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National Parks' fees 'need to be raised'- NPT Director Dr Titley-O'Neal

Director of the National Parks Trust Dr Cassander P. Titley-O’Neal is advocating for the fees to utilise national parks across the Virgin Islands to be increased. Photo: VINO
A call has been made for Cabinet to look at ways to increase the fees for accessing and utilising parks under the National Parks Trust (NPT) to allow for the employment of additional staff for more effective management of the parks across the territory. Photo: VINO/File
A call has been made for Cabinet to look at ways to increase the fees for accessing and utilising parks under the National Parks Trust (NPT) to allow for the employment of additional staff for more effective management of the parks across the territory. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A call has been made for Cabinet to look at ways to increase the fees for accessing and utilising parks under the National Parks Trust (NPT) to allow for the employment of additional staff for more effective management of the parks across the territory.

This was told to reporters on Friday, August 26, 2022, during a press conference at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to announce the official commencement of a new two-year project funded by the United Kingdom (UK) Darwin Plus Initiative entitled “Integrating climate change resilience into protected area design and management'.

Faced with a major cut of subventions to the National Parks Trust over ten years ago, Director Dr Cassander P. Titley-O’Neal is confident that further cuts are continuing, hence the need for additional revenue generation.

"One of the biggest challenges for the Trust is our fees need to be raised. Right now there are only three terrestrial parks that under the law that we are able to charge fees for.”

Those she said are Sage Mountain National Park, J. R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens and The Baths, “Which everybody knows is three dollars, locals don’t pay.”

Current fees 'can't even keep the lights on'- Dr Titley-O'Neal

Dr Titley-O'Neal noted that an analysis done around 2015 concluded that the current model for revenue generation for the parks' upkeep is not cost-effective.

“Three dollars does not even pay to keep the lights on, it doesn’t pay to keep the sewerage system going and how the model was set up, it was set up for these three parks as well as conservation moorings that we have.

She said the monies raised from park fees also have to pay staff salaries as well as maintain the parks.

However, according to Dr Titley-O’Neal, “We have written and requested for the fees to be raised. The approval for the fees is not solely on the Trust, it is something that has to be done on Cabinet's side.

“The cost to maintain the moorings, the cost to maintain The Baths… it costs to maintain those things and unless our fees are raised there is not a whole lot that we can do.”

Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull (R2) was also present at the press conference.

23 Responses to “National Parks' fees 'need to be raised'- NPT Director Dr Titley-O'Neal”

  • STOP THE CRAZINESS (29/08/2022, 16:58) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
    See her face bout "fees need to be raised?" SMH
    • Poli.Farmer (30/08/2022, 23:12) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      The fees need to be raised or the fee that is your salary needs to be CUT?! As the Director you have FAILED in capturing the political will of the government in effectively pursuing the economic streams of NPTVI. That is on YOU! And on the Minister!
  • smh (29/08/2022, 17:04) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Everything coming out of these bureaucrats is always tax hike
    • @SMH (29/08/2022, 17:55) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      I agree with your comment. Why can't they say " donations accepted and appreciated upon entrance" why fees for everything? If they need mire workers, seek volunteers. The Seniors at High School needs to do Community Service , I am sure there are those who wouldn't mind performing in these Areas. Then again! Who are you catering to. If Locals not attending or visiting when it's Free, you thin they going to for a Fee. REALLY! You'll need to stop hindering your Own. Stop with these darn Fees. People don't have money for food and rent, much less Fees for this or that.
  • Fam (29/08/2022, 17:36) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    She must be happy now vincent is gone
  • cc (29/08/2022, 19:29) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    Time to increase the $6 wages fee to $10 that's what cabinet needs to look into.
  • Send her Axxsss home.. (29/08/2022, 21:07) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anybody who speaks of raising fees in these times are of the devil and need not be leaders of people...
  • tola (29/08/2022, 21:26) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Really now
  • The Bond (29/08/2022, 23:34) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Another nahoo
  • lol (29/08/2022, 23:36) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    A salary cut or termination of her will cover all those fees
    • VG Empress (30/08/2022, 06:26) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Correkkkk!!!! Sick ah dis bull hog guhhhhh sidung ….. Buh she running for election don’t waste yuh time n energy…. We don’t want you….
  • Why (30/08/2022, 00:15) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    Why send her home? The woman speaking facts only in the BVI park fees are so low. Visitors fees to the baths and every park needs to be increased it is extremely low. I've traveled the world and we certainly are way behind the eight ball in park fees. For the locals I'll say wait a bit longer because pay checks are not increasing and these are hard times in the territory.

    Everything cost money and everything can't be free for ever. So leave the woman alone let her find ways to bring in revenue to keep the parks forging forward. Donations are always welcomed I'm sure. If as a local all of us who go to these parks give at the least one dollar it can help to keep the parks opened. Just think about it. Not every time we may have but give what you can when you can.

    My two cents of why send her home. Sometimes we are looking in from the outside and we are not fully aware of the dynamics on the inside. In a forum like this one wouldn't just jump up and air their mouth. Quite a bit of homework must be done to give proper and accurate information to the public.
  • west (30/08/2022, 00:43) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    She is correct, and the lame government NEEDS to collect those over due fees from the tour operators daily. Yes, the ones shw have prebooked island tours from the cruise ship and other entities. We " I born here" go to theme parks in the states every summer and pay the high prices, stand in long lines for hours and don't say ah word. STFU, how do you think these people pay their staff and other maintenance so that you can enjoy the facility! Small minds always think small. And again there is NO local fee there! PERIODT
  • J boy (30/08/2022, 06:10) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    They made it hard for the charter day trippers to bring the people who always visit the baths.they don’t understand Home Depot and those big companies is not about raising prices it is about quantity.
  • streets (30/08/2022, 07:09) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Have you guys seen our National Parks lately? Disgrace to BVI
  • Anderson (30/08/2022, 08:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    NPT is a good thing. One of the best things we do as a territory is set land aside to remain undeveloped! But, I think Dr Titley-Oneal is mistaken- charterboats are levied an NP permit fee. I believe they can opt out but if they are found at one of the parks minus a permit they can be fined. I'm not sure what the fee is but I think it is $10. Anyway, a reasonable fee increase isn't out of the realm. But, fees that are levied should be used for what they are for. Fo instance, we charge all arriving tourists a $10 "environmental tax", but who knows how this is used. We all know we still butr our garbage. And that's appalling!
  • c (30/08/2022, 08:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    By the way it’s Climate Cycles not climate change.
  • Really (30/08/2022, 09:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    So what is happening to that environmental tax that every tourist pays when entering the BVI.... surely that is for national parks ...... not for the general government kitty (office party fund)
  • Solutions (30/08/2022, 12:17) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Maybe we need to also look at lowering the cost of keeping the lights on?
  • WEW (30/08/2022, 13:24) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whats happening to the $10.00 enviromental fee paid by visitors when clearing in ? Thought part was going into the park trust.
  • smh (30/08/2022, 22:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So many parks but only the baths you truly charge for. Yet you wonder why NPT don’t got money.
  • Capitalize (31/08/2022, 07:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All agencies who prebook tours and collect visitors money must be held accountable on a daily basis and must pay entry fees by the end of the day. Holding the trust monies for long periods of time is not in the best interest of any business.

    Why are people allowed to use other parks that the trust not collecting for. The public is capitalizing setting up tours and hikes while the trust gets nothing.

    I'm sure when the ships comes to our shores they leave a check with the agents for all their booked trips. When tours are pre booked with other agencies they get their monies up front so why is it the trust can't get paid on time.

    Oh may be agencies got to collect some bank interest then the trust may get paid. Meanwhile the lights for the trust stays off. Selfish set of people.

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