Online travel blog “Travelling Lifestyle” has come under fire by members in the community after publishing an article riddled with what some Virgin Islanders have labelled “blatant lies” about the Territory.
The article entitled “Are British Virgin Islands Safe? Travel Advisory 2023” authored by Viktor Vincej, was published earlier this week and has angered the local community for the absurd claims it made about Virgin Islanders.
Of particular concern is a section of the article labelled “Popular Scams in the British Virgin Islands”.
The writer declared “Tourist scams are a drawback to travelling abroad. But if you’re alert, tourist frauds are easy to avoid in the British Virgin Islands”.
He then went on to list three alleged “scams” and accused Virgin Islanders, termed “locals” in the article, of committing crimes against oblivious visitors.
“A common scam is that locals from the BVI will ask you to take a picture, and when you return the camera, they will drop it and blame you”, he wrote.
He also accused locals of asking tourists to participate in streetside activities for “nefarious reasons”, claiming that “locals use the distractions to pick the pockets of tourists”.
A major flaw in the information presented in the article was the claim that tourist need to ensure that their taxi driver “started the meter” at the beginning of a trip. This, against the fact that taxis in the Virgin Islands do not use meters and operate at a flat, predetermined rate for popular destinations.
One member of the community wrote 284 Media, and described the claims as “outlandish”, “obviously fabricated” and a misrepresentation of the BVI community.
“The false statements made in the article could be damaging to the territory’s tourism product”, the concerned citizen lamented.
When contacted for comment on the matter, Director of the BVI Tourist Board Clive McCoy informed that the Tourist Board is “aware of the damaging information that is being shared” and is “actively taking steps to address it”.