Remarks by Chair of the BVI Tourist Board
Mrs. Kenisha Sprauve
Launch of BVILOVE Tourism Campaign
Monday, 21st September, 2020
A pleasant good day to each and every one of you.
In life, change is the only constant. It may sound like a cliché, but it is true.
In the business world, you often come across situations where you have to readjust, reboot, adopt, and adapt; otherwise, you will miss the boat.
Those of us who have studied marketing and business are familiar with stories of companies that would have once been innovators in the industry and its leaders for decades.
And then, we would have learned how those same companies would have experienced a major decline. Consequently, they would have had to merge with others, sell their shares to others, be bought out by others, or have gone into bankruptcy.
Imagine that such companies had failed to take note of the developments that were taking place. They did not shift their mind-set. They ignored the paradigm shift. They ignored what others would have said is the new norm of their era. They were blindsided by modern inventions and very quickly became obsolete in a flash.
I am here to tell you that we are in the New Regular and living the reality that change is constant.
Tourism is a business; a fiercely competitive industry. It is about matching your product offerings with what people are willing to pay money for. An ingredient in the recipe for success is that you have to find ways to get the attention of your target market.
And in a highly competitive global Tourism market, you have to bring your A Game; nothing less.
Every other destination is fighting for a share of the Tourism market.
They are increasing promotions. They are introducing new offerings and new experiences. They are looking at what their competitors are doing and they are adjusting their strategy accordingly. They are coming with a new look and a new feel.
That is why, we here in the BVI, need to make sure that we position ourselves to remain ahead of the pack.
Tourism is important to the BVI. It is one of our Territory’s main economic drivers.
It is one of the leading sources of income for the Government and for our citizens. It is the leading industry for creating jobs in several sectors of our economy.
That is why we have to protect our stake in the market and why we must try to grow our share.
We must be proactive.
And it is the BVI Tourist Board’s job to lead the execution of the Territory’s strategy in this area.
This is a task that the Board of Director of the BVI Tourist Board takes very seriously.
We know how much everyone is depending on us to fulfil our role in securing the future of this Territory for our future generations.
Even before COVID-19 began to affect economies around the world and global tourism, the BVI Tourist Board was already studying the recent developments in the global arena and we were exploring options for how we could increase arrivals and visitor spend.
We were looking at how we approach our marketing and what were the potential markets where we were losing opportunities because we were not considering those areas to have any fruit.
Of course, COVID-19 has come along and it has made more dramatic changes to the global industry landscape.
It has also forced us to look at other opportunities that we either ignored or we took for granted – like the local clients who participated in staycations and helped to put some dollars in the pockets of local businesses while foreign tourists could not travel to the BVI.
During the challenging times that we have faced over the last three years, one common thread has resonated. That is the love of BVI people for others, and how much we love our BVI.
The vast majority of our people are caring and considerate. We are friendly and welcoming. We like our guests to leave beyond satisfied.
We are very protective of our natural resources and our environment.
And therefore, at a time when the industry trends are saying that tourists are looking for cultural experiences in a destination and where we need to further stand out from the crowd, our BVILove which pervades everything that is truly BVI must be put forward as our brand.
BVILOVE speaks to each of us ‘Loving Our Virgin Islands Every day’ and appreciating what makes us as a destination and jurisdiction different.
It is a dynamic theme that speaks to all stakeholders, internally and externally.
We are reminded to love our BVI; to care for and to take pride in our BVI. We are reminded that BVI is our home and provides us with our livelihood, so we must love and cherish our BVI.
It also reminds us that we have internal customers. We have Virgin Islanders and persons from other countries who are living and working in the BVI who want to enjoy the BVI's offerings. These are persons who can patronise our local resorts and restaurants during the slow and off seasons. Tourism in the BVI does not have to shut down in the off-peak periods.
BVILOVE is also a clarion call to our past and loyal returning visitors who have fallen in love with the BVI through their own experiences here.
And of course, BVILOVE beckons first time visitors to come and experience the BVILOVE.
This is why, having seen the need for a rebranding if the Territory’s Tourism product and revamping of our marketing strategy, the BVI Tourist Board has seen it a good fit to embrace BVILOVE as our official brand for tourism.
BVILOVE takes into consideration the developments in the global industry and changing habits, desires and demographics of travellers. It is both adaptive and proactive.
BVILOVE is about retooling, revamping, re-energising, and coming back out into the market at our competitive best.
As we look forward to the opening of our borders to visitors in the, hopefully, not too distant future, the time is ripe for us to adapt and adopt to having this new brand reflected in our offerings.
Whatever goods or service you offer, whether directly or indirectly to tourists, now is the time to reflect on how love of your country- love for the BVI – can make it better.
We at the BVI Tourist Board have drafted our Reopening Policy and Protocols and we are now going through the approval process to support a successful reopening.
We intend as a Tourism industry to grow to be the best at our size and price point.
We intend to punch above our weight and consistently grow in competitiveness.
We will continue to grow and improve our Tourism product for our local population and for our visitors.
BVILOVE is our people. BVILOVE is reopening our Tourism industry. BVILOVE is welcoming visitors back to our shores.
Very shortly, we will launch our cohesive plan of action as we work together with our partners and execute at the highest levels in The New Regular.
BVILOVE has several commitments under the Tourism umbrella. BVILOVE is:
Clean and Green,
Creatively executed, and
I am excited about where we are going as we showcase the exceptional best of what the British Virgin Islands has to offer as we together as a people in BVILOVE inspire the world to visit, sail, and do business with the British Virgin Islands.
So as we countdown to the reopening of our borders, we acknowledge that even though 2020 has been a difficult year, God has been good to us.
I know it is very easy to be cynical about love, especially at a time like this. But, we the people of the British Virgin Islands come from a legacy of toil and struggle, driven and carried on the strength of BVILOVE.
Now as we move forward in the New Regular let us tell the world our story.
Let us tell the world that we are in BVILOVE.