Not Wise To Rush Opening Of Major Resorts

Sherine Williams, Journalist | December 06, 2017 5:53 am MST
Photo Credit: Long Bay Beach Resort
Tourism Director, Sharon Flax-Brutus said most major resorts which accommodate overnight visitors are currently closed, and will remain this way until they are fully restored.

Flax-Brutus said there is no rush to reopen these resorts as they have to be fully repaired to ensure guests have the best experiences.

"That infrastructure has to be built back if we are to remain a luxury destination. We have to do it right and sometimes that takes a little bit of time," Flax-Brutus stated.

She added, "We have worked very hard to garner reputation world-wide as a luxury destination and for us luxury is not necessarily a price point, it's the way that the experience and the BVI make the visitors feel. So we have to make sure that we do it right and it may take a little longer, but we have to look at sustainability of the destination in the face of competition."

Overnight visitors contribute a significant amount of the tourism earnings yearly. However, this aspect of the BVI's tourism took a major hit during hurricanes Irma and Maria, which damaged infrastructure and forced properties to close for repairs.

Because many resorts are closed, the BVI, which usually has some 2,500 beds on land, will only be providing fewer than half that number this winter tourist season.

Tourism Director Sharon Flax-Brutus
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The closure of major resorts across the Territory has also impacted BVI residents and expat workers, who were left without jobs when the properties closed for repairs.

Some expat staff have returned to their homeland and others were forced to find other jobs in other industries in the BVI.

Two of the largest resorts on Virgin Gorda, Little Dix Bay Resort and Bitter End Yacht Club, remain closed at this time.

Other five-star luxury properties, some of which are privately owned, have also signaled that they will not be open this season, but will be ready for the 2018/2019 tourist season.
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