As a result of the knowledge gained during his recent participation in the Seatrade Global trade show in Miami, Premier Hon. Andrew Fahie says that the territory is in a better position to improve the tourism sector by enhancing its cruise tourism product.
With the knowledge garnered from the trade show, which ran from April 9 to 11, he said, “The BVI will be better positioned to enhance the tourism product, and take advantage of the vital training and career opportunities available for our people.”
He added that, focus will be placed on maintaining, and advancing the BVI’s position in the global tourism market while improving the tourism product offerings “to provide opportunities for economic growth and career advancements for the people of the British Virgin Islands.”
During the expo, the Premier met with executives from Norwegian Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, MSC Cruise Lines, Virgin Voyages and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) to gather feedback on the BVI’s cruise tourism.
“The feedback received from all the cruise lines was very positive, with all lines expressing optimism about continuing a long-term partnership with the BVI. This inevitably means that the BVI can expect increased calls to its ports for the 2019/2020 season and beyond,” he stated.
He said he also had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the industry and how to foster more partnerships.
He further noted that he will be placing attention on addressing the challenges to the sector that were raised during the meetings.
“Our relevance and survival in this industry demands that continuous two-way communication is maintained with our cruise partners. My administration will ensure that these relationships are effectively managed to maximize the benefits garnered,” he stated.
Recently, during a public address, the Premier announced that the cruise tourism industry is on the rebound from the impact of the 2017 disasters.
“In terms of our second economic pillar, tourism, cruise tourism rebounded strongly in the last months of 2018 with over 75 percent of 2018 cruise tourists arriving in the last quarter. Cruise arrivals in December 2018 reached over 80 percent of cruise arrivals in December 2016. Likewise, overnight arrivals have continued a steady path to full recovery following the storms,” he stated.