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BVI behind | Months till major cruise ships return

Mark Vanterpool

The British Virgin Islands will have to wait another few months before major cruise lines return to the territory, Communication and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool has said.

While speaking in the House of Assembly on Thursday, the minister forecast that Disney cruise lines will return in July while Norwegian cruise lines will return in October.

He admitted that, compared to other countries, the BVI was ‘slow to sufficiently prepare to receive major cruise ships’.

“This message was clearly conveyed to me in meetings held with Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s operations committee last week,” Vanterpool told the House.

57 percent of retail businesses operational

And while detailing the progress of the territory’s recovery so far, the minister said 57 percent of retail businesses in Tortola and Virgin Gorda are fully operational.

He said 81 percent of vehicles are available for land tours, and 65 percent available for sea tours.

As for car rental companies, some 77 percent have reopened. Seventy percent of historical sites are also open, Vanterpool said.

He added: “Tortola Pier Park formally re-opens on May 25 when 80 percent of its businesses will be operational.”

Vanterpool said his ministry is now working feverishly to clear cables and debris from tourist routes.

Government is also working to resurface roads and cleaning of beaches to get the territory ready to receive larger cruise ships.

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17 Comments

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  1. SMH says:

    Pure HOG WASH! The BVI is behind because everyone is fighting for power instead of fighting for the people. We don’t have a money problem, we have a representation problem!

    • See says:

      1000 % correct . Months of posturing instead of working. We have one chance to get it right . So far we are the Caribbean embarassment . Look around .

    • Carli says:

      I agree with you 100%. We dispute our own too much. There is no reason for the BVI to be so far behind. Sometimes cheapness could end up being very costly. For example if you do not fix a leaky roof almost immediately and it is left open to the elements it will rotten and will cost much more to fix.

  2. i wonder says:

    Will rent be paid/collected at the pier park?

  3. Hmmmm says:

    Really Mr. Minister?! You needed the cruise lines to tell you the bvi was not ready?? Do you live here? Cant you look around and see how potentially dangerous it is for the government to allow tourists to come to the bvi now? The roads are worst, signs are down, attractions are not camera ready, people are waiting forever for car parts to ship so repairs can be made to vehicles, etc.etc. And you people claim you have our best interest at heart.

  4. Sally ann says:

    Really Mr. Minister?! You needed the cruise lines to tell you the bvi was not ready?? Do you live here? Cant you look around and see how potentially dangerous it is for the government to allow tourists to come to the bvi now? The roads are worst, signs are down, attractions are not camera ready, people are waiting forever for car parts to ship so repairs can be made to vehicles, etc.etc. And you people claim you have our best interest at heart.

  5. Jeanne Justice says:

    I suggest we have both ($ & power).

  6. EE mother says:

    I am actually pleasantly surprised at how honest these figures sound. A nice change from the normal bull we get fed!

  7. Struggling Man says:

    I am so disappointed with the minister in relation to this matter. The taxi drivers, day trip boat operators and businesses at the cruise pier are really suffering thanks to his inaction.
    All ships scheduled to call at Road Harbour are diverted to St Thomas and St Martin who incidentally also suffered the wrath of Irma. The difference being is they have leaders who care about their people and not just themselves.
    Since Disney’s last inspection in March no real progress in getting the Island of Tortola ready to receive cruise ship passengers has been made.
    Come July the Disney cruises due to call to us will again divert.

    • Mendomon says:

      Let’s see if you could do any better. Considering the devastation and the extent of the damages to us all I think they are doing as good a job as can be expected.
      I agree the roads are a mess but we have still come A LONG way. Heaven help us if we get wholloped again though. Then we really will be in trouble.

  8. vg resident says:

    My question is why are they behind? Someone and maybe many someones should be held responsible. 8 months after the hurricane and the roadtown ferry terminal is still not usable. No excuse for that. It should have been a national priority. There have been some success stories. The electrical grid got repaired quickly.

    • ................... says:

      Until leadership of the Virgin Islands Ports Authority is given serious priority we will not see any progress. The Board is useless. They continue to play politics with these positions.

  9. Brad Boynes says:

    Clear cables from all over the darn islands and not just Tourust Routes. Pathetic.

  10. Laura says:

    The BVI did not have a recovery plan in place and everyday it gets blatantly clearer. I assume that the mentality was that it is just going to be another @[email protected] let’s just wait and see, BUT that wait and see mentality has got to be dumped up incinerator with all the other rubbish and ‘WE’ the people get more proactive instead of being reactive. Put plans in place for every and any event. Do you not think that Cayman and Turks had a plan in place for Cruise lines before the storm hit? Why can’t someone follow the best practice done by other countries and implement, do something other than just sit around and talk hot air. Days are going by fast, what are the plans in place for the season? What if another storm hits, will their be yet another 8 month wait to say we are behind? #wakeupBVI

  11. Sam the man says:

    I assume Mr Vanterpool means July 2019 as there isn’t a cats chance in Hell they will be ready anytime this year, look at the state of the roads,sewage flowing through the streets, debris everywhere, derelict cars, damaged buildings not somewhere I’d want to visit on holiday no way….

  12. BriMcFly says:

    I could not believe what I was hearing???
    when I was told that the government was not fixing the sewage in cane Garden Bay!!!?? “we have no money not this year” that’s what I was told!!
    The gem of the islands and the government is going to let it rot and smell like a cesspool?for a whole year before something is done!!!
    Is this truly governing?
    Are we getting our money’s worth???

    Peace and love to all!!
    We will stand shoulder to shoulder!!
    together we will get through this !!
    One World !! One love !!!
    BVI Strong!!!

  13. Sky says:

    And I notice now all the taxis are coming through Purcell road and driving through long trench with the tourist now, even the garbage bin to the bottom of the hill and around it looks very unsitely

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