BVI News

Premier confident battered marine sector will rebound ‘extremely well’

Premier Andrew Fahie

Amid recent news that multiple local charter companies have sailed their boats to “bluer waters” due to the year-long closure of the BVI’s marine sector, Premier Andrew Fahie has expressed confidence the industry will rebound.

And while further commenting on news that the US Virgin Islands (USVI) has benefitted from the BVI’s tourism closure, the Premier said he believes the BVI will regain more business than it may have lost to its neighbour.

“I’m confident that we will do extremely well. I can’t say we will get back all but we may get back more and replace those that have left,” Premier Fahie stated during an April 13 interview with 284 Media.

“We’re going to be bringing back our marine industry stronger than ever so what is ours, we will get it. I commend our brothers and sisters in the USVI for the way they have rebounded but we also will rebound and we will be doing pretty well,” he added.

Attractive fees, environment to lure back sailors

Locals continue to complain that the extended border closure and strict COVID-19 regulations are causing irreparable damage to the BVI’s reputation as the sailing capital of the world.

And recently, yacht cruisers who frequent the Eastern Caribbean used a Facebook forum to outline the myriad of reasons they have sailed past the BVI for the 2021 season.

But during his recent interview, Premier Fahie said the BVI still has a unique product as the sailing capital of the world and added that the government has started to create an attractive environment to lure sailors into local waters.

“We are already dropping the fees for boats so that they can be registered here so that they can start their tours from here. We’ve also dropped fees for home-porting so that people can start cruises from here. One of the unique things the BVI has is the 60 island and islets. There’s no other place in the world that has the kind of sailing capital that we have,” Premier Fahie expressed.

The BVI’s seaports will reopen to international travel on April 15.

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47 Comments

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  1. Alfred says:

    Who are you kidding ?

    1) Fees have not decreased. They have steadily risen and put the BVI out of many peoples budget.

    2) Most of the USVI daytrippers have sworn not to visit the BVI after opening and are finding new ways of entertaining guests without leaving the USVI.

    3) The borders are not opening on April 15th. They are open for one ferry a day. There is still no indication of when private vessels will be permitted in.

    4) The average charterboat these days are large , powerful and fast compared to past years. They are now far more capable of covering greater distances and are venturing to more welcoming places like The Grenadines , Bahamas and Spanish Virgins. No longer do they need to stay within the protected waters of the BVI. I would not be so confident about a full return of the yachting industry.

    Like 42
    Dislike 2
    • Skeptic says:

      Fees never – ever – go down in the BVI… And we are known for egregious red tape and over the top bureaucracy.

      Like 19
      • Well.... says:

        I book charters here in the BVI and 2022 bookings are through the roof….get ready because the tourists who charter are coming back in big numbers!

  2. This guy is clueless says:

    About either the finance, or marine industry. He seems to know a lot about the 3rd pillar though..

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  3. Uh huh says:

    No worries on the yacht cruisers forum. They are notoriously cheap, just like their counterparts on the cruise ship, who are even cheaper.
    Focus on the landbased,overnight visitors.
    Take moment to look around, the sea has rebounded and is clean and sea life is returning. We don’t need the holding tanks being dumped in our waters. Missed a great opportunity to build pumpouts during the lull.
    Bring back quality visitors, the ones who were chased away by the crowds. All the complaining about extra expense to test,etc, The actual amount was minimal, although to those coming “on the cheap”, it chased them away.

    Like 11
    Dislike 23
    • reality check says:

      Last time I checked Charterers spend about $1000/day per boat then about $100 extra per person/day on the boat. I don’t know what bush tea you are smoking but that is not “on the cheap” in my book.

      Like 26
      Dislike 3
      • Reality Check Two says:

        I concur with reality check. I am in the process of taking a charter to the BVI this week. All of my crew had to spend $175 for a COVID test to fly there, $175 for the 2 test/4 day quarantine and another $75 for a 4th test to get back to the US. Multiply that by 6 people = $2550 for just the testing. Not to mention the taxis. This on top of more expensive flights into Beef Island, rather than St. Thomas. I have been coming to the BVI for the past 15 years. I think that you have burned this sailors bridge. I am going to start looking elsewhere. Trust me, you are not “all that”.

        Like 34
        Dislike 1
        • ... says:

          Again! Who is benefitting? Surely not the BVI Economy.One has the Rights of Free Will to spend their monies however they see fit. But One can’t choose to spend based on their Choices( 💰 spent in other Jurisdictions) and then want to crucify the BVI Government for their free pass to sail around a fully stocked chartered boat.

        • Ann says:

          It’s the damn quarantines that are killing the industry. It’s insane. Vaccinated people should not have to quarantine 4 days!

          • Grouper says:

            It’s 14 days for people from the UK because Foy wants to play childish political games. Who the f**k is going to do that?

      • SMH says:

        Who benefitting?

    • @uh huh says:

      1/ Would you care to elaborate on a “quality visitor”?

      2/ How many people ether directly or indirectly benefit financially from the Marine Industry in the BVI?

      3/ What exactly do you mean by “on the cheep”?

      4/ Holding tanks dumping? Please explain how wonderful the BVI sewage system is?

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
    • Gary says:

      Cruisers are not cheap per se. most on on a tight budget. There is a difference. And this s**t attitude that because we own a boat we have deep pockets.

      Actual amount was minimal? My a**! That’s why many will not return. The BVI has no respect for a majority of cruisers. We are not broke, we are not cheap. But we do have to watch our budgets. And most spend $2000 plus a month. You’ll never get that from a cruise ship passenger. And there is no infrastructure required to bring in that money.

      Just typical BS mindset of BVI.

      BVI Love? 😂😂😂😂

  4. oh yeah? says:

    The child done drown…too late…your government has killed the goose that laid the golden egg

    Like 28
    Dislike 2
  5. heckler says:

    NOT ONE AH DEM IN THE VIP HAS EVER RAN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS, NONE!

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  6. wow says:

    We chased them away now we are inviting them back with open arms? WOW !!!!!

    Like 15
  7. bvi needs a sensible leader says:

    This guy thinks everybody is stupid like most of his followers. He literally killed the majority of the daysail businesses in the whole entire virgin islands single-handedly

    Like 34
    Dislike 1
    • ... says:

      Chupes! Commonsense done evaporate from lots of Minds. All this fretting over Marine Industry…Who benefitting? Charter Boats comes into the Territory done collect their Guests from Other Jurisdictions, pays a small fee to Port Authority and sail around the Territory like no bodies business. They sure ain’t spending in local grocery stores or supermarkets. They sure ain’t going to Restaurants and Local Eateries, never mind the Farmers’ Market or Local Vendors. So who these Bloggers( So called Visitors) think they undermining? Most out their so blindsided by hatred that they quick to side with aristocrats and call down the Government.

      Dislike 15
      • at ...... says:

        You are clueless, ever been in the supermarket seeing charter guests with their full shopping carts? And that does not include the provisioned boats. Check the restaurants in Jost van Dyke and Anegada, most of their patrons come off charter boats.

      • @dummychupes says:

        Vg restaurants did $8mill/year on charter boats. Charter boats was far the largest beds. Had over 400 boats x 3.5 berths is same to 1400 in hotel room 2800 ppl. A week. Spreading money all through the territory. Holding tank issue is a 20 yr gov failure like sewers. 7 Pump outs would cost less than the cars gov buying last 18 months. $5k/week x 400 =2m week Tons of jobs. Many priv captain got their start and education with them. gov is killing we from all directions. Ppl rise and demand a reduction in staff and fees or it will pull all a we into the deep and drown or Uk coming.

  8. Pandora's Box says:

    I’d weep if I had any more tears to give! So tired of the bull$hit propaganda and narrow mindlessness that is fed this Country. It is exhausting and emotionally taxing – all I can do is stand and what comes our way comes, but time has long since passed where I put any faith into, or listen to the words, prognostications, and promises of this charlatan!

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  9. Sailor Sam says:

    Most of the boats are not owned by the charter companies. They are owned by individuals and managed by the charter companies. It is the individuals who have decided to move their boats. One well known charter company has lost 50% of its boats. Whether they will come back to BVI no one knows.

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  10. Albert says:

    What this man does not understand is that his lack of proper planning and policies has done serious harm to people’s lives and businesses. Thinking that people will come back because our country is beautiful is near sighted. People have choices and many are not pleased by the way we have treated them. Many businesses had to close. People are working one and two days and can’t pay rent, mortgage or buy food. Do you understand Mr. Premier? Do you?

    Like 32
    • hmmmmmmmm says:

      No he doesn’t. That’s the sad part and he taking all of us to h**l in a hand basket with him. He wants to be the authority on everything and knows nothing. Sad to say. He and his crew just got to go.

  11. WTF says:

    Perhaps if they try talking to the industry, they will have a chance of success. If they keep making misguided decisions on their own then they will just dig themselves in deeper.

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  12. Confident says:

    If Andy is so confident then just invest in a variety of yachts for bareboat, crewed charter and daysails then put them to work in the BVI. He can sit back and watch all his money disappear.

  13. give me a break says:

    Oh the ignorance and arrogance is strong in this one. All the sailing industry needed to weather this storm was clear and exact guidance, none came. You dangled carrots and then gave us the stick. Even now – you claim we are opening in June but still have no clear indication of what that looks like. No protocols, no specifics. It is impossible to run a business when you do not know what is coming next.

    You Mr. Fahie is going to learn that come next election the people will remember you for taking away their livelihood, not for the people who didn’t die.

    Like 36
  14. Choices says:

    Mr Fahie – Put yourself in a potential visitors shoes. Decide between a sailing trip in the BVI vs the USVI. Also imagine being fully vaccinated.

    One is going to make you pay them to put tracker on you and force 3 covid tests – which may or may not come back 24-48 hours after you take them. You will be forced to pay whatever the taxi driver decides is fair to get the tests. The website you have to use works 100% , 90% of the time. You will spend 5-6 days stuck on the boat OR anything and everything may change. All this needs to be scheduled and tracked so you make the times and dates.

    the other needs a negative covid test on arrival.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  15. Move forward! says:

    I agree with most of the posts. The government has waited to long to open. The current restrictions to enter are absolutely a deterrent and are sending people to other destinations like USVI and Mexico.
    I think too much effort was made to stop the virus from entering the territory when time should have been spent following proticals that balanced out protection and keeping the economy moving.
    I belive if the government could go back, they would do things differently.
    With that said, the time is now, not June, to open.
    The vaccines work and keep people from contracting or spreading the virus. I have been fully vaccinated and spent 10 hours in a car, with my son, sharing food and drinks. He was not feeling well the entire trip and tested positive the next day. I tested negative 7 days later. The vaccines work as advertised!
    vaccinated visitors should be able to enter with no restrictions.
    Others should test prior to arrival and follow mask wearing and social distance guidelines.

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  16. Mmmph says:

    He should be buying lottery tickets with that kind of confidence

    Like 12
  17. BVI says:

    WE’VE ELECTED A GOVERNMENT WHO DID MORE HARM TO THE ECONOMY THAN COVID AND HURRICANE IRMA DID ALL TOGETHER

    Like 28
    Dislike 3
  18. Mad Max says:

    Why is Hon. Fahie on the talk show circuit without the government making an official declaration of when the country will open.

    It is like it is up to him and at his whim. Very dictatorial!

    Like 26
  19. What!!! says:

    Now the Premier is an expert on the marine industry, total B.S. not a clue. He and his party have dragged our country down through their ignorance and refusing to listen to people involved who actually know. Can’t wait to vote them out but we need a better alternative.

    Like 13
  20. help help help says:

    Marlon, Ronnie, Fraser, Dancia, Mitch, Myron and Kedric please get together and come to our rescue quick

    Like 7
    Dislike 7
    • splendid idea says:

      Mitch in the 2nd, Fraser in the 3rd, Ronnie in the 4th, Kedrick in the 7th, Marlon in the 8th, Dancia atlarge, Myron atlarge…………….There you have it ladies and gentlemen, a perfect winning team.

      Like 4
      Dislike 5
  21. Credit Card Captain says:

    I’ve sailed the BVIs for years, but I’ve got to admit that I am too looking for more attractive destinations. My entire crew (besides children) are already 100% vaccinated, but spending that much for testing and tracking that’s not necessary is silly. Also, why is it so expensive to fly into Beef Island? American Eagle use to have cheap flights everyday. My last charter was USVI just to get the better St. Thomas flight. We still came to the BVI for part of the charter. With the restrictions, we’ll just go somewhere else.

    I certainly agree with protecting life during a pandemic, but it’s time to adjust the requirement. Check my vaccine card and let me spend some money in your beautiful country.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  22. Change the message.. says:

    U all cant be in the news every day talking about covid, covid, covid, and whenever there is a case u all make it sounds like we worst than the valcano in st vincent..and everyone going to suffer.This kind of messaging is what slowing down progress…Focus on a positive message,. Thats what will move us forward and bounce us back quickly.

  23. @HELP says:

    Y GOT A GOOD IDEA MY FRIEND / BUT AS YOU SEE WHAT BECAME OF THE ( NDP) THEY IMPLODE EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE INN CHARGE / ITS ALL ABOUT POWER OR DOG EAT DOG MENTALITY ( EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE THE ABILITY THE KNOWLEDGE THEY DON’T HAVE THE SAME VISION TO WORK AS A TEAM CONSTRUCTIVLY AND HONESTLY FOR THE BETTER OF THE PEOPLE OR THE COUNTRY WITH RESPECT BFOR EACH OTHER ( ANOTHER EXAMPLE / LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO DISTRICT # 3 REPRESENTATIVE HE THOUGHT HE PATHNER HAD HIS BACK AND YOU SEE WHAT WENT DOWN ( IT LOOKS LIKE THE DISTRICT #3 FELLOW GORNE GHOST NOW 😳

    • Truth says:

      Potential visitors are scheduling Fall 21′ and Winter/Spring 22′ trips right now. The overwhelming majority don’t trust the BVI Gov, are put off by the extreme fees collected, and are choosing other destinations (Grenadines, Bahamas, Greece, etc). The BVI is NOT what is used to be.

  24. tim says:

    sorry, can you explain the “open arms” thing/concept …?

    I haven’t seen anything that shows open arms.

    when they announce opening up and show there is no crazy fees …

    a visitor coming from the US for 10 days is required to take four COVID 19 … four tests for 10 days visit. insane.

    Like 11
  25. Robert says:

    Explain to us please you plan for June. Anything?

  26. Alan says:

    It’s so disappointing to hear of the problems in BVI. Regardless, a few of us here in the U.S. have rented a boat and plan to sail BVI in late June. We’re excited to see your beautiful country and friendly people. Hang in there.

  27. WOW says:

    Same set of people blogging foolishness over and over and over. Covid-19 destroyed all economies worldwide but the few fools trying to make us feel that it is this Government’s fault. We know better.

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