British Virgin Islands has identified the UK market as its primary focus for its renewed tourism strategy.
Speaking at a trade reception at London’s BVI House last week,Dr. the Hon D. Orlando Smith OBE, minister for tourism of BVI introduced the reposition and the new BVI tourist board manager for the UK, Ginny Hawksley. Hawksley began her new role on 1 June having lived on the islands for 14 years and will now lead marketing, training and communication in the UK.
Fam trips will take place at luxury properties and lesser known villas, with an agent incentive programme to be announced in December.
“It is true to say that when it comes to supporting the UK travel industry we have rested on our laurels somewhat, but we are about to change that,” said Premier Smith. “Ginny’s 20 year relationship with the UK travel trade and her genuine love and knowledge of our islands, made her our ideal choice”.
On the islands themselves the development focus is concentrated on improving air access; growing the superyacht sector; growing its wedding and honeymoon business and building its cruise tourism.
To address air capacity, the island’s Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport is to receive an extended runway to allow more flights from the US. BVI has also aimed to reduce the connection times on flights from the UK via Antigua.
In the cruise sector, BVI is in discussions with two cruise lines about possible pier expansion, shore facilities and a terminal upgrade. Smith said the port is keen to welcome ships year-round.