Beautiful Virgin Islands


BVICCHA splits, new tourism association launched

BVICCHA splits, new tourism association launched

Members of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) have agreed to split the group into two entities so that greater focus can be placed on the different stakeholders the group represents.
With this separation, a new entity called the BVI Yachting, Hotel & Tourism Association (BVIYHTA) was launched last week. It aims to ensure that tourism stakeholders are better served by an organisation “focused on all things hospitality and tourism in the BVI.”

The new interim Executive Director of the BVIYHTA is Sharon Flax-Brutus.

Now that the BVI Chamber of Commerce is an organisation unto itself, it will continue to focus on overarching issues such as the ease and cost of doing business, business training, and development and networking opportunities to empower business owners in an ever-changing global economic climate.

The BVICCHA was formed more than 50 years ago through a merger of the Chamber and Commerce and Hotel Association. The organisation’s chairperson Shaina Smith-Archer said she proposed to split the group last year to ensure business stakeholders were more effectively represented across industries.

“I observed across the Caribbean region that the chambers of commerce and hotel associations were separate organisations that collaborated for the greater socioeconomic development of their countries. I proposed that it was time to split the Siamese twins and I am grateful they were open and supported the idea to the end,” Smith-Archer explained at the launch of the BVIYHTA last week.

She said the BVI Chamber of Commerce will continue partnering with the new BVIYHTA as they do with other industry organisations to address mutual concerns such as workforce development and exploring regional trade.

“This new alliance will create a louder voice of business for our economy that currently boasts a gross domestic product of over $1.5 billion dollars,” Smith stated.

In the meantime, the Chamber of Commerce said they will be rebranded in the coming weeks, as they continue to advocate for policy and legislation that provide a business-friendly environment, facilitate business training and education, and coordinate networking opportunities such as the Buy BVI Trade Expo to educate and equip business owners in an ever-changing global economy.
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