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Are numbers bogus? Vanterpool claims cruise ships to bring in $100M annually by 2020

Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (at left) was among those to visit the Tortola Pier Park on August 28, 2018, to witness the return of Cruiseliner, Disney Fantasy. Photo: Facebook
The pier park employs over 200 local persons and provides business opportunities for over 70 individuals or companies. Photo: VINO/File
The pier park employs over 200 local persons and provides business opportunities for over 70 individuals or companies. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) related that pre-Irma figures indicated that “we welcomed over 700,000 cruise passengers.” Photo: VINO/File
Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) related that pre-Irma figures indicated that “we welcomed over 700,000 cruise passengers.” Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The credibility of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) is at zero and everything they say, according to critics, must be 'fact-checked' because of their history of deliberate misinformation.

In a political radio broadcast, outgoing Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), claimed that the cruise ship industry in the Virgin Islands (VI) earned the Territory approximately $70 million, annually in the past two years.

He said , “at this rate and with one million passengers expected by 2020, the people of the VI will be the beneficiaries of $100 million per year.”

The Minister did not however, reveal his source of the information, leaving many to believe the figures are bogus. 

Hon Vanterpool, who has been tied to the new cruise project scandal, noted his figures are as a direct result of the new cruise pier and Tortola Pier Park (TPP) development, as he struggled after three years to explain a $40M over run on a $50M project. 

The last figure he told the House of Assembly (HoA), on the Tortola Pier Project was $85 million and counting.

voodoo economics? 

Hon Vanterpool gave the bold projections for the industry on Monday, September, 3, 2018, during the NDP's ‘Drive Time’ radio broadcast.

He was speaking to the TPP development, in an attempt to shed light on the controversial project.

Trying hard to justify the expenditure, Hon Vanterpool disclosed that TPP businesses provides revenue of $2.3 million annually, to give “a six per cent return to local investors and repay a $50 million loan out of the leases from these businesses.”

One Billion Dollars- More lies? 

Speaking to the viability of the project, Hon Vanterpool related that pre-Irma figures indicated that “we welcomed over 700,000 cruise passengers.”

This, he also credited to a January 2014 agreement inked with Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, guaranteeing a total of 425,000 passengers every year for 15 years.  

He said, at $15 per passenger head tax and with an increased clause in this contract, this would accrue to about $7 million each year in revenue for the VI over the next 15 years.

According to Hon Vanterpool, using the current projections the Territory “will be the beneficiaries of $100 million per year from the cruise lines, as a result of the new cruise pier and Tortola Pier Park development.”

Neither the BVI Tourist Board or the Government's Statistics Department could however, confirm these figures, leaving many to wonder if this is just the normal spin with no accountability for the whopping $40M over run. 

Socio-Economic

He said over a 10-year period, the figures will translate “to approximately $1 billion that will accrue to the people and the economy,” still not citing any source for this numbers. 

The Minister noted too that from a socio-economic standpoint, TPP was built benefitting over 20 local building contractors, in addition to the fact the pier park employs over 200 local persons and provides business opportunities for over 70 individuals or companies.

There have been three reports on the TPP one from a Project Manager Hugh E. Darley, another from the Auditor General Sonia M. Webster and one from the HoA Public Accounts Committee.

They have all spoke to corruption on the project, no value for money, conflict of interest and no one looking out for the tax payers.

13 Responses to “Are numbers bogus? Vanterpool claims cruise ships to bring in $100M annually by 2020 ”

  • WOWW (05/09/2018, 11:48) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Could have been bringing in more if he haven’t stole some of the money.
  • ok (05/09/2018, 13:29) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    That is awesome so where is the money?
  • So ok (05/09/2018, 15:48) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    1 billion dollars? I hope so. However, all I am asking is when this happens, please submit proof to the public. You Politicians need to come clean and show some respect to the public that elected you in office.
  • shark (05/09/2018, 16:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The thing start
  • Me. Mens (05/09/2018, 16:10) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Menstrual cycle alive n well.
  • Legal tender (05/09/2018, 16:46) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    This man is a barefaced mongoose. Have no shame whatsoever. Just down right lie and scampish. Ask him why he don’ t pay Customs and Port Authority for all his containers leaving the port
    • Really? (06/09/2018, 06:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The containers just drive out the gate, or the drivers has the gate openor. This sounds like an inside job.
  • Outspoken (05/09/2018, 17:36) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    They have a right. You know why, because when the come with all their lie and enuendos, it have people who believe that whatever comes from their mouth is the gospel truth and will go at length to defend them at all cost. To some people, this NDP Government can do no wrong.
  • ----------------------- (05/09/2018, 18:29) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    lies and more lies vote them out!
  • tt (05/09/2018, 22:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "They have all spoke to corruption on the project, no value for money, conflict of interest and no one looking out for the tax payers."

    In a nut shell
  • sad (06/09/2018, 05:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    after all the smiles from the governor no one will go to JAIL smh
  • John K. (06/09/2018, 08:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    So based on the 700,000 cruise visitors stated... and an average of say 3,000 passengers per vessel.... we would have had 4.487 cruise ships PER WEEK.... arrive. Must be ghost ships out there somewhere. Does that include space ships? Just wondering.
  • Buzzy Bee (06/09/2018, 14:27) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The entire cruise ship scenario has been a boondoggle for Tortola since its inception 20 years ago. The "cruise sheep" spend no money and leave behind their rubbish and waste, while the execs from the cruise companies tell BVIslanders what to do and what they will pay just like puppet masters pulling the strings. Everybody, tourists and locals, would have been far better off if all the funds wasted on wooing the cruise ships and building the cruise ship dock and pier park had been spent on improving the infrastructure of the islands for the folks that come here to stay on land and/or yachts. Land and yacht tourism by far brings more money to the people of the territory than the cruise ships ever will.


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