British Virgin Islands Looks to Crafts Market to Strengthen Tourism Sector

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

The British Virgin Islands is looking to its crafts sector as part of a plan to enhance the territory’s tourism product.

The Crafts Alive Market, a joint initiative by the office of Premier Dr Orlando Smith and the Ministry of Communications and Works, aims to create a centre for commercial and cultural activities for visitors and locals.

“The new plans that have been proposed for the revitalization project are only part of the Cruise Tourism program that will encompass the Cruise Pier, waterfront and the entire bay side of the Wickham’s Cay area, to create a beehive of activities for our visitors and locals,” said Janice Brathwaite-Edwards, tourism liaison officer in the Premier’s office.

“We want to create an attraction in the centre of Road Town where persons can engage in commercial activities, share a space to relax and learn more about the Virgin Islands’ people and culture,” she said.

Part of the plan includes the erection of an amphitheatre for performances, renovations to existing buildings and the addition of new buildings to house vendors.

The plans could also feature cultural demonstrations and performances.

The initiative to refurbish the Crafts Alive Market, which was announced earlier this month, is slated for completion in time for the 2012-2013 tourist season.

“The reaction by vendors was very positive,” Brathwaite-Edwards said. “I envision a commercial centre that will be economically viable for all parties involved.”

The government will hold another public consultation on the project on April 16.