During the recent April 20 sitting of the House of Assembly, Premier and Minister of Tourism, Andrew Fahie said he will not be making the strategy public because he does not want to give away the territory’s competitive advantage.
Penn has described the Premier’s rationale as illogical.
“Since when has that (the tourism strategy) been privileged information when your marketing a territory?” Penn questioned during his political party’s ‘NDP Radio’ show last evening.
“People need to know what you’re marketing. If I am coming to the Virgin Islands, I need to know what’s your strategy. What am I to expect when I’m coming to the Virgin Islands. That should not be proprietary information. But the reality is that the government doesn’t have a plan,” he further argued.
The Opposition Leader also raised suspicion about the timing of a Request For Proposal (RFP) document the government released recently.
Two days after being questioned about the tourism strategy, the government issued RFP soliciting bids from contractors to develop a national tourism plan for the BVI.
“How coincidental,” Penn commented.
According to the document, the purpose of the Tourism Plan is to improve the competitiveness of the BVI as a tourist and business destination. The plan is also intended to promote the destination and expand the tourism collaboration between private and public sectors.
Additionally, the plan seeks to identify and improve the enabling environment for the sustained and resilient growth of the BVI tourism sector, as well as grow investments and revenue produced by the BVI tourism sectors.