BVI News

Cruise line reducing calls to BVI | Over $14M revenue loss projected for territory this year

The vessel Norwegian Getaway of Norgwegian Cruise Lines in the BVI.

The British Virgin Islands is expected to lose millions in revenue in the upcoming cruise tourism season, Premier Andrew Fahie has said.

Fahie, who is also Minister of Tourism, said this is because of a ‘commercial decision’ by Norwegian Cruise Line to adjust their itineraries and reduce ship calls to the territory.

He said the territory will see a passenger shortfall of 180,000 for the 2019/2020 season as a result.

“This translates to an estimated loss in revenue of over $14 million projected using a passenger spend of $78.11 based on studies conducted by Business Research Economic Advisors,” Fahie said.

The Premier, who was addressing a recent sitting of the House of Assembly, said the cruise line’s decision was communicated to the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) since November 2016.

During that correspondence, Norwegian Cruise had told the territory to expect the first major shortfall of some 18,200 passengers for the 2017/2018 season.

According to Fahie, the cruise line also said at the time that and the shortfall would continue into future seasons.

The Tourism Minister indicated that, after receiving the letter, the BVIPA sent a response accepting the remedies that had been suggested by the cruise line. One such remedy was for the cruise liners to pay a ‘shortfall fee’ based on the territory’s passenger tax.

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  1. what says:

    keep looking like a garbage dump and see what you get .

    Like 64
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    • Garbage burning says:

      People are dying in west end..good luck with tourism!

      Like 27
      Dislike 1
    • @What says:

      You are absolutely spot on with this!

      Like 19
    • & unprofessional says:

      & hateful.. the list goes on..

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
    • MS says:

      It is the crime – crime and the upkeep of the island. Stop keeping it like a ragger muffin and bring out the true class that makes up the bvi. We have to work onb our own strength and we have lots of strength of our own which us all the bvi islanders drop all that and you drop who you are.

      I saw my grandparents, uncles and aunts who gave me the up standing values that i have instelled to my off spring.

      I have shared my ancestoral home with all – all friends – boyfriends and always talking and giving all good dreasons why they shoud visit. Now i am sad very sad – yes sad every time i hear of a crime i wonder “what happened – what happenbed to the gem called the bvi. It makes me want to cry, but i go on and continue reading and listening to all the changes but hoping knowing that things can get better, for those who from the past can be proud of all the hard work they had to put in to bring it to this point and you can now take it further just don’t sell out – don’t sell your true people out. Let the bvi still have what make it look, stay and alway shine without working hard to be there.

      I love the bvi – yes i love the bvi and it can still be great.

      Don’t just praise those new police officers that have been place on board. Make sure that they are earning all that they are being praised for – put in the hard work – work as those you too truly love the bvi. Invest in the bvi in a very positive way – show the love – continue working hard to shine – shine – do the work necessary evern if it is above and beyond all your responsibiity and duties to save the bvi – there is a very clean – clean with so much to share with those who come to learn. Treat your visitors with the dignity they deserve so they might want to come back and introduce the bvi to other and it continues there.

      We have a history and a lot to offerr, so many family members i have as mid-wives, town constabile those who saw a safe and sweet island to sfhare – uncles with great restraunts, builders of ships and homes – business’. Yes so much it woud take more time to share it but

      You are in charge now – yes you are in charge now – you to have a history to uphold fro your ancestoral line. Let us work on keeping that all alive. There ar still more – and more still living in the region and can still offer help as their ancestors had done to keep the bvi thriving and still thriving.

      I have a problem with how you continue bashing the “ex-prates” leave all of that to god allow them to share all that they too have learned to help take the bvi to a safe with help in lessen the crime that is pleaguing the bvi, but drivers and all are talking – if you get in conversation with others – statemebt is there is so much crime there now, then what can i say – so don’t blame the “ex-prats” as they are called you are looking for then to pay for the choices which have been made by those in old and new administration, courts, policies and how the court conduct their business with crimed.

      Let us get those new police officiers getting praise and let it show by the work they do in keeping the crie down, that is when you see the work well done. Please let them earn their great resputation by the work and it will show – let it show – do the job – do the job- results with come – committ to the duties of the position you hold.

      Bvi – bvi strong – bvi stronger. I love the bvi – i love the bvi.

      Support all those who have left and want to return – you will see they never left – the bvi was always with them.

      Bring them back they have a lot to offer the bvi – stop going out side of the and going to other caribbean island for services.

      Call back your own – call back all those you call
      “Exprats” – call them back they have so much to offer – stop waisting the island funds and call the back to support their home.

      Like 5
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      • Idoicy says:

        The crime rate where these tourists hail from is 100 times worst than the BVI…couldnt continue reading this epistle after starting with that foolishness

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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Spot on, but there are other things as well

      Rip off unsafe taxis. Truculent Service. Nothing to do or see other than sit in the back of a safari truck for a tour of the junk yard.
      Offensive spoiled beaches with Micky Mouse bars and junk food huts and junk. . Look at Long Bay Beef Island. Look at Brandywine bay. We should hang our heads in shame.

      It’s junk.

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  2. Hodgie says:

    Please put a special expat tax in place. This could make up for revenue short fall.

    Like 7
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    • CW says:

      You think you’ll make $14mil by taxing expats?

      BVI struggling with strupes

      Like 19
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    • Anonymous says:

      You already have a “white tax” in place. $10 environmental tax. The only ones ruining the environment are the Africans. Shove your expat tax up your a**. Clean up your s**thole houses and businesses. Place is a garbage dump

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      • @Anonymous says:

        typical Trump and his supporters lamguage.

        An example of the scum of the earth thinking and being.

        What trash masquarading around the BVI for humans.

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        • TJ says:

          You are obviously an uninformed hater. Trump had never been racist. Have you checked out his approval numbers? Guess what those numbers keep rising in minority communities. It’s the elites who hate him. And they come in all nationalities.

          Like 4
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          • @Tj says:

            Please try to be a bit honest nah. Intelligent and well informed people do read, some profusely, including this comments section.

            The audicity of you to post such falsehoods. Be awoken, this not Fox News.

            Indeed, many follow daily the political, economic and social events and developments in the international arena.

            And, they know facts and truths, and do not form an opinion based on what comes out of a personality mouth or a bias news conglamorate.

            Hence, do take that individual p***s out of your mouth, begin to inform your brain, because it is surely demostrating signs that it is smaller than that of a paramecium.

        • Westman says:

          The truth burn deep

      • Kingfish says:

        @Anonymous: Virgin Islanders are not Africans, please get your facts straight.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Where exactly did your relatives come from. You are not indigenous to the Territory. You are actually a plague how you treat the land. Your garbage dump, your sewage system, your homes with junk cars and boats in the yards. You are a disgrace to the land and you have the audacity to charge visitors an environmental tax. You truly are Africans. You have turned these beautiful islands into a dump just as your relatives keep their African countries. Third world and a dump

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          • @ anonymous says:

            You need to go back to the swamps of Alabama or South Africa or whatever unfortunate place you are from. Not all of us think like you.

            Folks, as a white expat, I am embarrassed and sorry for this moron

          • @@Anonymous says:

            As far as I know, Africa is more of God’s chosen continent.

            it is a blessed continent and its time for Africans to Realise they are in a place where Americans, Europeans and Chinese are jealous of and wish it should be them there…

            You can’t compare African weather with any other weather…

            African soil can feed the whole of Europe, America, and Asia but their problem is just one, “THEIR LEADERS”

          • Kingfish says:

            No matter how you try to twist and turn it, you are wrong, to be an African one must be born on the continent of Africa. Black is not a nationality, it is a race of people. Why were you here or still in the VI if you so hate the islands, maybe you should find your way back to Europe {I assume that you are white} and settle in some of the dump counties that exist there and believe me there are many.

      • true says:

        Its a tax that the cruise ship people don’t pay which is a JOKE

      • Tourists Loves VI says:

        Dont let the Trumpet bother you, we have to listen to them daily here in the states. 😉
        I had an incredible Late May in VI, the people are fantastic.
        I was in a local grocery there and saw the locals gathered around the radio listening to the officials there discussing their future. People really care, they know they live in paradise.
        After watching the hurricane take such a terrible toll there, its amazing to see the come back you have made.
        Ya’ll watch it around that Buju Banton show, things gonna get crazy boy! Wish I could be there.

    • true says:

      what isn’t mentioned is the landing tax will still be paid for the 180,000 people who are no longer coming.

      Like 4
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    • Expat says:

      @Hodgie. They need to put a special tax in place to build an asylum for mad people like u.

  3. Surprise says:

    Shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone.
    These cruise ship companies are simply raping the destinations at which they call… holding us ransom to their whims.
    We have to pay for the infrastructure (ports and piers and terminals and roads etc) to host them and get very little in return apart from negative and detrimental impacts on our environment and other tourism products.
    It’s time to end this short-sighted sell-out of our islands to these cruise ship companies.

    Like 28
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    • Dman says:

      Yes, some of what you say is true. Howerer, you have to pay for infrastructure, garbage removal, and environmental improvement issues, and more, regardless, or do without. Your call.

      • Surprise says:

        We don’t need to pay for a cruise ship dock and terminal and pay for their garbage disposal and pay for all the other facilities required by their thousands of passengers if they are not calling.
        The cruise ships companies expect destinations to bend over backwards to accommodate them and give very little back in return. Without destinations such as the BVI the cruise ships would have no business model. Governments across the region should stand strong and demand the cruise ships pay their fare share. If they want a dock or a terminal then why shouldn’t they pay this cost? They should contribute to garbage collection disposal and security/policing and environmental protections.

        Like 7
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        • Rubber Duck says:

          The cruise ship companies poll their passengers to get opinions on the various destinations.

          The good get more visits, the bad fewer.

          This reduction in numbers is entirely based on what their customers think of Tortola compared to other islands.

          Obviously not much.

    • Albion says:

      I agree. This is exactly how the cruise ships play off Caribbean countries against each other – they all squabble for their tiny little bit of cruise ship tax and so undercut each other.

      Nobody in any of these countries ever discusses the economic and social costs of large cruise ship arrivals. They unload their garbage and their waste. They take on our fresh water. And for this they pay us a tiny pittance.

      If we are paying expensive consultants, I’d very much like to hear that Business Research Economic Advisors have to say about our net margins on cruise ship arrivals, not gross revenues.

      Like 21
    • Crap says:

      The place is dirty and there’s nothing to do, that’s why the ships are leaving. Norwegian is not Carnival, it’s a quality ships with quality people that spend money. Only when Norwegian or Disney are in port you see so many taxis filled, cars rented, scooters rented and shops patronized. The state of the Territory is the reason why businesses are suffering and will continue to suffer. The place looks like a giant garbage heap.

      Like 52
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    • 'Struth says:

      True enough… Look at the people of Venice, Italy, rebelling against the throngs of “cruisesheep” making their unique city unliveable!
      We all know that the various cruise ship companies are all takers. Their only bottom line is the profits bottom line. How they treat small island states is meaningless to these companies. Their passengers leave behind their garbage, their faecal matter, and very little else. They certainly don’t spend any money.

      Like 1
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  4. Hmm says:

    We can’t blame this on the NDP, what shall it be?

    Like 7
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    • Chosen says:

      Hodgie don’t worry the devil and his angels are already putting together a special tax for you and some of the others in his place.

      Like 10
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    • CW says:

      Blame the people around you. The rest of the islands have had a robust recovery, but not BVI. The rest of the islands welcome Tourism and don’t act rude towards visitors, but not BVI. The rest of the islands solve the problem instead of blaming everybody, but not BVI.

      You’re starting to see the results of that collective behavior

      Like 45
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      • No blame. says:

        This is the problem. We all stand around complaining and pointing the finger at each other. Blaming and whining about one another. If every one of us took responsibility and did something to make a difference then it would be a whole different story.

        If you have a spare minute, grab a bag and clean up. Carry refillable water bottles, shopping bags and coffee cups, carry cups to a bar and have them fill them. It is very possible to not create waste. And it actually saves money. All it takes is a little planning.

    • Bruce says:

      Ourselves, do you tell your family and friends to not litter? And to clean around their homes?

  5. How? says:

    If they signed berthing agreements then we are not being told the whole story. It means that the Government breached the agreements and the cruise line used that loop hole to pull out.

    Like 17
  6. Anonymous says:

    People of the Virgin Islands and the diaspora, there are opportunities on The Continent.

    The decision to relieve oneself from the stresses of America and the uncertainity of dependence on a tourist dollar in the Caribbean in exchange for a different lifestyle is something that many people should look to do, and moving to some parts of Africa could offer that. However, it should be clarified that not ALL countries within Africa offer opportunities, but many, many do.

    Without a doubt, many countries in Africa offer opportunities that are not broadly known by the world at large.

    Perhaps Ghana could be your first research project if all this is new to you..

    For example, at this very moment, I am in Kigali, Rwanda on my 3rd tour, seeking investment opportunities. And I will add, the opportunities are endless.

    From the emerging economy to the growth and development of the infrastructure, this could be a good choice for some people. It just so happens, the lifestyle here, is one that could suit many people from America and the Caribbean, but perhaps they wouldn’t know, because articles with such information is never published here.

    Your/the drive for a better Africa, optimism in the continent’s potential, and ambition to take charge of your destinies will help us recreate a continent that is befitting of our ancestors.

    Like 16
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    • MS says:

      You might be one of the lucky one. Right now Ghana is having problem with a violent group causing problems and making those there run.

      The BVI might have crime and that is something that can be cleaned us the government just have to CRACK DOWN HARD on those people and when they SEE that they are SERIOUS and make the changes to the LAW IF YOU COMMIT A CRIME then you will see CRIME come DOWN. Yes look again see how you PUNISH THOSE WHO COMNIT CRIME. They must be ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR CRIME. BVI BEGIN LOOKING AT A CRIME FREE BVI, IT IS UP TO WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO THE TERRITORY. HELP IS JUST A VIEW AND A POLITICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT FROM THE INVIRONMENT THE PEOPLE. The government can’t say it can’t be done – YES – YES – YES IT CAN BE DECRESSED – LET US WORK HARD FOR THE SAFTEY OF ALL VISITORS AND RESIDENCE. WE WANT OUR SAFTEY BACK – HELP – HELP – LET US DO IT –



      Like 2
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  7. Return to Serve says:

    Daniella Gilles THIS!!!
    I’ve been saying this for some time now! Africa is where the next great opportunities will be and a joining of the Diaspora with locals will make things explosive!
    Having said that, I’ve worked in a couple of Francophone African countries, and goodness! They (with the notable exception of Sénégal) are far behind the Anglophone African countries.

    When I think of returning and serving (and I do — all the time), it is there that I would go because while Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia, and Botswana are steadily emerging, the Franco countries lag behind and the gap widens every day.

    • Return to Serve says:

      We are fortunate to be in a generation where the narrative of Africa isn’t of backwardness, war, and pity, but an Africa of opportunities and possibilities. Our siblings in America do not have to pray, beg, and fight to be invited to the table; they can move to Africa and make their own dinner

  8. smh says:

    BVI only has itself to blame, has anyone in the BVI ever traveled ? Look what other countries have to offer even the other Caribbean islands. The emphasis and importance of providing a good service and some value for money. The BVI is very small and unfortunately full of ignorant, self-righteous, greedy people on the top. It’s only going to get worst. NO VALUE FOR MONEY IN THE BVI !!!!!

    Like 28
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  9. Dman says:

    Yes, some of what you say is true. Howerer, you have to pay for infrastructure, garbage removal, and environmental improvement issues, and more, regardless, or do without. Your call.

  10. Supporter says:

    No Love lost…
    They’re paying a shortfall fee! We still win! More space for other ships to come in their place and if other ships don’t come, less people to litter the place.

    Like 4
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  11. Ausar says:

    “What”, you have raised an interesting observation!

    And, what’s sad to see, is that for decades, governmental officials have not placed the neccessary protocols in place, to address the country’s aesthetics.

    What I would like to see, is more grass cutting, at least two feet in from the main roads.

    Also,those areas with large amounts of debris,-old cars, boats, old oil machinery, and the likes-should see rapid improvements in removal of waste!

    Government should also be willing to assist those persons living closest, or owning businesses closer, to the main artery roadways, to improve their environs by repainting and/or neccessary repairs.

    And, sidewalk areas should be painted with coloring to improve roadway aesthetics and visibility.

    Enhancing the fragrance of the country should be something we should be working on. Government can work with designer Kristen Frazer, who can work with fragrancy industry officials, to come up with a signature “BVI” scent, that can be used by the government-sprayed on flora and fauna, and general environs,- during early morning hours, to enhance territorial odors.

    Sure, Pier Park is preety, but Pier Park is not the sum total of beauty details of the BVI and it comprises such a small area within this country.

    Perhaps, such attention to details, could go a far way in improving the country’s appearance and smell, and helping to restore the views neccessary, for tourists wanting to return continually.

    Like 8
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  12. @Ausar says:

    Though your effort is noted, and spme points could or need to be looked at, they are just a part ofthe cosmetic package.

    It appears that the BVI political system, like that of Haiti and some countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle and far East, may have succumb to results and ailments of unclean politics.

    Hence, underneath the scrunity and inability of the public to know and be knowledgable of, some hygiene may be in order.

    In fact, the BVI politics needs some hygiene in its politics. Political hygiene is now needed in the BVI.

    Like 10
  13. Reality says:

    Only now do the Government realise what an armpit of a location Road Town is – see Trip Advisor to see how poor the BVI fares as a cruise ship destination expect more cancellations

    Like 18
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  14. Anonymous says:

    The cruz industry will be just fine, and the BVI will get some benefit from it.

    Meanwhile, what the public is not seeing and or observing are the political twistings.

    It has been concluded that the relationships between governments are quite plausible explanations for this current decision by that industry.

    Last, to the haters of the BVI who eat her bread and drink her juice daily, but wish and writes of her demise, do take note.

    When she falls, where will you go? Will you to another man’s country, eat and full your belly and then begin to tear his country down to??

    We are all in this world together, Thereofre, we should be working together to make a better existence for all. Because, if i fall, so would you, especially if you do nothing to help me up, but put your foot further up my ass as i am down.

    Finally, we are our own worst enemy. Mental slavery has still a crippling hold on us.

    Like 13
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  15. E. Leonard says:

    Businesses carry and offer goods and services that customers are demanding. Cruise liners stop at destinations that customers demand to see. The BVI needs to up its game and improve the value and quality of its offerings. Many cruise passengers save for years to go on a cruise and wants to have a fun time experiencing something(s) unique and different.

    Though the sea is a major draw for both overnight and cruise visitors, they want more. To be a small choice destination, the BVI must increase the number of and improve the quality of its attractions. It must also make the BVI have a more aesthetically please environment. It must create the wow factor and make the BVI a must see destination. It is not there yet. In my travels and engaging with people who have been to BVI, it is not often a long and complimentary discussion. Reading between the lines, they were not thrilled and expected much more.

    Tourism is 1/2 of the economic twin pillars and more effort is needed to strengthen and deepen it. Tourism is also a competitive business and the BVI has to compete with its sister regional countries ( where tourism is the primary industry) for its commensurate share of the limited tourism pie. The BVI has the same resources (sand, sea and sun) as many other regional sister destinations and must work relentlessly to differentiate itself. It has to challenge itself to do more than others with the same or fewer resources.

    Like 19
    • RealPol says:

      Indeed, the quality of attractions needs to be improved and more attractions are needed. Let’s keep it real by following a tourist from the Cruise Ship Pier around the Tortola to see what they see it.

      If the driver travels west along Drake’s Highway and turn right at Big Ben Superette heading towards Zion Hill and along the coast towards Cane Garden Bay, stopping for a dip at CGB before heading back to Road Town, what of interest does the visitor see?

      Further, if another driver travels east to Long Bay Beach, Beef Island, and on the way back travels through Lambert, Hope, Bell Vue, Long Trench, Fahie Hill and down Great Mountain Road back to Town, what of interest does the tourist see?

      Thirdly, if a third driver takes a tourist from the Cruise Ship Pier up through Harrigan and Myers, what of interest does the visitor see?

      Finally, if the cruise passenger stay in Road Town what does the visitor do before reboarding the ship?

      Like 14
  16. Hmm says:

    They not coming because they see yall post regarding immigration and racial issue. I Aam black and from here. We are doing more famage than good. Newssites should just remove this comment feature.

    Like 5
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  17. @Hmm says:

    So you are saying cover up what is going on in the BVI by removing comments by newssites.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  18. Observant Tourist says:

    Perhaps the tourists walking around town I don’t appreciate being insulted by the vagrant rasta in the torn shirt yelling at them or the helmut less kids scream through traffic cutting lanes on scooters ?

    Like 12
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  19. Focus says:

    I understand,lets build up our hotels them like we did before mahor cruise liners were around.that will keep revenue much growing.

  20. Blah says:

    We need stronger negotiators in government. We need to stop voting based on popularity or niceness. These foreign businessmen are continuously taking candy from a baby at taxpayers expense. They see the BVI as easy money. The BVI Airways guys took us for a ride, not only did we waive over $100,000 dollars that were due for payment to government we gave them $7.2 million way ahead of the agreed schedule with no concrete guarantees for reimbursement. That’s bad business decision making. We keep negotiating out of desperation and these savvy businessmen have us eating out of the palm of their hands.

    It was in the HOA in January 2018 where Mark was bragging about the progress of the Pier Park and giving a history of why we were doing this. An unnamed cruise operator told him the BVI wasn’t serious about cruise tourism. They wanted a bigger Pier. They talked about these thousands of guaranteed passengers. These operators saw the desperation of government and played them yet again. The cruise operators are a business. If the BVI isn’t a profitable destination they will pull out or reduce the arrivals. Mark said that there were two Berthing Agreements from Norwegian Cruise Lines and Disney Cruise Lines, guaranteeing a total of 425,000 passengers per annum, over 15 years, at $15.00 per head tax. According to the NCL agreement, some of the tax money that are due to us will be used as follows; $2 per passenger for the first five years of the agreement and $1 per passenger for years six through 10 — will be paid to the cruise line for “rendering Norwegian marketing services. So currently we are paying $850,000 per annum for NCL to market us after they encouraged us to build the Pier Park so they can come now they reneging on the agreed minimum passengers per year. I hope VIP negotiating skills are better than that of NDP because we cant take anymore losses.

  21. @@Anonymous says:

    Your evident hate for the African, the African and Black people is so evident,

    In fact, your mentality is not even suitable for a dump or septic tank.

    It is a disgrace to the race.

  22. Facts says:

    NCL is not a good cruise line to lose… It’s a fact- just two ships spend monty: NCL and Disney. And that new ship with the plumb bow. But, as some of us have so eloquently posted, the cruise industry are not nice guys and easily “play” Caribbean governments. The real problem is Tortola is a dump. I just cannot understand how we allow ourselves to live like this. You have to look hard to find another Caribbean island with as poor a pride-of-place than us. And we continuer to carve up the side of a mountain so we can burn our garbage. It’s the 21st century and we still dump our garbage and burn it. This says so much about us!

    Like 2
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  23. blah says:

    Y’all ain’t got no ambition that’s what killing y’all

  24. No nonsense says:

    There was once a young man at the tourist board(Isuar). He is world renowned for his tourism ideas. What happened to his report/study on BVI. look for it! Work on its points and clean and exercise out tourism product. He was wanted by INDIA to work. BVI wanted him to stay and keepwriting and NOT correcting?

  25. Rubber Duck says:

    The Pier Park looks like all the other Pier Parks and was designed with the imagination of a bed bug.

  26. Justin says:

    My question, where does the BVI Ports Authority feature in all this ? It would be nice to hear the Chairman’s view on allthis

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