BVI News

Gov’t targets 63% increase in visitor arrivals at new West End port

The preliminary design for the new port facility to be constructed in West End.

Government is hoping the modern port facility that is to be developed in West End, Tortola will generate a major increase in non-cruise visitor arrivals in the territory.

Director of Planning at the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Neil Smith, made that target known on Tuesday during a public meeting about preliminary plans for the port.

“In 2016 at West End, there were 123,000 non-cruise ship arrivals entering that port or 29 per cent of the total passenger arrivals [in the territory],” Smith said.

He further said those passengers accounted for $134.7 million or a little more than 10 percent in the territory’s economy.

“You can see how important West End was so we are looking to design a facility that allows for a 62 per cent increase in those arrivals,” he added.

The RDA’s Planning Director said, once completed, the facility should have the capacity to process at least 200 passengers per hour, have segregation between international and domestic passengers, have the ability to accomodate four safari buses in 15 minutes, and facilitate two ferries simultaneously.

Smith said the new port facility is likely to be a multi-level building.

“A lot of this is dependent on what the people want,” he explained.

Donor or loan to fund project

In the meantime, Representative of the First District where the new port will be located, Premier Andrew Fahie, said a donor is already showing interest in partnering with government to fund up to 50 percent of the total cost of the development.

He said that was one of two options to finance the project. The other option would be to seek a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

“I would prefer the first option,” Premier Fahie said while noting that he has ‘nothing against the CDB’.

“It’s just that the loan will take a little longer,” he explained.

Preliminary designs for the new facility was presented to residents during Tuesday’s meeting. The public was then invited to give feedback. This feedback is now to be incorporated in subsequent drafts of the design.

What the people want

Suggestions from residents included creating separate ports for international arrivals and domestic arrivals .

There were other suggestions such as making the facility a three-story building to facilitate visitor arrivals on the ground floor, departures on another floor, and administrative operations on the other.

Automated Teller Machines (ATM) machines, sizeable staff, having a VIP lounge, and powering the building with renewable energy were other suggestions given.

Officials are yet to give cost projections or a timeframe for completion of the project.

Port operations at West End have been halted since the old port facility received significant damage during the 2017 disasters.

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23 Comments

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  1. sam the man says:

    Given that its been over a year and a half since Irma and we are only now seeing preliminary proposals that have yet to be confirmed, costed, planned and funding secured for this essential transport hub we aren’t exactly busting a gut here are we!!!

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
    • Anonymous says:

      And where is everyone parking? Ding ding ding. You need a parking garage

    • Towers says:

      Please don’t build that! We need a beautiful Caribbean building like soper’s Hole, not some Floridian bland building like that. Also, how can you have departures on an upper floor-how are you going to get on the boat if you are disabled? If you need elevators that’s unnecessary cost and we all know how well technology works here!

  2. Ausar says:

    Such a neccessary component to this economy needs no further delays!

    Why it has taken so long for government to realize the importance of this facility, and get the neccessary repairs facilitated in a timely fashion, is still unknown.

    We are counting on you Premier Fahie, to deliver an aesthetically pleasing and functional structure, to the West End area in particular, and the territory- at-large!

    Like 13
  3. A says:

    Was this an April fools? Sure looks like one….lolz

    Like 7
    Dislike 3
  4. Visitor says:

    We are already spending thousands of dollars when we decide to vacation in the BVI. Now we are expected to pay 63 percent increase visiter arrival @ the ferry dock.

    Like 3
    Dislike 20
  5. ??? says:

    “He further said those passengers accounted for $134.7 million or a little more than 10 percent in the territory’s economy.”

    Certainly a mistake was made somewhere in this statement………… $134 Million/10 %??????????

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  6. ??? says:

    Also,

    When they say a VIP Lounge, did they mean a VIP Lounge or a “VIP” Lounge….:)

  7. Returning a favour says:

    A donation eh?
    And you prefer this option….

    What are we paying for the donation?
    or should i say what are we paying back for the ” favour” or is it ” favours?”

    Since a brunch of those favours from the alleged donor have already been given by the alleged donor starting with the hurricane and going into the VIP campaign for election?

    What exactly did you bind us to?

    i believe in philanthropy in the open

    Like 9
    Dislike 6
    • Anonymous says:

      Well if you have a problem with the donation I’m sure a straight forward uncompromising person like yourself can make a no strings attached donation for your beloved territory.

      Like 2
      Dislike 2
  8. Westman says:

    Otterbox?

  9. To Returning a favor says:

    People like you are small minded. This RDA that the NDP cripple the country with is working on donations all the time but you don’t say a word. The BVI will never get better with badminded persons like yourself around.

  10. Hmmm! says:

    Don’t try to butter up nothing…. OTTERBOX in the making..Favour is returning, ah you think ah see anything yet, just wait!!

  11. D-man says:

    About time. Don’t forget to improve the area around the new facility (access roads, parking etc.) Need to look at Sopers Hole access and parking at the same time to accommodate the increased traffic there as well. Any chance of acquiring the property where the old Jolly Roger ( I forget the name of the new restaurant ) was to give a little more elbow room to the project?

  12. I was working as a waitress says:

    Remember folks. The government is TARGETING an increase. That doesn’t mean anything more than that. Personally I’m targeting losing 12 lbs but whether or not that happens…..

  13. !! says:

    Why continue to use the same similar designs everywhere on every island. Why can you design a more modern style building, cutting edge, something more unique and creative. Set a precedence and let the others follow, why we always following. Be leaders and have them talk about our new modern design West End Ferry Terminal. Be different!

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