In what has been touted as the ‘best’ government investment in the last 25 years, Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said the Tortola Pier Park is projected to reel in more than 550,000 cruise passengers this season and roughly $100 million yearly.
He said the projected number of cruise passengers is based on the bookings the BVI has received since Disney Cruise Line returned last week and the other major cruise line, Norweigan, is returning next month.
“We expect more [passengers] as success will follow success in this cruise ship business,” Vanterpool said in a statement this week.
He said with the territory’s success in the cruise industry thus far, “one million passengers [are] expected by 2020, and the people of the BVI will be the beneficiaries of $100 million per year from the cruise lines, as a result of the new cruise pier and Tortola Pier Park development.”
The works minister added that over a 10-year period, the aforementioned figure translates to approximately $1 billion in revenues.
“Our government remains extremely proud of this investment and we are confident that we will see maximum returns very quickly,” he stated.
He added that maximum economic benefits prior to the hurricane was already evident.
Vanterpool said though there continues to be ‘negative talk’ about the cruise pier, “the territory received great value for money with this project.”
“And as minister responsible for its development and a part of the Orlando Smith National Democratic Party government, I am extremely proud of this facility,” he said.
The Road Town based-facility cost some $82.9 million, roughly $30 million more than its initial estimated cost.
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