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Latest with BVI Newbie – No.1 Guide to the British Virgin Islands

BVI Newbie (5)

What’s new with BVI Newbie?

It’s back and it’s circulating the island with its improved format and lengthier content. But how did BVI Newbie emerge? And what does the future hold for the guidebook that has positioned itself as the prime information resource for visitors and new residents?

We take a look…

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Founding a MUCH NEEDED book

Before 2011, visitors and residents had a challenge finding a great deal of information pertaining to staying or living in the BVI.

I remember my first time on the island in 2009 and then return in 2010 to commence work. For my vacation time in 2009, I utilised the only information source you had—word of mouth; people who had been on the island for sufficient time to know directions or opening times of certain general establishments.

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The obvious issue with this is that the information could be wrong, have changed, or be one of those situations where there are no fixed rules; i.e. a shop that does not follow a pattern of opening times.

When I came to live here in 2010, I made a list of all the administration procedures that required completion in order to start working. I specifically recall the advice provided by an English bartender at The Bat Cave/ Spaghetti Junction, an establishment traded in to history now; he said “When I first came here, I did what you did in making a list. Think yourself lucky if you accomplish one item on that list a day.”

There I was looking at a relatively simple list of about 11 items that I envisaged accomplishing in one day, but things didn’t/don’t work that way in the BVI. You need patience and perhaps one or two reliable sources of information to prepare you for the lifestyle change.  With a clear void in the market, this is where the BVI Newbie book and brand entered the arena.

aLookingGlass’ (aLG) Traci O’Dea and Nick Cunha were the pioneering innovators behind BVI Newbie’s conception as founding editor and creative director respectively.

The book revolutionised the direction people turned to for their BVI information hub and made life a lot easier.

The Birthing Pains of BVI Newbie

The fact is, a book of this scope and the recognition of how significant this publication would be to both visitors and residents, manifested aLG’s necessity to seek assistance.

With savvy data compilation from a variety of reliable sources, the new publication was constructed. The BVI community’s combined expertise came from contributors who serve a range of industries; either volunteers who provided knowledge from their professional standing or simply from years of residency here in the Territory (see a full list of contributors at the end).

By initiation of 2011, the BVI’s first comprehensive guidebook was released and has since evolved with every passing year.

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BVI Newbie 2015 and production of BVI Newbie 2016

Introducing BVI Newbie 2015, the annual, quirky, and entertaining go-to guide for visiting and living in the British Virgin Islands– a book that encompasses all of the details needed to know the islands, formatted into easy-to-navigate sections with a conspicuous, unique design.

With pillar sponsors LIME, VISAR, and Sail Caribbean, the book was able to expand, to further assist the community and a brand new kids’ section—the brainchild of graphics and layout designer Scott Taylor—was created, meeting the demands of the younger generation.

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2015’s version is in heavy demand from readers, literally flying off the shelves in each location it hits. It stands in over 100 distribution points throughout the BVI and in some high traffic locations, it is positioned in stylishly merchandised magazine racks. It is also widely distributed among the hands of charter guests inside provisioning orders courtesy of RiteWay Stores and The Moorings. Additionally, it will be available for purchase via amazon.com.

BVI Newbie 2015
BVI Newbie helps those looking to move to the BVI and learn to sail whilst they are here, find us in a quick and efficient manner,” said Emma Paul, a program director and 14-year veteran of the BVI’s renowned Rob Swain Sailing School. “It has lots of input from long-time residents who have jumped through the hoops many times before that helps newbies feel at home in a country, which whilst beautiful has some weird and wonderful customs.”

BVI Sotheby’s International Marketing Manager Sebastiaan Opschoor commented:For me personally, I still sometimes use the Newbie, after the initial few weeks, to find fun new activities or beaches to go to…[it’s] a very useful book….it looks great and it’s a fun read. I think as an advertiser the Newbie has evolved into a place where we can advertise more efficiently. The new sections with tabs make sure you will pick up the Newbie faster and therefore use it a lot more often. This creates a lot more views for our ads. We are looking forward to the upcoming years as the Newbie continues to grow.”


If Newbie sounds like a project that you believe can work for your business, there are many advertising opportunities both in print and online with unique campaigns, specifically helping your organisation while improving a staple product for the BVI community. Production of Newbie 2016 has already commenced and aLG remain fastened to their ethos of improvement of content quality, better design, and further accessibility.

See more testimonials online at bvinewbie.com or call BVI Newbie’s Account Manager to find out how Newbie can help promote your business.

+1 284 546 1559 or erin@alookingglass.com

Erin Paviour-Smith

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