British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 16, 2021

Disappointing! Businesses, hoteliers say gov’t rejected their reopening plan

Disappointing! Businesses, hoteliers say gov’t rejected their reopening plan

The British Virgin Islands Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association’s (BVICCHA) said it is disappointed the government rejected a set of protocols it created to assist in the safe reopening of the territory.
CEO of the Incline Business Group (IBG), Chaunci Cline — who is also a member of the BVICCHA — said a small task force of business leaders created the BVI HI 5 Assurance Programme Guidelines.

Cline said: “The idea of the BVI HI-5 Assurance Programme was to certify that the businesses pass all requirements and have minimum standard operating procedures in place prior to the full reopening of the borders to visitors.”

She further said even the BVI Tourist Board “recommended and embraced” the BVI HI 5 Programme before passing it on to the government for final input.

However, the BVICCHA was disappointed when the government launched BVI Love Campaign without embracing its proposed plan for the BVI’s border reopening.

“Before the campaign’s launch, BVICCHA and IBG were very confident that the programme would be implemented to help build traveller confidence in our national preparedness and protocols while educating and equipping the country to open safely and responsibly to visitors of the BVI,” Cline said in a recent statement.

She continued: “On 30 September 2020, the BVI Tourist Board informed IBG that they decided not to proceed as initially planned with the BVI HI 5 Assurance Programme.”

Cline said despite the government’s rejection of the proposed guidelines and protocols, the BVICCHA will be hosting a Business Stakeholders Meeting on tuesday, October 6 to discuss the submitted reopening plan, in lieu of an official reopening plan from the government

Sections of the public and members of the Opposition have been calling for the government to release a comprehensive plan for the reopening of the territory on December 1.

They say businesses are still unaware of what measures will obtain to ensure everyone’s safety once visitors are allowed to visit the territory.
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