Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tourism Sector Can Be Harmfully Affected By Climate Change - Premier Warns

Premier Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal, OBE has warned that the BVI tourism sector can be negatively impacted by the effects of Climate Change which is a major source of revenue of the Islands.

The Premier made this comment during his radio message in light of Caribbean Tourism Day which is being observed under the theme “Tourism -- Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change”.

“Our beaches on Virgin Gorda, Peter Island, Tortola, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke or even Marina Cay can be excessively eroded by rising sea-levels which will also negatively impact our beachfront properties, making us less appealing to the millions of tourists who travel to the Caribbean every year. The natural coral reefs with which we have been so abundantly blessed and which visitors enjoy viewing on diving expeditions, could come under severe pressure.”

- Photo Credit: File -
Against this backdrop, the Hon. O’Neal urged that residents pay close attention to the issue which he said is the much talked about phenomenon.

“I urge you my fellow residents of these beautiful Virgin Islands not to dismiss climate change as a distant concept but to recognise its relevance and potential impact on tourism. The tourism industry represents a major part of our livelihood here in the Virgin Islands and any significant climatic changes could negatively impact the industry upon which we rely so heavily for revenue,” the Premier urged.

Hon. O’Neal took the opportunity to mention his government's pro-active efforts to work on ways of mitigating the effects of Climate Change. More >>>