While announcing major plans to enhance the BVI’s tourism product, Junior Tourism Minister Sharie de Castro has said a new post called the Director of Projects has been created within the BVI Tourist Board.
De Castro has described the Tourism Ministry’s plans as necessary and said the Director for Projects post was created to facilitate the “smooth delivery of this agenda”; especially because of the challenges being faced by the territory’s main economic pillar – the financial services.
To that end, government has given the BVI Tourist Board a few extra millions to get their projects underway.
“This government has made an allocation of $3.5 million to the BVI Tourist Board for product development. This is a huge investment, but we do this in order to ensure that the level of attention and management that are required to succeed happens,” de Castro said during Friday’s budget debate at the House of Assembly.
The Junior Tourism Minister said several of the Tourist Board’s projects are expected to commence on all the territory’s major islands soon.
“Some of the projects that the BVITB intends to peruse based on the budget allocation is directional signage on Anegada, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda; key enhancements at our national parks especially Sage Mountain and The Baths, beach huts and cabanas on seven beaches throughout the BVI; [and] welcome and information centre at Trellis Bay,” de Castro said.
She continued: “[The] first phase is rehabilitation and enhancement of our capital city of Road Town and historical and cultural attractions. The reopening of the Sugar Works Museum, and the first phase of the Cultural Village at Carrot Bay and bathroom facilities at some of our beaches [are also projects to be undertaken].”
The junior minister further said the first phase of the maritime museum on St Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda and additional lookout sites on the four main islands will also form part of the string of undertakings territory-wide.
De Castro further said the upcoming works will result in considerable job creation.
“During the implementation phase, we will create jobs in the construction industry when the sites are open. In some instances, some persons will be able to manage and run the activities that will seek to ensure that customer service and maintenance are the top priorities as well,” she said.
“We will also need tour guides who are well aware of our culture to facilitate tours. These tourists will need food and beverages and refreshments. So we have direct opportunities for entrepreneurs to be able to earn money through creative and innovative ways,” the first-term legislator added.