BVI News

Gov’t aiming to increase cruise ship arrivals in BVI

BVI News photo of a cruise ship after making a call into the territory.

Government is aiming to increase the number of cruise ships that typically make calls to the British Virgin Islands during peak season.

In that vein, Premier Andrew Fahie — the minister responsible for tourism — is currently attending the Seatrade Cruise Global 2019 Conference in Miami. He said he intends to develop long-term business plans while seeking advice and co-operation to improve the territory’s tourism products to boost the economy.

With the expansion of the cruise industry and the increasing opportunities to be made available, Premier Fahie believes the territory must remain relevant if they are to reap any of the benefits.

“Tourism has always contributed significantly to the lifeblood of our economy here in the Virgin Islands. The government and the people are heavily invested in tourism, significantly so in cruise tourism. Our livelihoods depend on my government’s continued ability to engage and partner with these industries” Premier Fahie noted.

He continued: “Most senior cruise industry stakeholder and government executives are in attendance working to foster improved mutually beneficial relationships. This is especially important as we seek to improve the value of our tourism economy in our local market and in our efforts to rebalance and diversify our economy.”

The Seatrade Cruise Global is said to be the leading international exhibition and conference serving the cruise industry and attracts annually more than 700 companies from 113 countries with a total exceeding 11,000 registered attendees inclusive of over 300 international journalists.

Accompanying Premier Fahie is minister for Transportation, Works & Utilities, Kye Rymer; Junior Minister for Tourism Shereen Flax-Charles, and other local representatives from within the tourism or ports sectors.

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  1. Albion says:

    Why? Everyone knows that cruise ship passengers contribute almost nothing to the BVI economy. They are the lowest spenders of any type of tourist, and yet they carry a huge social cost.

    Why can’t government invest in overnight visitors who typically spend upward of $200 a day in our local economy rather than cruise ship passengers who average around $25?

    Like 39
    Dislike 1
    • Retired says:

      I agree. More cruise ships in the BVI is bad for future tourism in the BVI. Overnight tourists are a much better investment for future tourism in the BVI.

      Like 25
    • Good says:

      You sound good I hope when they want to expand the airport you don’t say nutting

  2. for who to benefit says:

    only people greatly benefits from this is Romney and Cane Garden Bay…Rich get richer …poor get poorer.

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
    • Saw somewhere says:

      Someone mentioned Bed and Breakfast. I think that is a good idea and you will have over nighters for sure.

  3. Quiet Warrior says:

    Tourism is a critical pillar in the financial services-tourism economic pillar. Though financial services contribute approximately 60% of revenues to government coffers, tourism provide more direct and indirect employment. It is not an over statement that it is the life blood of the economy. The number of cruise passengers exceed stay over visitors. On average, stay over visitors spend more per day than cruise visitors. It cost a lot of money to bring a tourist to the BVI, ie, investing in ports, roads, docks, water, electricity, sewage, telecommunications, environment……….etc.

    Moreover, not averse to increasing the number of cruise ships calling on the BVI and increasing the number of cruise passengers. The BVI needs to be careful not to slaughter quality on the altar of quantity. True, increasing the number of cruise passengers may increase benefits but the increase may occur at a declining rate——law of diminishing marginal return. Further, a greater effort and laser focus is needed on increasing the number stay over visitors. To do this, will require more beds, more and improved tourist attractions, improved transportation, improved infrastructure, environmental resource protection and preservation……etc. The BVI needs a holistic tourism plan.

    Like 15
  4. Wondering says:

    How much is this trip costing? Cruise ships need destinations why would our Preimier waste time and money taking a large group and going to Seatrade Global conference. Do you ever notice the black smoke from the cruise ships. Next up for the BVI will be another cruise ship dock next to the existing one.

  5. Think says:

    I meet few Americans who really love St. Thomas for example. They want to escape mass tourism. When I tell Americans that the BVI which they love is emulating St Thomas with the cruise ships, they grimace. By being greedy the BVI will ruin the tourism product. Many studies have been done on how you go from a charming destination to being swamped by ugly mass tourism.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
    • @Think says:

      BVI will never be St Thomas. Unlike most islands, the BVI is made up of 60 islands. Not 1, or 2, 60!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every island has its own charm. Nothing is wrong with developing Tortola for cruise tourism while the other islands offer the peace, tranquility etc. We can have the best of all worlds and stop with the useless whining. The people that want to visit BVI and escape cruisers can go to VG, Anegada, JVD, Cooper, Salt, Necker, Norman etc. What’s all the fuss?

    • 860tourist says:

      I have to agree, my husband and I have been coming to Tortola for 20 years and rent a house for 10 days. We love the non-commercialism and when cruise ships are in port, we stay away from town and Cane Garden. Way too many people. They get their free drink with their voucher and don’t spend money. We eat out most nights, shop at local stores for produce on the nights we eat in. I’m sure there are many people just like us spending money and enjoying the peace and quiet without the cruise ship visitors.

  6. On Looker says:

    Why is Andrew keeping the fact that C C is part of this delegation, a secret, and what is his role, also did he cancel his lawsuit against the government? ting to talk.

  7. Government Revenue says:

    In the form of the head tax per passenger is the driving reason for this push.

  8. Brooklyn says:

    I am a sailor and came to the BVI so many times. The yachting industry has saved the BVI economy few times and is still the world best sailing ground but it is on the edge of being destroyed as the cruising industry will bring only problems, crowds and pollution, drugs and problems. Everywhere they go, only the government and taxi drivers are making money,

  9. IslandGrrl says:

    I have worked in the Luxury sector for over 25 years and call Virgin Gorda home. The British Virgin Islands is Luxury and cruise ships are the exactly the thing to drive the luxury client away to other islands. Once you go “downmarket” it is nearly impossible to regain your previous Luxury market caché. I certainly understand that people are impatient for things to improve. But have patience, look at the rebound of the cruising sector and the clients they bring to each islands business. And when the villa rentals and resorts are rebuilt and reopened we will all breathe easier. The hotels and villas have clients that return after year, one generation introducing their children and grandchildren to the BVI. Just visit any of our beaches after the cruise ships have left. Trash left about and barely any money spent. I implore the government to look at the mistakes of other islands and keep the BVI the jewel that it is.

  10. CW says:

    To those talking about BVI = luxury. NOT EVEN CLOSE. BVI is at best 3 star accommodation with a few random properties at 4 stars and no 5 star accommodation at all in the entire territory. Scrub Island is a 4 star property anyplace except BVI. The true luxury (5 stars+) in BVI is only Necker and Mosquito. Your best tourism option is multi-pronged; cruise passenger product for Tortola and villas for overnight guests on Told and the sister islands. One or the other is shortsighted and will fail. LEAVE THIS TO SHARON AND SHEREEN TO HANDLE AND YOU WILL BE JUST FINE!!!! BEST PEOPLE FOR THE JOB!!!!

  11. myob says:

    That post was funny. No to cruise ships cause they don’t bring nothing. You the ones who need to HAVE something to come to. Tied of yo 4 tee shirts for 20.00 scam. When ship come in– what you all do- bring in Taxi and charge to go to Cane Garden 8.00PP.
    No enturpurnal spirit… none. Always blamin everyone else– ain’t never yo fault!!!!!
    Tell you what- go build that airline– that’ll being in money? Put old men in jail for having to much jewelry.

  12. West Coast says:

    We come from the west coast of the U.S.A. to sail in the B.V.I. and have been doing so with The Moorings since 1984 we are not very far from Hawaii which is very expensive and the cruise ships have almost destroyed what was a paradise. The cruise ship passengers in the Caribbean (St. Thomas) are looking for a $5.00 Rolex watch.., overcrowd the beaches for the tourists who are staying for a week… leave their garbage everywhere… and the cruise ships dump their garbage overboard which really destroys the reefs.
    We have continued to support the BVI through the hurricanes, past and present, through The Moorings and don’t want to see this wonderful paradise destroyed by cruise ship tourists. Enough said wake up politicians… don’t destroy a good thing for short term gains and ruin the future of the people who live and work in the B.V.I.

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