British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

Anti-harassment legislation promised for visitors - but they might face $500,000 penalty and 14 years in jail if they post online anything that might offend anybody

Anti-harassment legislation promised for visitors - but they might face $500,000 penalty and 14 years in jail if they post online anything that might offend anybody

Legislation to further protect persons from being harassed while visiting in the British Virgin Islands is on the horizon, Governor Augustus Jaspert has announced. But new dictatorship legislation is on it's way' risking every BVI visitor to get $500,000 fine and up to 14 years in jail if they post online a content that may offend anybody.

The Governor said the Bill entitled the Anti-Visitor Harassment and Solicitation legislation would form part of government’s legislative agenda in the coming months.

“There will be the introduction of the regulation for the Tourism Act, which will include, but not limited to the Anti-Visitor Harassment and Solicitation legislation,” Governor Jaspert said while delivering his Speech from the Throne address at the First Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on Thursday.

“The efforts will be buttressed with the National Tourism Strategic Plan to bring more legislative and regulatory structure to the territory. The structure will include the establishment of stronger linkages and involvement of all sectors within the territory to ensure [our] ‘one tourism’ mandate,” he added.

The governor further said the Andrew Fahie administration would capitalize on the opportunity to improve the linkages between tourism and other productive sectors such as fishing, agriculture, and cultural heritage.

He stated: “The Going Green, Going SMART legislative agenda of our government also includes the agricultural and fisheries sectors, which are important to the historical, economic, and cultural identity of the territory. That is why legislative reform and other measures will be put in place to increase the earning potential of fisher folks and farmers.”


Law will make visitors happy

Meanwhile, Junior Tourism Minister Shereen Flax-Charles said she is glad for the soon-to-be-introduced Anti Visitor Harassment and Solicitation legislation.

“It has been long in the works and I think it is a great thing that this is happening now, in our time. [It] will keep our visitors happy. We do not want to be in a position where our visitors feel uncomfortable when they are visiting our territory,” she told the House of Assembly.

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