Former Deputy Director of Tourism, Mr Rhodni A. Skelton says his departure from the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB) after some 19 years at the entity, may have come down to a difference in opinion between the Board and himself, including a ‘take it or leave it’ contract for his continuation at the BVI Tourist Board.
Mr Skelton’s contract with the BVITB expired on February 6, 2023, and was not renewed, resulting in his departure after some 19 years at BVITB. He had served as Film Commissioner and Events Marketing Manager at the Tourist Board from 2004 to 2015 and was appointed Deputy Director of Tourism in May 2017.
Speaking to JTV News in a February 15, 2023, interview, Mr Skelton said given that he had been on contract, as a permanent and principal employee, if he would have continued the job off contract then he would have taken a significant pay cut.
“So I had the option of doing that, of coming under heavy scrutiny… or I can take a severance package that was not ideal or I can no longer work at the Tourist Board,” he said.
Mr Skelton said the direction of the Board was also a contributing
factor to his exit from the BVITB, when there was a point for him to
transition to the possible Director of the company.
In a leaked email to the BVITB's
Marketing staff on February 7, 2023, from Mr Rhodni A. Skelton, he
informed his colleagues of his departure from the BVITB, however, did
not provide a reason.
Snubbed @ being Director - Skelton
“Rhodni was the natural successor, has all the qualifications, experience, knowledge, education and so it told me right away that there was a challenge having Rhodni as the Director,” he said.
According to Mr Skelton, he was also unhappy about being snubbed for the post of Director after contracts had ended and the Board has decided to ‘go in a different direction’ even as his team has seen success in BVITB's marketing and putting on local events.
“If I had my way, I would still be there at the Tourist Board doing what I love, doing what I’m passionate about, and being able to really lead the organisation and mark my mark on tourism," he said.
Mr Skelton added that he is also not a ‘yes man’ and that too may have been another reason why he was snubbed for the Tourism Director position.