BVICCHA forms separate Hotel & Tourism Association
BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) is undergoing what it described as a “rebranding” of the organisation to provide a greater focus on tourism.
The organisation indicated in a media release yesterday that the BVICCHA has established a tourism arm called the BVI Hotel and Tourism Association (BVIHTA).
In the interim, this new body will be headed by former Tourism Director for the state-owned BVI Tourist Board, Sharon Flax-Brutus. She is will serve as interim President of the BVIHTA.
“The BVIHTA is an organisation that will be laser focused on all things tourism in the BVI. The BVIHTA will join a group of successful hotel and tourism associations around the Caribbean region whose directors have been pivotal in guiding the swift recovery of their tourism product post pandemic,” Flax-Brutus explained.
Chambers of commerce and hotel associations separate in other countries
In offering a further explanation of the move, Chairman of the BVICCHA Shaina Smith-Archer said the time came to reflect on how the BVICCHA could be a more effective and efficient voice of business while meeting the needs of its member companies.
“Across the region, chambers of commerce and hotel associations are separate entities that collaborate for the economic development of their countries and here it would be no different. Locally we work with the existing industry organisations on current advocacy concerns like workforce development and we look forward to accomplishing much more with the BVIHTA,” Smith Archer stated.
BVITHA was conceived last year when the board of directors of the BVICCHA initiated a working group to explore the feasibility of establishing an organisation to represent the tourism sector, which is a main economic pillar of the BVI and the “employer of 65 per cent of the [local] workforce”.
The findings of the group confirmed that the hospitality industry stakeholders were resoundingly in favour of the initiative. A road map for the formation of a hotel and tourism association was produced, presented to the Board of Directors, and subsequently approved in December 2022.
“The official launch of the BVIHTA will be announced shortly with membership drives commencing immediately thereafter. More information about the rebranding of the BVICCHA will be rolled out in the coming weeks to members and the business community,” BVICCHA said in its media release.