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Gov’t needs to find ways to revive cruise tourism industry - Skelton-Cline

-says vendors, taxi & tourism operators dependent on industry
Talk show host Claude O. Skelton-Cline has called on the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) to do what they can to revive the cruise tourism industry so that the people of the territory can see benefits. Photo: Facebook/File
Mr. Skelton-Cline made the comments while addressing the topic on the Tuesday, September 7, 2021, edition of the Honestly Speaking radio show. Photo: Facebook/File
Mr. Skelton-Cline made the comments while addressing the topic on the Tuesday, September 7, 2021, edition of the Honestly Speaking radio show. Photo: Facebook/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – Talk show host Claude O. Skelton-Cline has called on the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) to do what they can to revive the cruise tourism industry so that the people of the territory can see benefits.

He said that in addition to the BVIPA head charge of $15 per person who arrive via ships, reviving the industry will mean significant revenues for the territory.

Mr Skelton-Cline made the comments while addressing the topic on the Tuesday, September 7, 2021, edition of the Honestly Speakig radio Show.

Taxi providers & vendors without income - Skelton-Cline  

“For the last two seasons, cruise ships have not been here… and when cruise ships ain’t here, the taxi service providers can’t run their safaris, can’t run their buses because they are heavily reliant on cruise tourism,” he said.

Skelton-Cline brought into question the ability of operators to be able to meet expenses without foot traffic that come as a result of the cruise tourism industry.

He said the predicament is the same for the vendors across the territory who are unable to sell.

“The vendors everywhere are relying on the cruise tourism guests. And the cruise tourism guests are no longer a t-shirt and water guest,” rather he said they are customers who spend thousands of dollars per family not only on the ship, but onshore.

He said the money from the cruise tourism industry trickles down into various areas of the economy and brings concrete benefits to the people.

“These people have been flat on their backs for two seasons, so this government has to find ways in which to stimulate the economy, one of those ways is to bring back the cruise tourism in a safe manner that also provides the livelihood that we need."

Re-opening is about risk management - Skelton-Cline 

The man of the cloth reminded that with the re-opening of the industry cases of the virus will come, especially with the prevalence of the Delta variant of the virus.

‘Right now, we ain't got nothing going. COVID-19 and its variant are about risk management. It ain't going anywhere soon,” he said.

He said in the VI, either the territory will die of hunger or the Government manages the risk, have a contingency plan, and takes steps to re-open the economy.

13 Responses to “Gov’t needs to find ways to revive cruise tourism industry - Skelton-Cline”

  • weed (10/09/2021, 19:29) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    what you expect , when the boss invest in WEED instead of AGRICULTURE ( OK at least we will die HIGH
  • Rubber Duck (10/09/2021, 19:40) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe we could persuade CSK to give lectures to tourists on his views. I am certain they would be queuing up.
  • I Voting CSC. (10/09/2021, 20:51) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    You talking sense CSC...Country's all over done with lock down..Barbados Prime Minister say if she and her cabinet have to walk the streets and be police to enforce protocols there will be no lock down period...The country,,'s are hurting financially, Antigua saying No lock down period or we have to cut half Civil servants before he lockdown he will make vax up Mando. As a matter afact it already mando for civil servants in Antigua, Vax or you wont allow to enter your office..Lol. this is serious. All these countries ste now competing for cruiseship and tourist revenue ..Time to move on,
  • Imperfect servant (10/09/2021, 20:55) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    The things that you have said are basically needed to be done, but easier said than done, C.SC. You need to suggest more details ideas to the government. You are a government employee/consultant, as far I heard. You collect money from government, don't you? Why then it is government that has to find a way, and not you and others help government to find a way?
    With our Country locked in confusion at this time, and the world nations fighting the covid-19 virus, do you or anyone else think that a large amount of tourists desire to visit us in large numbers? However, if 50% of the number of cruise ship tourists visit us as they did before the covid-19 virus outbreak, that will indeed help our people going forward.
    But let me be straight forward to you, Sir. You are more of a talkshowman than a talk-first-and-give-us-some- solid-ideas man, on the tourist issue. We deserved more than continuing talks from you. We need workable action plans, quickly.
    • Public Relations (11/09/2021, 09:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      SC is the Public Relations Officer. His job is basically to keep things topical in the community and not to provide real solution as should be demanded of all consultants. What's his post again? lets hear it. He will soon be bringing up COI next week. Look out. That's his job. regardless of what title you see he was given.
  • jame (11/09/2021, 07:19) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    what the tourist will find in bvi is an empty island, due to the extortion of immigrants
  • Infrastructure (11/09/2021, 09:05) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Maybe they should start by improving some infrastructure. Look at our neighbors, Red Hook Jetty, the waterfront. We ain’t doing Jack to make the place look better.
  • E. Leonard (11/09/2021, 09:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The VI’s economy is service-based and is buoyed mostly by the twin pillars—financial services and tourism. Financial Services contributes upward of 50+% of government revenue. Nonetheless, tourism, its twin sector, produces more employment —-direct, indirect and induced. Most tourists visiting the VI come via the cruise sector. Consequently, the cruise passenger experience must be improved and enhanced. Back on board ship, back home……etc, cruise passengers must be ‘giddy’ about their positive experience in the VI and willing to share that experience with family, friends, co-workers……etc. On occasions, in meeting people who have stopped in the VI on a cruise, it is generally a shortened conversation, ie, ‘ I have been there.’ The VI must changed that. How?

    The VI must become not only an attractive destination but also an attractions haven with an abundance of riches. As such, it must more fully develop and promote its local history, heritage, culture, festivals, traditions, customs, arts, food, music, theatre…..etc. Tourists wants to experience life and things local and unique to the destination(s). There must be a distinction between the VI, and SKN, Antigua, St. Lucia, CI, Anguilla, St. Martin/Maarten….etc. The VI brand must be strong, marketable and memorable. Additionally, it must invest in more quality tourists facilities.

    Moreover, agree fully with CSC that tourism must be more fully develop to contribute more to GDP, produce more employment, earnings, better standard of living and quality of life ….etc. Further, the VI economic base is fragile and weak. It needs to deepen, strengthen and diversified. Coronavirus (Covid-19)has exposed its fragility and weakness. It provided an X-ray-crystallograph (technique used to evaluate the structure of viruses) examination of the VI social and economic weaknesses. Now, not post Covid, Premier AA Fahie needs to commissioned a commission on economic growth, development and sustainability.
    • E. Leonard (11/09/2021, 14:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Inadvertently forget to ramble about infrastructure. Improved and modernized infrastructure is critical to putting the VI in a more competitive position among top small regional destinations. The VI had the means and opportunity to be a top leader in quality infrastructure in the region; it is lagging other regional competitors. If the VI wants to be a top regional tourism competitor, it must make the critical, important and urgent investments. It must smartly and effectively invest in water, wastewater/sewage, drainage, roads, bridges, seaports, airports, electricity, telecommunications…..etc. The hard truth is that it cost taxpayers a pretty penny to facilitate tourists coming into the VI. Does the return on investment (ROI) worth the expense? Does the benefits worth the cost? These are some questions that taxpayers must wrestle with. The bottom line is that tourism is competitive. And for the most part, most regional countries draw is sand, sea and sun. Therefore, the VI must work diligently to differentiate itself from and stay ahead of the pack.
  • SMH (11/09/2021, 11:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Time alone will tell! Large Numbers in RVIPF. Put them on the Streets. What are they being paid for? The Territory can take another
  • DEDE (11/09/2021, 16:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with most comments improve/modernize our infrastructure. Invest properly in marketing and improving our tourism products. It’s a well known secret that overnight guest spend more that a few hours guest. Long term guest spend thousands on a trip and it should be worth it. They rent hotels, guest houses and villas. They rent vehicles, dine out and shop at our local markets. Most come for the sailing. Which utilize charter boats, skippers, captain and private service staff. Once we give good customer service they will always come back. The cruises are bad but the bulk of their money is spent long before the get here.

    Another idea, will be to educate our youths on the industry from High School. Back in my day the tourist board conducted summer internship. We would get the chance to work in different areas and learn some fun facts. May be if we reintroduce that we may have more young people interested in the industry. Just my thoughts
  • SMH (13/09/2021, 09:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    yall sad on this island...all the money and education but no vision or real minds in office......i agree with Claude


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