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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