Greater Advocacy for the Tourism Sector Last year the Board of Directors of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) initiated a working group to explore the feasibility of establishing an organisation to represent the tourism sector which is a main economic pillar in our economy and employer of 65% of the workforce.
The findings of the group confirmed that the hospitality industry stakeholders were resoundingly in favour of the initiative. A road map for the formation of a hotel and tourism association was produced, presented to the Board of Directors, and subsequently approved in December 2022. Over fifty years ago, the BVICCHA was established through a merger of the Chamber and Commerce and Hotel Association. The existence of a hotel association in the BVI will ensure that tourism stakeholders are better served by an organization “focused on all things hospitality and tourism in the BVI.”
The Chamber of Commerce will continue to focus on overarching issues such as the ease and cost of doing business, business training and development and networking opportunities to empower business owners in an ever-changing global economic climate. Mrs. Shaina Smith-Archer, Chairman of the BVICCHA Board commented, “The time has come to reflect on how the organisation [BVICCHA] could be a more effective and efficient Voice of Business while meeting the needs of its membership. Across the region, chambers of commerce and hotel associations are separate entities that collaborate for the economic development of their countries and here it would be no different. Locally we work with the existing industry organizations on current advocacy concerns like workforce development and we look forward to accomplishing much more with the BVIHTA.”
The interim President of the new BVI Hotel and Tourism Association (BVIHTA), Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus stated, “The BVIHTA is an organisation that will be laser focused on all things tourism in the BVI. The BVIHTA will join a group of successful hotel and tourism associations around the Caribbean region whose Directors have been pivotal in guiding the swift recovery of their tourism product post pandemic.”
The official launch of the BVIHTA will be announced shortly with membership drives commencing immediately thereafter. More information about the rebranding of the BVICCHA will be rolled out in the coming weeks to members and the business community. Please contact Mrs. Sharon Flax-Brutus on (284) 441-6717 for more information on the BVIHTA.