BVI Olympians may soon be getting a financial boost for themselves and also to assist in promoting the territory in their travels.
Making an announcement in the House of Assembly recently, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said: “The BVI Tourist Board is in the process of providing current Olympians with a stipend to assist them and also for them to assist the BVI by having them promote the destination through sports tourism,”
Premier Wheatley was at the time discussing some of the challenges and achievements of the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB) over the period of the global pandemic and in recent months.
Increasing tourist numbers, the Premier said, have shown that BVI tourism continues to have a healthy resurgence.
Dr Wheatley said the BVI welcomed more than 202,000 visitors within the first four months of this year which included 140,000 cruise visitors and more than 60,000 overnight guests.
There were also nearly 2,000 day-trippers visiting these shores within that time.
Additionally, Premier Wheatley said was advised that the tourism off-season has been changing, with bookings increasing when things have traditionally slowed down.
“Tourism industry partners are reporting positive guest numbers as far down as September,” Premier Wheatley said, “where normally the season traditionally slowed down in May or June.”
Dr Wheatley advised that the BVITB also continues to promote ‘BVI Staycation’ in an effort to entice local residents and persons from the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to partake in and enjoy the special offerings that will be promoted.
According to the Premier, this is intended to act as a buffer when guest numbers are not at their highest.
The Premier further said the board recently renovated two lookout sites on Virgin Gorda and created a third which has been equipped with a mounted telescope.
Most recently, the BVI Tourist Board completed not one but four island signs on each of the main islands.
“These signs have already attracted many visitors for photo opportunities and have created additional value on island tours which is excellent for a taxi drivers and tour guides,” the Premier stated.
The signs have been painted by local artists depicting historical and cultural scenes that resonate with the unique character of each island, he added.