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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