BVI News

Roughly $600K in revenue available with every cruise call, statistic show BVI not capitalising

President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Michele Paige has called on stakeholders in the local tourism sector to do more to procure the more-than-half-million-dollars she says is up for grabs whenever a ship calls into the territory.

“Those ships have five thousand people on it. What are you going to do when two ships are in port and you have 10,000 passengers and 5,000 crew members? What are you going to do with them? You are leaving money on the table. An average ship leaves $600,000 on the table for the private sector. If you are not making that then you are leaving money on the table,” she said.

Visitor expectation not fully satisfied in the BVI

Paige, who is part of a delegation of international cruise executives currently in the territory, said statistics have shown that the visitors’ expectations are not fully satisfied when they visit the territory.

She explained: “They (the visitors) are here for eight hours. Our record shows that our average passenger goes back after four hours in the BVI.”

“So what are we doing to create that experience that you are keeping the passengers here longer and having them want to come back? Paige questioned. “That’s what we really need to work on – creating a new wow and to create the identity. But how are you putting that forward? How are you telling the story? What you are trying to do is keep them off the ship.”

The FCCA president Paige, made the remarks while responding to questions by BVI News at a press conference on Wednesday.

 TPP comes in for high praise

Paige, in the meantime, described the C.B. Romney Tortola Pier Park as a facility that is not only attractive but emphasizes the essence of the territory.

“Compared to others, you have a beautiful facility. It is very welcoming, the shops are very unique and high end, and you put emphasis on items that are produced here in the BVI, which is exactly what people want,” she said.

She, however, urged the private sector to do more to complement the government’s work.

“The government can only do so much. The Premier and the ministers are setting the stage. They have created the dialogue, the commitment from the government to the cruise industry. We are here, and we are here on the invitation of the Premier. He has made us feel his passion; he has made us feel his commitment from the government to make it happen. But, it is the private sector, to ensure that the product is there to meet the needs of the travelling public,” she further said.

Apart from meeting the press, the delegation met with local stakeholders at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College.

Among the objectives of their visit is to share their concerns about the industry with a view to strengthen the service offering and tighten the existing bond between the cruise sector and the territory.

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  1. Shame says:

    Money money money
    And what about all the negative impacts these ships are having on the climate, our natural environment and our communities.
    All the recently published scientific reports and data showing how the cruise ship industry is actively taking deliberate measure to cheat and mislead on the negative impacts their ships are having – a la the way Volkswagen cheated emissions testing with their vehicles.
    It’s scandalous but everybody just turns a blind out because all they care about is short-term financial gain.
    Any small island nation that actively promotes and supports the cruise ship industry are shooting themselves in the foot. We are the most prone to negative impacts of climate change and rising sea levels and yet we continue to refuse to change our behavior for the sake of a few $$$.
    The next time the BVI is devastated by a major hurricane are we really going to have the cheek to get the begging bowl out again.
    It’s high time we get smart and kick the cruise ships out.

    Like 28
    Dislike 13
    • Perspective says:

      The lady is simply stating we can do more to capitalize on the cruise ship tourists who visit us. Yet you come here with talk about climate change.

      Let’s kick out the cruise ships, you say.

      Well to save the planet, why don’t you give up your car and use a bicycle instead. Wait, bicycles need steel whose production causes climate change according to your thinking. So get a donkey instead, or walk.

  2. oh yeah says:

    We can start by cleaning up the territory on a whole especially the capitol.

    Like 67
    Dislike 1
    • Tola says:

      Like that broken down fence right across fron Scotia bank with those derilics inside there

      Like 14
      • Hmmmm says:

        The owner of that property more interested in Bomba Shack being revitalized. She better start with her son and son-in-law. That lot looks like a disgrace in the middle of town.

    • Ok says:

      During the meeting a statement was made referring the cleaning up the Territory. The Premier pushed it back on the citizens. Yes, agreed that we all play and important part in keeping the Territory Cleaned, but in the Capitol is quite dirty and the Government has to be responsible. Enforcement needs to be in place to ensure Businesses carry their trash to the dump site and why do we have those ugly open dumpsters in the middle of town? On a daily basis they are overflowing with trash all around!
      Something needs to be done! There is one by Craft Alive that is just a sore sight!

  3. Proud says:

    I love that public meeting last night. I am so proud of our government. Premier you all keep it up.

    Like 12
    Dislike 3
  4. Truth says:

    Last night we heard the good and bad of our tourism product especially in the cruise area. I commend the Premier and his team for always keeping these public meetings to keep the people involved and engaged. This was long needed.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  5. CW says:

    BVI has always been a sailing destination and a villa destination. There is just as much money and much less environmental damage to be had by better managing the cruise ship product. Both cruising and sailing/villas need to happen in a responsible way that allows the territory to profit in some small way so they can continue projects. Sharon Flax has the vision but she needs better support!!

    Like 13
    • Too True says:

      The guests staying at resorts, hotels & villas are put off by cruise ships & their passengers flocking to our shores. These overnight guests contribute much more to our economy, so we should be careful not to scare them away by encouraging cruise ships….


    • Vision says:

      The cruise ship companies only use and take. They don’t really care about the places they visit. They certainly don’t add any real benefits to their destinations. Road Town is hell when we have the big ships visiting. The same with Cane Garden Bay. They might be fine on St Thomas or Puerto Rico but they are just too big for here

      Like 6
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      • Can't Have It All! says:

        Sometime back in the late 80s or early 90s, (VIP was in power all then), $300,000 was spent on a Two-person study on best organize our Cruise Ship tourism; and they did a pretty good job going around talking with locals and tourists getting their feeback.
        Bottom line: It was recommended that BVI go after the smaller ships (1,500 – 2,000 capacity). Promote activities that would take them out to sea uncluttering the streets.
        Activities like scuba diving, glass bottom tours, etc). But we got greedy and wanted the numbers.
        As a person who promoted BVI tourism overseas, I fail to see us doing any better, in terms of collecting that extra $600,000.
        When the cruise passengers are taken to Virgin Gorda, they are hustled to the Baths and hustled back to the ferry, to RT and then to the ship; instead of taking turn and taking them to eastern Virgin Gorda where the views are much better and back to Spanish Town; that way uncluttering the Baths rather than having several hundred folks all at once climbing down through the rocks to get to the Baths. But the again, a sizable chunk of the ships income is from tours; so its in their Best Interest to get them to the Baths and back to the ship ASAP.
        Instead of putting all those millions into the Pier Park, it should have been a Joint Venture between the ships and the government; in which case they would have a vested interest in the Pier Park where they would have had an interest. But no; the Greedy Bug began to bite and now the PP is in the Eviction business because of lack of sales in the PP.

  6. VG MAN says:

    Send a ship VG we will make it happen over here!

    Like 9
    Dislike 7
    • Ausar says:

      Brilliant idea, “VG Man”!

      Especially when there’s so much natural beauty on that island!

      And, Anegada, too, should be a part of the cruise tourism lineup!

      Like 7
      Dislike 5
      • no way says:

        @vgman @ausar
        No thanks. Cruise ships would destroy VG and Anegada.
        The Baths are already a nightmare on days when cruise ships call on Road Town.

        Like 5
        Dislike 1
    • You says:

      Sound foolish! as it stands VG has the two high end properties. Swamp VG and impacting their experience and see what happens. There is no future in cruise tourism!

      Like 11
      Dislike 2
  7. Truth says:

    Why didn’t anyone catch her out in her lies?

    Someone should of asked her to name the 2 ships that come to the BVI that hold 5,000 passengers each as well as 2,500 crew each.

    • @Truth says:

      The big Norwegian ships hold over 4,000 passengers and 2,000 crew. The point she is making is that there are opportunities to make money off these people but we are dropping the ball in certain areas. People are not coming off Disney and Norwegian ships broke, these are money people and would spend once they see things they like.

      Like 11
      Dislike 2
  8. Retired says:

    Ms. Paige has a valid point that the cruise ship passengers visiting Tortola seem to spend only 4 hours on Tortola during the 8 hour ship visit. Tortola is a small island and there are not enough ‘cruiser’ activities(tours, beach trips, etc.) to fill an 8 hour visit. Perhaps it time for the cruise ship to limit their visiting time to Tortola to 4-6 hours. Maybe have a morning ship from 8am to 1-2pm then an afternoon ship from 1pm to 6pm.

    The BVI’s main tourist product of boating, sailing and diving is better suited for long term tourists who stay several days or weeks not the short term cruise ship passengers.

    Like 17
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  9. Hmmm says:

    The pier park has so much potential but being managed by persons who have clue at all what they are doing. Hope they get it right at some point.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  10. strupes says:

    Every time somebody send in a plan to attract tourists the town & country planning board always turning it down

  11. Maybe says:

    Maybe if we stopped thinking that people are fighting to get here to leave their money.

    Try value for money (instead of overpricing). Try smiling and being nice for a change.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  12. My 2 cents says:

    I don’t think we are looking particularly attractive right now. Tortola needs a thorough clean up and bush cutting back. Our public roads are atrocious and in many spots have become undermined and are downright dangerous. A lot derelict vehicles still dotting the landscape. Just third world. We can’t be serious. We have to fix our basic infrastructure issues and clean up our islands before we can expect tourists to want to spend time here. Our competitors are upping their game and we are just same old same old and expecting visitors to want to come here and spend their hard earned money. We have to get real. If I was coming here as a cruiser, I would certainly be one of those heading back to the ship after a few hours w after seeing the state of the place and the roads. Honestly put yourself in their shoes and tell me if you wouldn’t do the same.

  13. rastarite says:

    There was supposed to be a maritime museum in the Pier Park. Could have been a perfect attraction. Pier Park officials dropped the ball – couldn’t get it together even with private enterprise showing interest and wishing to invest. Now the dedicated building is a fast food restaurant – shameful!!!

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