Two major cruise lines in the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association are reporting that tourists are pining to return to the British Virgin Islands.
Disney and Norwegian Cruise lines both said they receive continuous inquiries from tourists interested in visiting the recovering territory.
And though Disney is yet to decide when they will resume cruise calls to the BVI, they said they have approved several advanced bookings from tourists.
“We have a lot of cruises booked with the BVI. We’re just unable to come here until we consider the guest experience, and the safety and security of our guests are to the level that we need,” said Russell Daya, an executive director for the Disney Fantasy cruise ship.
He was responding to questions from local tourism stakeholders at a media conference at The Moorings this week.
“From a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) standpoint, we get asked all the time when we’re going back [to the BVI],” said a representative from Norwegian, who was also present at the conference.
“As you know NCL pulled out till October which I think is still fair … Being brutally honest, I think October is perfect and I think you will be more than ready by that time and we don’t have to underdeliver – we can overdeliver [in terms of marketing our return to the territory],” the representative added.
News of tourists’ continued interest in the BVI comes on the heels of a report from the BVI Tourist Board showing that the territory’s tourism statistics are showing major declines.
According to the report, vessel berths before last year’s hurricanes were about 3,800. But, as of April 1 this year, berths had fallen to 1,500.
And excluding Airbnb properties, room inventory before the hurricanes stood at 2,800. That number has dropped to 407, which represents an approximate 85 percent decrease.
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