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299 Cruise Calls Confirmed- "Are You Ready For This Tourism Boom?" - Premier

299 Cruise Calls Confirmed- "Are You Ready For This Tourism Boom?" - Premier

After 12 months of dialogue the BVI has been able to secure 299 cruise calls to the territory for the 2021/2022 tourism season. Further, the BVI was also able to confirm 176 calls to the Territory beginning October 13, 2021 up until 2024.
The announcement was made by Premier and Finance Minister Hon. Andrew Fahie and Hon. Sharie B. de Castro, Junior Minister for Tourism during a press conference held on Friday October 8.

The calls were confirmed at the recently held Seatrade Cruise Global conference held in Miami, Florida.

“During the meetings our cruise partners confirmed a total of 176 calls to the BVI beginning October 13, 2021 up until 2024. This confirmation indicates that the cruise industry is confident in our ability as a territory to deliver a safe and excellent cruise product for their guests,” Minister de Castro said.

She continued, “these additional calls represent most of our major cruise lines such as Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. The territory can expect a total 299 calls with 193 at the cruise pier for the 2021/2022 season with a projected increase the following the season.”

She said in the coming days the BVI Tourist Board will be providing more information with respect to hospitality training which includes a COVID-19 training component, “as such I am appealing to all relevant businesses to make effort to participate.”

Premier Fahie said during a pandemic, this is certainly good news for the BVI.

“As the junior minister rightfully said, 299 calls with 193 at the cruise pier for 2021/2022 season and increase the following season. So, if I am correct, that is 193 calls for 2021/2022 in the middle of the COVID era.”

He added, “and God has been good to the BVI because to get this number of calls coming in, negotiate at the Seatrade, and bring us from basically zero confirmations to this number, I want to give God all the glory and honour and thank all those who helped us to get it done.”

Premier Fahie said he wants persons to understand that the BVI is open for business and the government is committed to ensuring that the economy is revived.

“The BVI is opened for business and tourism and whatever needs to be done to ensure that our people get back to work in this sector and make sure that they are feeding their families again; that Crafts Alive is alive again; Tortola Pier Park is alive again; our taxi operators are alive again-can meet their commitments monthly. This is where our emphasis is,” he told reporters.

He said that while this is good news, the BVI is also committed to safeguarding the safety of its people with constant monitoring of its COVID protocols and adjusting where needed.

“[It] means more work and potential income for our taxi operators, vendors, tenants at the cruise pier, vendors at Crafts Alive, car rentals...greater money circulation in our economy particularly non -tourism related small businesses which receive the greatest impact from secondary spending arisen from tourism spending,” he stated.

He asked if residents are ready for the big boom which is about to happen in the tourism industry.

“Now the time is here. So now I ask, are you ready for the boom that is about to come? Tourists are coming, guests are coming but are you ready? BVI we must be ready; we must get ready.”

Premier Fahie continued, “we have to get ready, and we have to push because we are going into overdrive, but it depends on what each of us do. How do we promote the health protocols while still making sure that businesses do what they have to do?”
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