BVI News

BVI one of the most requested destinations now — cruise lines

A section of Tortola

Despite being devastated by two major hurricanes last year, the British Virgin Islands is currently one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the region.

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) gave that indication during a recent meeting in Miami with government minister, Mark Vanterpool.

The FCCA is a trade organisation comprising 18 member-cruise lines operating nearly 200 vessels in Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin American.

“The BVI is considered by the cruise ship companies as one of the most requested countries to go to in the Caribbean right now. So they are very anxious to come back but one of the things they criticize is the issue of local venues to go to,” he said.

Major FCCA cruise companies such as the Norwegian and Disney lines have deferred returning to the territory until local authorities improve the infrastructure and overall conditions of the territory.

Insufficient local tourist locations

Vanterpool said an inadequate amount of local tourist spots is now a setback for the territory as a destination.

“We have gotten a long list of all the areas that we believe that we can pay attention to and improve and organise without any huge amount of money to get it done,” said Vanterpool at a meeting with local stakeholders in Cane Garden Bay last week.

“We have started the process to begin to look at all the historical sites and places of interest that the tourist would like to go to,” he added.

The minister said the ‘dungeon’ near Pockwood Pond on Tortola is one of the venues government is going to pay attention to.

Reportedly, the site is a fort built in 1794 to house soldiers who were responsible to protect the territory.

BVI behind | Months till major cruise ships return

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34 Comments

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  1. Laura says:

    When will this government wake up! All other countries are putting plans in place to get cruise liners back to their shores, whilst this government is still “looking at” what areas need improvement or will bring in little to no money from visitors…what sort of electorate did we vote in to represent us?

    • WOW says:

      What he didn’t say is that St Kitts and St Maarten are actively bad mouthing the BVI to these cruise lines and can you blame them? Look how fast they bounced back after the hurricanes and are now taking all the ships that we should have gotten. This government is a waste of f—ing time, everyone fighting for power and position while the Territory suffers.

    • observer says:

      As usual M— the great chancellor trying to sell us hope.

  2. rastarite says:

    St Philip’s Church (The African Church) opposite Cedar School should be opened for tourists with history, vendors and food. CGB rum distillery, windmill at Mt Healthy with sugar works at Brewer’s and The Tour of the Town incorporating the Gov’s old mansion, main street and the museum by Lower Estate. Get the word out… brochures, on line advertising etc. Start fixing NOW

    • Agree 100% says:

      My family and I talk about this all the time. I cannot understand for the life of me why the Government is not investing in this aspect of our culture. In addition to the ones you mentioned, the Dungeon at Pockwood Pond would also be a nice attraction. These sites definitely need to be restored. I remember when I was in Primary School (well over 30 years ago), I use to look forward to the field trips where we got to visit and learn about some of these ruins. Things like these should be a priority as they would not only benefit our tourism product, but also preserve our culture.

    • Caribbean Girl says:

      Very good points and ideas.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Sounds like the most boring itinerary ever. You really think tourists have never seen a pile of stones, a windmill or a Mickey Mouse pretend rum distillery before? Have you the slightest clue what we are competing with?

  3. VI Stronger says:

    The focus should be on historical and cultural sites! Most tourist want to know the history and culture of the places they travel to.

    • resident says:

      exactly when i visted the bahamas one of things i will always remember is the tour of what they call the queen’s staircase, the guide basically gave a history lesson of their country right at that site it was amazing

  4. Brad Boynes says:

    Things that make you go Hmmm.

  5. JK says:

    of places cruise ship tourists would like to see whilst visiting, I’m pretty certain expanded “world class international airport” will somehow makes it onto the short list….

  6. Suggestions says:

    Let me give the government a hand:
    1. Living history museum – recreate a village which depicts the development of the BVI over the years, e.g spanning from village of indigenous people, what the BVI looked like in 50’s/60’s etc. People can dress the part/act out the roles to make it more interactive for the tourists and schools will be able to visit and learn first hand about our culture instead of reading about it in a book. Wax sculptures of people in that era can also be incorporated if actors are not readily available. People who know how to teach cultural skills like boat making or broom making or tart making etc. can be apart of it. Tourists can learn to do these things and take away tokens after paying a fee. It happens in many places around the world already. Isn’t a guy in Josiah’s Bay already working on this??? The prison on main street can have wax figures inside depicting the hanging of Arthur Hodge.

    2. We are surrounded by water, one of the major attractions what lures tourists to our shores. St. Thomas has an aquarium. We don’t have to duplicate theirs but why can’t we
    capitalize on what we have already? The aquarium can be a place where students of marine studies can participate/learn more and teach visitors about marine life and its preservation.

    3. Restoration of existing parks. It’s a shame how little attention is given to our parks or seen as having little potential. I’ve never been in the dungeon so I can’t speak to what can be done to it to improve. I’ve been to the caves in Barbados where you tour the caves and you even get a train ride so to speak throughout. If the dungeon is long enough and able to accommodate that feature, then why not? Otherwise keep it simple and let them do a walking tour inside.

    4. Have heritage dancers or steel pans playing at the sites. Local food and drinks sold. Let them see our culture firsthand. Have story tellers there.

    5. Agriculture – the tourists should be taken to the farm and learn about our plants and animals etc. What Bush is good for what etc.

    My suggestions require investment but I believe it’s a sound one which will include many people and have major returns if planned and executed properly. That’s my two cents.

    • Jane says:

      @Suggestions Can I also add that if the Horse Racing track gets up and running that Horse Races could be held on busy cruise ship days. Local food can be served. That would be a great day trip for persons who want something to do other than the beach.

      • Sam the man says:

        Horse racing in the BVI has always been a major failure and will not be incentive to cruise ship passengers visiting, whoever thought the race track idea was a good one should be chastised – build a decent hotel there or good quality accommodation – but a race track that’s used a few times a year for the governments rich buddies no sir an absolute disgrace – just shows where the governments priorities lie…

    • Laura says:

      By far one of the best suggestive posts I’ve seen since Irma for progress of this lil nation. All pints should be taken into account. Our children and the millennial generation have no clue what the BVI stands for… livinginlosttimes

  7. snoppy says:

    lol… yea, right… just what the tourist want to see:

    “The prison on main street can have wax figures inside depicting the hanging of Arthur Hodge”

  8. Slick says:

    show them the roads and the bvi airline planes. show them our eco friendly waste treatment.

  9. Starvin’ Marvin says:

    The Pier Park was a missed opportunity and is nothing spectacular. I suggested to them from the onset to incorporate a small aquarium or below water restaurant that would attract all walks of life to visit. For far too long heritage sites have been neglected in favor of other pie-in-the-sky pork barrel projects that derive little long-term value/activity. We desperately need a water based theme park here!!! Those in charge of running this country have collectively let us all down. Their lack of vision and adequately diversifying the economy (apart from themselves) has led us down this path. Innovative cost-effective ideas are needed and the ease in doing business here compared to other locations is most challenging. A new dawn and day has arrived to the BVI. Are you ready for it?

  10. hodges creek says:

    Do you have on that list the Quaker’s burial ground in Hodges Creek that has been allowed to go to the dogs. And yes there are plenty historical sites in the territory that has also received this treatment.

  11. Caramel Diva says:

    Let me post it again for them Rastrite, because them sleeping. What is the BVI Tourist Board doing with all the qualified they have hired.

    St Philip’s Church (The African Church) opposite Cedar School should be opened for tourists with history, vendors and food. CGB rum distillery, windmill at Mt Healthy with sugar works at Brewer’s and The Tour of the Town incorporating the Gov’s old mansion, main street and the museum by Lower Estate. Dungeon at Pockwood Pond Get the word out… brochures, on line advertising etc. Start fixing NOW

  12. Sam the man says:

    I can think of a new use for the restored dungeons and it involves the NDP! Get another team in rather than these inept people….couldn’t organise a P…Up in a brewery….

  13. Hmmm says:

    Roads please.

  14. GREENLAND says:

    The Quakers burial ground contain the graves of Thomas Chaulkley, John Cadwalader, John Estaugh (three ministers who were sent out to the Fat Hog Bay meeting) and other Quaker worthies.Its located at John Pickering’s Old Plantation now known as Greenland. You need to stop trying to promote the Hodge Family burial ground as Quaker Burial ground.

  15. Rubber Duck says:

    There are no interesting venues for them to visit because the BVI suppresses all initiatives to create such places with its crazy anti business, Trade License, Immigration and Labour laws.

    • Rules and regulations says:

      There we go again batching the laws of the land. A country without laws will be a free for all country it is bad enough now everybody think that they have a right to do as they please.

    • ReX FeRaL says:

      Immigration laws are just finenough. Why are you here ingrate?

  16. I Q says:

    Just how stupid do you think people are ? We’re not falling for this one.

  17. Sam the man says:

    I’ve a great plan for an artificial grass ski slope down the hill from Ridge Road towards Huntams Ghut – that would sure bring the tourists back, do you think the Government would sponser me a few million dollars? after all they paid out over £7m for invisible airplanes!…

  18. Sam the man says:

    Marks smokescreen – its not the reason at all they haven’t returned, its the lack of government progress to repair the roads, sewage issues, beach locations and general war zone reality that still exists 8 months on from Irma….but if you want to suggest it’s lack of places to visit keep deluding yourself!

  19. Trust in God and remain positive says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Please remain positive! Let’s trust God for wisdom so He can direct our paths!!! Here is Minister Mark and he is giving us hope. We have a choice, we can either sulk about the matter or get up and into action! We can do this BVI!!! We can work together and get this done. If they want tourist destination/ spots let’s get this done. It is an opportunity to do something new!!! Let’s get creative! Out with the old, in with the new! Jeremiah 29:11. God is love, not hate. Let’s turn to Him. He is our only hope! Love you guys!!!

  20. Debbie says:

    Tourist want to go to Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost! One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been at.

  21. Anonymous says:

    You can build the golden gate bridge, but if you don’t treat the people coming to your ports of entry with decency and respect they will not return. Tourists have a choice. If they choose the BVIs you should be grateful, and treat them like your existence depends on them.

    Don’t bite the hands that feed you.

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