Emphasizing the need for aggressive strategies to increase revenue for the Territory’s economy, Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Dr Natalio Wheatley said his government hopes to draw on the familiar tourism industry to help solve the financial problems facing the Virgin Islands.
Dr Whitley said his government has had many discussions about giving more attention to the tourism sector and how best to diversify it to bring more visitors to the area.
He also acknowledged that the Virgin Islands faces a number of challenges in the financial services and tourism sectors, which are the two main pillars on which the economy of the British Virgin Islands is based.
“[These are] challenges that we can overcome because we have been strong and resilient and certainly we have done a good job in these sectors because we have been resilient and of course we need to diversify our tourism product and diversify our economy,” Dr. Whitley said.
The tourism minister said visitors have also spoken about making it easier to travel to the British Virgin Islands as there are currently no direct flights to the territory from major tourism markets.
“It’s air travel to the British Virgin Islands, direct flights from the United States of America, and we’re seeing the impact it’s had on other jurisdictions. Dominica and Anguilla are just a few that have recently added direct air services from the United States of America,” said Dr. Whitley.
“We will also see if we can attract investment to build facilities here that can help us when we have things like event tourism… We want to do sports tourism and have real estate where people can come and stay,” he added. premier. .
The tourism minister clarified that he is not dissatisfied with the property here, but acknowledged that there is not enough space to accommodate all the visitors who want to come to the British Virgin Islands and spur the growth of the tourism sector.
“There are a lot of great ideas out there, but I think it’s time for us to put those ideas into action and actively increase revenue because, as you said, we have quite a few financial problems,” said Dr. Whitley.
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