addition to the infrastructure, top-notched medical capacity and capability, schools, fire, police.......etc are needed. Further, it needs to improve and add to its inventory of attractions. Additionally, the sea is a major tourism draw for both land- and water-based tourists. Tourists want to step out their hotel rooms, walk a few feet, jump into the blue/turquoise water or just lounge on the beach. To meet customer demand, hotel owners typically construct a few feet beyond the high water mark. However, constructing close to the high water makes the facility more vulnerable to disaster, ie, hurricanes. The tourism industry has an inherent interest in disaster resilience and should take action(s) to protect the industry’s reputation. A quick recovery from a disaster, ie, hurricane is critical to the brand and reputation. Finally, in addition to strengthening, depending and extending tourism, the VI must diversify its economy.
    • Diaspora (20/02/2020, 20:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Good read. To your ideas, I will add a few things that you may have inadvertently left out: more hotel rooms and environmental protection. If the VI is going to increase the number of upscale and over night guests, it must also increase the number of rooms, ie, more beds for the heads. Secondly, it must protect its pristine water and other environmental resources. It must be mindful that resources, ie, sea........etc that draw tourists can also drive them away if the resources are polluted, contaminated..........etc. Do not kill the golden goose that lays the golden egg.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.