The British Virgin Islands is officially reopening for international tourism in December, Caribbean Journal has learned.
The beloved Caribbean archipelago will reopen to visitors on Dec. 1, according to British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew A. Fahie.
“The Territory has two full months to prepare and we as a people must get it right and we must get it done by all working together, both the Government and private sector,” Fahie said.
Fahie said the BVI’s government intended to reopen the BVI in the “safest way possible, using science and technology as a guide.”
“This next phase also comes with a risk factor, where if a case of COVID-19 gets into our Territory, then it can go through the whole community very quickly,” he said. “That is why we must use technology. The concentration must be to use the technology through a simulation prior, to demonstrate that the technology will complement the science to greatly assist us in re-opening in the safest way, humanly possible.”
It’s a major boon for the territory’s all-important tourism sector.
“We are thrilled to welcome back travelers to the beautiful BVI and Virgin Gorda,” said Shaylene Todd, sales and marketing director for the Oil Nut Bay luxury real estate community in Virgin Gorda. “This has been a tough time for so many people, but we are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish for the community through the North Sound Foundation and the recent $700,000 raised.”
Even amid the pandemic, the BVI has been seeing strong interest in its real estate market; indeed, Oil Nut Bay is reporting more than $20 million in real estate sales since the beginning of the global crisis.
The pandemic also hasn’t stopped the continued progress in the reconstruction of the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, often dubbed the Caribbean’s “Billionaire’s Playground.”
“We are elated that government has made the decision to reopen our borders to guests. As an industry we have been taking steps during our closure to begin preparations,” said Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of operations at Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals and Leverick Bay Resort and Marina. “At this juncture we await the finalized protocols and guidelines as this is crucial to our preparation as well as information that is necessary for our guests. Here at Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals and Leverick Bay Resort and Marina, we have taken early steps and redefined our safety and hygiene standards and have rolled them out to our Staycation clientele. I recognize that time is of the essence and it’s critical that as a destination we get this opening right. I anticipate a controlled start-up as we redefine what ‘normal’ is. As for guest volume while I know many persons are anxious to visit we have to ensure that we are in a position to manage the guest experience and expectations in this new era.”
The BVI has not yet announced specific health and safety protocols for entry, although those should likely be revealed soon.
“We’re excited to see a sense of normalcy return with tourism, which is crucial to the success of the islands,” Todd told Caribbean Journal.
The neighboring US Virgin Islands is already open for tourism, having reopened for tourism on Sept. 19.
For more, visit the British Virgin Islands.