A tourism system where cruise ships will have the option of docking overnight is being proposed for the British Virgin Islands.
This strategy is being proposed by the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), and party leader Ronnie Skelton is promising to have it implemented if his organisation is elected as the next government.
He said the strategy would be an effective way to supplement the deficit that has been affecting the local tourism industry since the September 2017 hurricanes.
“Overnight accommodations are currently being rebuilt and we are happy to see our overnight business growing. In the interim, we can fully diversify our cruise tourism product with a quick decision. I know it can cause some anxiety in the country [but] we are proposing to make the pier [available] … to attract ships just to stay overnight so our restaurants and our nightlife can benefit from overnight ships,” Skelton said whiling noting that his proposal would not apply to the Tortola Pier Park.
“We will make sure that we maintain our advantage in yachting and sailing. These initiatives will increase our ship calls and will inject more tourism dollars into the economy from the nightlife that can be created,” he added.
Tourism training facility
Skelton said the Prospect Reef facility on Tortola would also be made to play a more significant role in the local tourism industry under a PVIM government.
“We will restore Prospect Reef as a hospitality training centre,” he said. “That’s what it was purposed for. We are in the hospitality business and we must train our people if we expect them to get jobs in the business that we have created.”
The PVIM leader further said greater priority would be placed on restoring and employing local heritage sites across the territory.
He listed sites such as Cooper Island, the Copper Mine site, The Dungeon, the Sugar Works Museum, the Queen Elizabeth II Park, Mount Healthy, Sage Mountain, among other historical locations.
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