The focus of the meeting was to discuss their unique hardships and wins since international travel restarted in December 2020, as well as opportunities for improvements. The business owners who were present were not shy with their comments and offered questions/concerns regarding
* the timeliness of COVID-19 test results, in particular the day 4 test,
* inefficiencies with the travel portal,
* lack of on-islands testing resources, unanswered questions regarding the protocols that will come into effect 15 May,
* lack of detailed information regarding the 15 June ‘reopening’,
* lack of protocols catered to the nuances of the sister islands,
* added expenses for water taxis to the sister island destinations,
* difficult to access to the destination because of the closure of the Virgin Gorda airport,
* inconsistent water supply,
* conflicts within the health and safety section of the Labour Code as it relates to vaccination requirements in the workplace, and
* increase to the cost of business and the loss of revenue due to cancellation of reservations.
These are just a few of the concerns the attendees raised. The Chamber has vowed to seek out information from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour, not only for these business owners but also for all business owners in the Virgin Islands.
Unfortunately, the BVICCHA representatives were unable to visit businesses as planned because of heavy rainfall. Still, they assured the owners they would return after their visits to Jost Van Dyke and Anegada.
President of Hospitality, Chaunci Cline, attended the meeting with Chamber representatives and indicated, “It was vital for me to participate in the business meeting to hear first hand the needs of the hospitality industry in Virgin Gorda. I left the meeting more determined to advocate for the urgency to save one of our premier destinations from total despair. They are hanging on by a thread of hope, but we are committed to being their voice.”
The Chamber’s primary job is to advocate for businesses in the Virgin Islands. If there is any policy or procedural related that affects your business or sector, please do not hesitate to report the concern at https://business.bviccha.org/form/view/20596. All reported matters will be handled with the strictest confidentiality.
For more information about the Chamber, you may visit www.bviccha.org. To join, click JOIN on the homepage or call the Chamber at 345-3513.