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Press Release From Independent Source

VI Cruise Tourism boosted with additional calls

- Additional 64k passengers estimated for 2019/2020 season
The BVI Team is also working closely with Disney Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, MSC Cruises among others, as well as FCCA, on further developing the product offering for cruise visitors while in the BVI. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, BVI – The British Virgin Islands’ tourism industry is getting an unexpected boost for the 2019/2020 tourist season as two major cruise lines have affirmed their commitment to increase calls to the Territory, bringing an additional 64,022 passengers.

This is according to a press release from the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park, which notes that these are some of the initial results from interventions made by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), over the last four (4) months, for revitalizing the cruise sector, restoring and enhancing the cruise product, and strengthening the Territory’s relationships with its cruise partners.

Mandated by the Hon Fahie with the responsibility for tourism, the Tortola Pier Park Ltd (TPPL) and the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) have been in constant communication with the cruise lines. Over the past months, communication efforts included strategies on working together to further develop the BVI cruise product through authentic cultural experiences and tours, as well as, negotiations to increase calls to the Territory for the upcoming and future seasons.

“The cruise industry is an integral aspect of the way forward for growth and prosperity for the Territory. As such, our government remains focused on building and maintaining strong relationships with our valued cruise partners and ensuring that the citizens of the Territory continue to benefit from the consequent economic activity. In this regard, I mandated Tortola Pier Park Ltd. and the BVI Port Authority to work expeditiously to ensure that this goal is realized,” said Premier Fahie.

Hon. Fahie added, “We are already seeing great initial results from our collective and tireless efforts. I am happy to say that our taxi drivers, small business owners, vendors, tour operators, and our various agencies can now look forward to increased benefits and opportunities from the arrival of an additional 64,022 passengers in the upcoming 2019/2020 season. This will be seen through Norwegian Cruise Line’s return of 50,000 passengers via 12 calls and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. increasing their current bookings from 32 calls to 39 calls which will bring an additional 14,022 passengers. RCL’s BVI calls also include eight (8) calls for Summer 2019 and six (6) Summer calls for 2020. ”

The BVI has also turned a significant page with Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. (RCL) wherein the 2016/2017 season, the BVI only saw eight (8) calls from the RCL brands decreasing to two (2) calls in 2017/2018. However, RCL’s confidence level in the destination has grown significantly and as a direct result, BVI can expect 39 calls for the upcoming 2019/2020 season. The Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to work closely with the lines in efforts to see an even larger increase for the proceeding seasons.

The BVI Team is also working closely with Disney Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, MSC Cruises among others, as well as FCCA, on further developing the product offering for cruise visitors while in the BVI. Communications have also been initiated with other cruise lines to increase calls to the Territory and in some cases encourage new cruise lines to make the BVI a destination of choice.

At the close of the 2018/2019 season, the BVI is set to receive just over 500,000 passengers and are expecting to see an increase in these numbers for the upcoming season.

 

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