Demonstrating their shared resolve to advancing the BVI’s tourism product, the BVI Yachting, Hotel and Tourism Association (BVIYHTA), and the Honourable Premier Dr. Natalio Wheatley, engaged in an exciting dialogue on Thursday, February 22nd.

For the newly formed BVIYHTA, this meeting marked a significant milestone in their effort to build partnerships which strengthen the tourism industry. The Premier was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Tourism, Culture, and Sustainable Development, Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott, further signaling his commitment to implementing solutions towards an invigorated and resilient tourism industry. The BVIYHTA was represented in force by several members of its interim board of directors including chairman Mr. Clyde Lettsome and Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus, the organization’s executive director.

Several fruitful discussions were had, all of which underscored a shared mission to cultivate robust relationships between the government and industry stakeholders. Key topics included the establishment of the new Ministry of Tourism and opportunities for long-term collaboration, a national strategic tourism plan, the BVI’s competitive positioning within the region, and concerns related to crime impacting the tourism sector.

The Premier expressed his satisfaction with the meeting’s outcome, “The vision which I have shared with my new Ministry is an ambitious and exciting one. As a destination, we continue to have all of the elements necessary, particularly in our natural resources and our people, to remain a first-choice destination internationally.

Organizations like the BVIYHTA and its contemporaries will always have my support as we work together as a Territory to enhance our industry’s defining products, experiences, and commercial environment!”.

The collaborative spirit exhibited during the meeting reflects a positive step forward for the BVI’s tourism product and marketing efforts. The BVIYHTA looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the government, particularly the new Ministry of Tourism, to navigate challenges, leverage opportunities, and collectively propel the Territory’s tourism industry to new heights.

Remarking on the meeting, the chairman of the BVIYHTA, Mr. Clyde Lettsome, had the following to say, “The BVIYHTA is immensely grateful for the Premier’s commitment to the tourism industry and his keen support for the Association. In meeting with our interim board, he has demonstrated his intentions to work with industry stakeholders, our members and prospective members, to invest in, and facilitate, the growth of BVI’s tourism product at the national level. We, in turn, pledge to bring our collective experiences, resources, and perspectives to bear in shoring up his agenda for the future of BVI tourism. Tourism is everyone’s business.”