(PRESS RELEASE) – The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board remains focused on rebuilding a stronger territory and tourism product following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last month.
Officials on the ground are continuing their full assessment of the tourism industry, and will share updates as they become available.
As of 29 September, there are several charter operators that have announced they will be operating during the winter 2017/2018 season including:
● The Moorings: December 2017
● Marine Max Vacations: December 2017
● Festiva Sailing: December 2017
● Horizon Yacht Charters: January 2018
“Through the BVI Ports Authority, we are on a fast track towards the restoration of Tortola Pier Park’s cruise and shopping facility with a targeted date of reopening at least 50 per cent of retail and food and beverage stores by 1 November,” Mark Vanterpool, the Minister of Communications and Works said.
Nearby Cyril E. King Airport (STT) in St Thomas reopened on 28 September, and BVI ferry companies (Road Town Fast Ferry and Native Son) have resumed operations between the islands allowing BVI Islanders, residents and work permit holders to return to the country.
Updates from individual hotels in the BVIs are as follows:
* Heritage Inn & BananaKeet Café – 9/25 – Hotel Website: Thank you to all of our patrons who have expressed concern for our staff and management. The hotel and restaurant sustained significant damage. As a result, we will be closed until further notice. Please stay in touch by checking our website for updates when we will reopen. Thank you.
* Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas – 9/25 – Facebook Post: As you know, Tortola was hit hard by Hurricane Irma and Long Bay suffered extensive damage. The resort is currently closed, and we will provide further information in the coming days and weeks. Please know however, that all Long Bay guests and staff are OK and accounted for.
* Nanny Cay Resort & Marina – 9/22 FB post: “The eye of Hurricane Maria passed 55 miles to the south of Tortola, as a category 4 or 5 hurricane, in the early hours of Wednesday and we suffered minimal damage in comparison to Irma. However, we did suffer some additional damage to property and boats. We experienced hurricane force winds (full strength still to be determined), and a large surge from the south. The peninsula for the outer marina once again did a sterling job keeping the worst of the surge from the heart of Nanny Cay Maria’s approach set back our rebuild as we went into full hurricane-prep mode, but it did accelerate the removal of debris from the property. We are still working to stabilize our infrastructure, creating new office space, fixing roofs, getting our IT (including Internet access) fully operational, etc. Once we have these items in place, our boatyard, marina, and hotel staff can start to address individual questions and concerns. In the meantime, we appreciate your continued patience!”
* The Sugar Mill Hotel – 9/25 – Facebook Post: Although the Sugar Mill is not as badly damaged as other places, the infrastructure of Tortola has been impacted by the two hurricanes. Repairs are already being made but docks, ports and roads etc will not be ready for visitors for a couple of months. So we have made the decision to remain closed until Thanksgiving in the restaurant and Mid December in the hotel. Should this change we will post updates. People booked in October and November will be contacted soon. Apologies if you are not getting replies to your enquiries but currently our admin office at the hotel has no internet or telephone or mobile telephone communications at all. We expect to be able to answer your emails from our UK office by the end of week commencing September 24th.
* Anegada Reef: Anegada is fine.
* Bitter End Yacht Club: The hotel was not operational due to annual closure. Sustained significant damage, according to reports.
* Guana Island: Closed at the time
* Oil Nut Bay: The Team staying at the resort is safe and secure. The extent of the damage is unknown at this point, and will take time to assess.
* Peter Island Resort & Spa: 9/19 Facebook post from Sept 15: “Since the event of hurricane Irma, the Peter Island team has continued to work hard to assess, regroup and recover from the effects of this storm. Our colleagues from Peter Island and their families are now experiencing the unfortunate, debilitating after-effects of the hurricane; including the loss of their homes and schools, limited supplies, and lacking the kinds of facilities and services we typically take for granted in our day-to- day lives. Recovery will take time, resources, and support to get back on track.”
* Rosewood Little Dix Bay: 9/19 Facebook post from Sept 14: “We can reassure you that our team is safe and unharmed. Although the resort is closed for renovation, we are still assessing the storm’s effects to our property and will know more in the coming days.”
* Scrub Island Resort. Spa and Marina, Autograph Collection: Is closed until further notice. Those planning to visit the hotel should check the news for the most current information. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-877-890-7444 (US) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.