Government legislator and Eighth District Representative, Marlon Penn has once again called for urgent attention to be given to the Trellis Bay area on Beef Island which is often the first port of entry for hundreds of visitors each year.
While noting the government’s restrictions in the area of procurement, Penn said Trellis Bay has been the hub for tourism in the territory and for the many people from the sister islands that commute through there daily.
But the Eighth District Representative said its current state was unbecoming for a territory like the Virgin Islands
that is boasting such large budgets.
“I see them [commuters] when they come down on the port, I feel so ashamed sometimes, most times when [it] is raining and they have to battle [and] navigate in the rain and get into the car or get into a taxi,” Penn said.
The Health Minister reiterated that he worked with someone previously to conceptualise a visitor centre, but lamented the fact that the project remains languishing since that time.
“I worked with a local designer to come up with a basic design, just for us to get something in place to get persons in a secure environment [with] proper lighting on the dock and so forth,” Penn said. “It’s with the [BVI] Tourist Board. It’s been with the Tourist Board now for several years and we have to move that, Premier,” said Penn in a statement seemingly directed at Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley who is also the Minister of Finance.
Penn argued that this is the time the territory experiences an influx of visitors from the United States and Europe; many of whom traverse the Trellis Bay area to proceed to Virgin Gorda, which he pointed out was recently listed in Forbes Magazine as the eighth best place to visit for 2023.
He also called on his colleague, the Minister of Communication and Works, Kye Rymer, to beautify the parking lots and docks in that area.
“We want to welcome tourists … that’s not what we want to present to our people and we have to do better about that,” Penn stated.