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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