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Cruise ship arrival does not mean USVI runs better

Junior Minister of Tourism Archibald Christian. File photo

Junior Minister for Tourism Archibald Christian said better governance is not why the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) will welcome cruise ships to its shores before the British Virgin Islands.

USVI media reported that the first cruise ship since the hurricanes will arrive in their territory as early as next week, if not sooner.

“I think that on a comparison basis I wouldn’t want to say that they are doing something better than us or doing something different to us. We all have to cope with our own issues and do the best we can,” Christian said.

The junior minister said he suspects the USVI is ahead in welcoming cruise passengers because it was less affected by the category 5 hurricanes.

“If you speak to people in St Thomas; they come up here for funerals, and they interact with us and they are saying BVI was more devastated in terms of destruction and damage, level of repairs, and the amount of properties that have to be repaired and be put back to a sense where things are back to normal,” Christian reasoned.

We will be ready

Christian said the BVI will not lag far behind the USVI in terms of cruise ship arrivals; adding that he is glad his neighbours are recovering well.

“I’m happy for them. There is a difference in terms of devastation between us and the United States Virgin Islands and so I don’t want to be in a position to say we should have been ready because St Thomas was ready.”

“We will be ready. We expect that we will have a number of ships calling between November and December and to me that would signal that we are slowly coming back and that our arrivals would hopefully increase by 2018,” Christian told BVI News yesterday.

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