BVI News

Oversaturated USVI waters could benefit the BVI

Chairman of the BVI Marine Association, Andrew Ball.

Now that a local seaport is open to international traffic, there’s at least one positive sign the BVI’s marine industry will rebound — news that US Virgin Islands (USVI) waters are oversaturated with boats.

This was posited by Chairman of the BVI Marine Association, Andrew Ball who said oversaturation is the major problem of charter companies and boat owners that have migrated to the USVI due to the extended closure of the BVI’s marine borders.

“It’s not a particularly easy place to operate in that regard because there’s just too many people there,” said Ball who was speaking on the Talking Point radio show on ZBVI.

He said one main reason for the congestion in the USVI is the fact that boat cruisers from the United States feel more comfortable staying in that territory as they can easily travel to the mainland if they need to.

But Ball said some yachters are expected to travel to other Caribbean countries like the BVI, once more borders open up.

Don’t underestimate USVI

And though the BVI’s unique tourism product puts the territory in a good position to regain lost business, he said persons shouldn’t underestimate the USVI as that territory is actively improving its tourism product.

“They (the USVI) are building a lot of their own infrastructure. They’ve got a plan to build their own Willy T, they’ve got a floating bar, they’ve got floating spas, they’ve got new beach bars. They’re never going to quite have what we have in terms of our playground. If you think of the BVI, it’s sort of a marine theme park. But they do still have something to offer and we shouldn’t count that short,” Ball stated.

Multiple boat owners and charter companies have sailed their vessels to “bluer waters” in a bid to stop financial haemorrhaging brought on by the BVI’s extended border closures.

But Premier Andrew Fahie has expressed confidence the industry will rebound and regain more business than it may have lost to its neighbour, the USVI.

The Premier said the BVI has dropped registration fees in a bid to attract customers to the BVI.

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  1. Jerry says:

    We are losing to the USVI and they are hard at work to make their marine economy very successful. What are we doing about this? One ferry a day with a maximum of 50 people is a poor start. Our international sea ports are not open.

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    • Terry says:

      Exactly. The ports have not been opened to yachting nor has there been any mention of when it may happen and HOW.

      Like 14
    • Fahie is a m***n says:

      Can we just stop beating around the bush? The fact that your borders aren’t wide open to fully vax’d tourists with no BS quarantining and this expensive testing is asinine.

      You guys have a few months left before hurricane season, all of that money is being spent in the USVI. Tick tock.

      Like 20
    • Two cents says:

      I get what they are doing but boy are they doing it badly….Still no specifics, no dates, no metrics on what happens when and how. All I see is a floundering fish, flopping around with no rhyme or reason.

      Third world countries are usually fun because they figure out they cannot rule or manage. they then just settle down into stealing a certain percentage of stuff. This is fine however as business will figure a way around it. These clowns however are actively making things worse by not getting out of the way. they still steal but now they are also trying to do stuff to help.

    • SOSO says:

      So what! there are winners and losers. In the meantime try coming up with some idea that will us boost the economy. Instead of being a mouthpiece take action.

    • SOSO says:

      So what! there are winners and losers. In the meantime try coming up with some idea that will us boost the economy. Instead of being a mouthpiece take action. Tired of hearing ya’ll complain about everything. not even yourself can please ya’ll

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  2. Cay says:

    Bvi will come back stronger than ever

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    • Nope says:

      Not with our increased fees, crap attitude and poor customer service. We have lost that battle

      Like 41
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      • You're right says:

        Tourists are going to places that are easy, inexpensive and where people are nice to them.

        Every time I’ve arrived at BVI, it’s an inconvenience in the day of the immigration “officers.” All they seem to be looking to do is separate the tourists from their cash.

        The only cordial workers I’ve met are at the charter company’s.

        Like 22
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      • richgdgy says:

        Don’t forget BVI’S crime and DRUG problem,Thank the Libs for that!

      • Lia says:

        When I travel around the world I realise that Customer service in the BVI is not crap. There are some people who go to small islands and want everything handed to them and just be able to walk in and out like they feel, while it cannot happen in their own countries. To hell with that. We have some of the most police Immigration and Customs officers. I have been all over the world. Some of you need to travel some more and you will see who have attitude and poor customer service.

        Like 1
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        • Jah says:

          Sorry, but we are lacking in our customer service skills. World traveler as well, and we could definitely use some attitude adjustment and how we interact with people.

          Especially those in west end. I’ve personally seen some truly awful behavior from our officers.

  3. fed up says:

    BVI…We made a mistake when we elected a green full of rookies VIP government…We have just about 22 months left before we can correct that mistake…Lets put in more senior/sensible people who will listen to us and build a more progressive BVI.

    Like 64
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    • @fed up says:

      Every one started out ‘green rookie’, even you! Believe it or not, past Legislators, always started “green rookie” before gaining experience.

      Like 2
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      • strupes says:

        No time to be playing dolly house…These are serious hard times…We need majority seasoned politicians along with a few rookies.

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    • richgdgy says:

      The H**L with progressive BVI,that produces MORE crime.Go back to when the BVI were Natures Little Secrets!

  4. SMH says:

    Sometimes I think this guy just loves to hear himself!

    Like 8
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  5. 1st district says:

    Who??? I ready to vote a mixture of indigenous bvi islanders. That is the caucasian and the man of colour! One (2) vote casted already.

    Like 8
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  6. LOl says:

    Both of our Andrews are completely clueless and just p**sing in the wind.

    Like 8
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  7. Dave says:

    This man clearly knows what is going on. Why doesn’t the Government hire him to help them solve our problems? It sounds like they aren’t talking to the Marine Association. It’s like the Government wants this industry to fail.

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  8. USVI says:

    Sorry dude, but we are not over saturated. We are extremely busy with charters, liveaboards, and cruisers, but we are handling it just fine thank you very much.

    Due to your governments policies, we are killing it over here, thanks. Boats are full and even traveling to St Croix in search of new anchorages and we are welcoming them with open arms. What’s great is the statements we hear every day – “we will be back”, “we love it here”, “we love not having to clear customs and pay those silly, high fees”.

    Sorry but you guys dropped the ball on this one. Say all you want to try and get them back, but those boaters BVI chose to shun are here and staying.

    Like 40
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    • You wish says:

      Fortunately for us, BVI has so many treasures greated than the USVI can offer. It is a just a matter of time my friend, do not delude yourself.

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      • USVI says:

        You can have all the treasures in the world but it is the PEOPLE who make or break it for the tourist.

        We are professionals when it comes to tourism. You still import workers to do it for you. Learn from the professionals both here in the USVI and at home and you will be better for the tourist.

        Until then, we are and will be killing it.

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      • Listen to yourself says:

        It doesn’t matter that you have awesome stuff, if you are practically shut down then it doesn’t really matter, right. the BVI is technically open and the sea ports are technically open and you can technically handle a lot of visitors but in practice its not the case. Go try and figure out how to come visit the BVI today. Try figuring out the schedule, rules and cost.

        Now do the same thing for the USVI. It is just a matter of time but how much time? weeks, years – how many.

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    • @USVI says:

      Read and read again. This right here is what insecurity is. The BVI is the sailing capital of the entire “world” and utterances will not change that. Andrew is right!

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      • USVI says:

        Sorry. But you gave up that title. Welcome to the present and stop living in the past.

        USVI – America’s Paradise. And nature’s secret that the BVI doesn’t want you to know about…..

        Makes for a great T-shirt or bumper sticker.

        Still killing it….

        Like 5
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    • I wonder says:

      I heard about any studies on this issue but I really dont think that the influx of visitors that are currently in the USVI is because of the BVI alone. Fact is that the USVI is one of the most open ports in all the Caribbean, at a time when the BVI and many Caribbean and other destinations worldwide have various restrictions in place. Thus, the USVI is one of the easist places to travel to at the moment for Americans in search of a vacation. I really think that the assertion that the BVI dropped the ball is missing that fact.

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      • USVI says:

        True. Now think back a year or two and how easy it was to travel to the BVI. Day charters, ferries, planes – all easily done and painless.

        Fast forward to today. After being shutdown for over a year, BVI has clearly dropped the ball. With the USVI open, BVI could have ridden the coattails of the surge in tourists and had a banner year. But they failed to do so. Charter boats, cruisers, mega yachts would have all flocked to the BVI as they always did. But no BVI chose to remain closed.

        No study needed, unless BVI politicians want to waste even more taxpayer monies..

    • @USVI says:

      I work in the industry and took a booking today for next March. The guests said they were in the USVI a few weeks ago and never again. They said it doesn’t compare at all to the BVI and they can’t wait to get back to us. Wheel and come again with your propaganda.

      Like 6
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      • USVI says:

        Good for you.

        And for your one booking for NEXT year, I took 23 today. 12 for tomorrow and 28 for the weekend. 17 of those were guests who had visited the BVI and said they were tired of the run arounds, fees, and higher costs.

        Sorry. Still killing it.

      • Cato says:

        We all know there is no comparison between the BVI and USVI waters. The tourists charter a yacht in the USVI and sail it to the BVI because the only place the USVI has to go is St John and there is not much to see. It takes only 20 minutes to see it all. If you come sail to the BVI, you can go from island to island and spend a week and still not see it all. That’s a fact!

        The BVI will be on the rise again where the marine industry is concerned.

        Like 1
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        • USVI says:

          And wrong answer….

          Plenty to see here. People are now discovering and LOVING IT! St. John is beautiful and you could spend a month there and never see all it has to offer. St Croix is a fantastic destination and an easy, 4-5 hour beam reach day sail. It’s a foodie dream with bars and restaurants right on the waterfront in Christiansted and Frederiksted, spectacular diving, and the best snorkeling in the entire Caribbean.

          Since you’ve never been how do you know?

          But boaters are coming and loving it. Best of all, NO customs, NO fees, NO quarantine, NO problems…

          Our beaches are white, our waters blue, our people are welcoming and drinks are cold.

          Still killing it,

  9. It’s blatant says:

    VIP not build for these trying times. One man show! Foy boy 👦

    Like 19
  10. @Fahie says:

    I think Fahie need take the same stance with the insurance companies. Others will come when they threaten to leave.

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  11. PT9 says:

    The BVI customs and immigration have to learn how to deal with the tourists at the ports of entry.The people who are giving the test have to be more gentle. Someone told me when he and his wife were given the test they were not gentle.The BVI government employees and people in the hospitality business need training on how to deal with people.Andrew Fahie believes because he is offering all kinds of good deals and we have a good product the people are going to rush back you need to fix what was broken. Many people who have been coming to the BVI for 30 years or more told me that as long as we have the same Premier they won’t come back.

    Like 30
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    • Fo tru says:

      That’s because customs and immigration are the crooks. No manners, customer service, no compassion.

      Until they up their game, be polite, and even smile, then they will continue to give the bvi a bad name

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      • Smile says:

        When last did a US Customs or Immigration Officer (Border Patrol) smile with you?

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      • FYI says:

        The officers in the US don’t smile. They handle business and keep it moving. In fact, I have interacted with some on St. Croix and they left an impression that made me never want to return. A few of the St. Thomas/St. John officers had earned that same reputation as well.

    • @PT9 says:

      The sentiments go both ways. Treat others the way you want to be treated, at home and or abroad. Don’t treat people a certain way in your. home town, then travel and expect to be treated gently.

      Karma has a way of intervening silently. Before blaming and castigating others, sometime, think about that.

      Like 3
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      • Nah, not really. says:

        The customs and immigrations have been complete a-holes each and every time of the dozen that I’ve visited. Not just to me, but everyone. It’s almost like they’re playing a game to see who can be the biggest b**ch. I can’t imagine how they’re rudeness must be bottled up and concentrated – I’d hate to be traveling there right now.

        A kiosk would do a better job and be worlds friendlier.

        Like 15
  12. awa says:

    @USVI, Since you are so smug about the business you received from the BVI and you have everything over there I hope you will stay where you are and have no need to cruise the BVI waters. The USVI cruising can not compare to the BVI. We will see how many stay with you when the 2021,22 season begins. The overnight charter business in the BVI was overcrowded I have always said so, So keep what you have. GOOD FOR THE USVI, You can get all the floating bars you want but there is only one Willy T one Soggy Dollar Bar One barths, I can go on but I believe you got the picture, Enjoy what you received from the BVI.

    Like 9
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  13. LOL says:


    Like 18
  14. Cut Deep says:

    This one is way better.. he has my vote if we have elections and he ran for office!

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  15. Styles. says:

    The biggest mistake the BVI can make is thinking it has a unique offering.

    The BVI is not unique and not the only sailing destination in the world. Other jurisdictions are quickly developing while we are moving backwards.

    Like 13
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  16. PT9 says:

    @@PT9, You need to think before you talk, the first people anyone comes in contact with our Customs and Immigration, I have traveled all over the USA Canada, and the Caribbean, and I have never seen what you are talking about so you should think about it.

    Like 3
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  17. Sailing capital says:

    Once upon a time the BVI was the sailing capital of the world. The BVI got left behind for a variety of self-inflicted reasons so now it will just get the crumbs.

    Like 4
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  18. Think says:

    Maybe the guy who is the chairman of the BVI Marine Association and who has been trying to lead the marine section out of this horrible time, Maybe just maybe we could use him as a consultant to help reboot the marine based economy and give us a working plan.

    Like 12
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  19. KH11 says:

    To many people appear to have the notion, and falsely so, that the BVI Immigration and Customs Department part of the vacationing industry. They are not. They are functioning bodies of border and country security.

    Like 1
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  20. Ausar says:

    I am hoping that you’re correct on this one,Mr. Ball.

    While I live and make money in the USVI, I also make money in the BVI.

    I CANNOT take sides on this issue! The BVI is my home as well as the USVI and I will not put one down for the other!

    I’m happy that the USVI is making money, but I want my parents homeland to make money also!

    Help us Premier Fahie with gradual reopenings, to restore our bounty!

  21. Westman says:

    calling yer girl chil delisious…is crazy and unique.That’s all folks.

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