Part 3 – Hotels and Resorts are Dealt a Severe Blow and are Slow to Recover
In 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria dealt a crushing blow to the British Virgin Islands. One of the hardest hit sectors was the hotels and resorts throughout the territory. Damage ranged from some hotels escaping with just minor damage to many with significant damage such as roofs being blown off to others like the Bitter End Yacht Club that looked like a bomb had gone off and were completely destroyed.
To give some perspective on the impact the hurricanes had on the hotels and resorts sector we can examine statistics on the amount of hotel room inventory in the BVI before and after Irma and Maria. As recent as the end of April 2018, a report given the BVI Tourist Board as indicated that the territory’s tourism statistics were still facing massive declines. While citing the stats, Junior Minister for Tourism Archibald Christian called on government to pay more attention to the industry and stated, “Excluding Airbnb properties, room inventory before the hurricanes stood at 2,700. That number has dropped to 407, which represents an approximate 85 percent decrease.”
Having the biggest impact on this decline are the luxury resorts which pre-Irma held by far the lion’s share of the available room inventory. Unfortunately, as of July 2018, the majority of the luxury resorts remained closed including Bitter End Yacht Club, Necker Island, Rosewood Little Dix Bay . . .
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