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Major cruise lines to assess BVI before return

A section of Tortola

The British Virgin Islands will be assessed on its readiness to accept larger cruise lines back into the territory.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works, Anthony McMaster told BVI News that representatives from the Norwegian and Disney cruise lines will be visiting in April to conduct the assessment.

The visit will determine whether the 4,000-plus passengers on each ship will get value for money if they visit the BVI.

“The cruise lines [have] expressed a willingness to return to the territory once areas of concern are dealt with,” McMaster said.

“These concerns range from the restoration of roads to increasing transportation capacity on the island,” he added.

Limited transportation

McMaster said the territory currently has an insufficient number of safari buses for visitors to embark on tours across Tortola.

He said more than 40 percent of tour buses were destroyed during last September’s hurricanes.

“We can accommodate the ships that are coming now between 2,000 and 3,000 passengers but when we look at the bigger ships, we were not able to accommodate those numbers.”

“The cruise lines are in partnership with us. But we have to accept that at the same time the cruise lines are in a business,” he reasoned.

“They are selling a product and they have to make sure that wherever they are taking their guests is fit for purpose.”

Action plan 

McMaster further said that tourism stakeholders are aware of what guests expect and will work towards reaching that goal.

“We have an action plan, so it gives us a month-and-a-half to do some fine-tuning in these various areas,” he said.

McMaster also called on residents to help get local tourism back to its former glory.

The Permanent Secretary’s remarks follow his participation in the 2018 Seatrade Cruise Global Conference held from March 5 to 8 in Florida, United States.

He was part of the BVI’s delegation comprising representatives from the Ministry of Communications and Works, the BVI Ports Authority, the Taxi and Livery Commission, the BVI Tourist Board, and the National Parks Trust.

The conference is said to be the leading international exhibition serving the global cruise industry.

It brings together buyers and suppliers for the purpose of networking, sourcing, innovation, and education.

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15 Comments

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  1. No more says:

    No more BS, pass the budget, allocate the funds, get the roads fixed and bring in those ships….

  2. Yawn says:

    Waste of f—ing time —— 6 months in and here talking bullshit.

    • VOW says:

      When some of these people go away on honey moon they come back talking piss. We need a new leader to get the ball rolling too much monkey tricks.

  3. Sam the man says:

    No way the BVI will be ready this year never mind in the next few weeks, if the “No Direction Party” can’t even organise a temporary structure at West End in 6 months how long will it take them to address everything the cruise ships will require . Just focus on next year and get the Islands really into shape…

  4. Sensible says:

    If they’d accepted the help in November the Territory would be ready for these big ships. Where’s my donkey?

  5. Devon says:

    Ha ha… give us a month and a half and we will do some fine tuning in these areas !!
    Just look at the roads and the cables and junk still lying there ! Not to mention the road from Brandywine through East end.

  6. CGB sh#thole says:

    Just wait until the cruise lines see the crap on the west end of cane. Smashed cars line the street dogs chained and left out. Total disgrace Real trashy bunch in the purple one. Shake my head whenever I visit and see this disaster.

  7. Retired says:

    I doubt that NCL will send an ‘assessment’ team to the BVI. Disney might because it has only been operating cruise ships for 22 years. Every Caribbean island and cruise port has hundreds of resident cruise ship officers, staff, managers, agents, suppliers, etc. who constantly update the main cruise ship HQ’s with all the relevant ‘recovery’ information. If any alleged assessment teams do visit the BVI it will only be to confirm what cruise industry personnel have already reported.

  8. Reality says:

    It really isn’t a case of “fine tuning” the piano is bust and pieces are scattered all over the place! 6 weeks – really…there is no way this government can achieve anything in months never mind weeks! The PS misses the big picture, its not just the roads are crap with derelict cars everywhere, its not even that there isn’t enough safari taxis’s the beaches are a mess and polluted and need a massive effort to get sorted…At least Mitch had the courage to stick his head above the parapet for a moment before he was gunned down and silenced by the Dr – but he was right CGB is a shadow of what it used to be and needs drastic help….

  9. Rent gone up says:

    TPP TENNENT …. PLEASE HURRY THEY ALREADY RAISED THE RENT ON US

  10. Nah says:

    People want proper safe vehicles not those crappy safari taxis. Why have taxis not been replaced in all this time? Insurance? That will c9me but if they had any gumption, they’d have got their toyotas or Mitsubishi’s in by now and provide a proper first work taxi servic3 that doesn’t disappear before restaurants even close.

    The BVI is still a mess. There is no point cruise ships coming here while it is like this. People will not go away and say good things, thereby damaging our product. The sailing industry is slightly different as time can be spent away from the squalor and the s h i t stink of our towns.

    The people in financial services and tourism the have dealt with us this year are shocked at how little the community has done for itself and at the complete inaction of government. Anywhere else wou,d be working night and day both for the community itself and for 5he two most important industries. Why not here?

    Let’s get going. If we get obstacles, deal with them.

  11. Hugh Darley says:

    No vision, no leadership and couruption in BVI Port Authority and Tourism will lead to more ruin. Sad state of affairs, and we must still sue to get our fees paid now two years late. Help could be on the way but no one wants to help the corrupt and helpless.

    • KY says:

      Your sph——r get back in shape? They sure gave it to you. Could have made easy money if you had just sold them an invisible airline.

  12. Yes! says:

    Just look at how not paying sufficient attention to infustrcture is directly affecting the economy.

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