The government is making considerations for the BVI to expand its tourism product into expedition cruising.
This type of cruising is much like the traditional cruise industry but evolves around small vessels, luxury cruise yachts, expedition ships and classic sailing schooners where the passenger count is under 250.
This industry niche allows cruisers to visit areas that larger ships can’t reach and typically focuses on ‘destination immersion’ rather than ‘big entertainment productions’.
The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) said in a media release this month that although the BVI is not currently an area marketed towards expedition cruising, “it is important in the changing tourism landscape to adjust based on trends and adapt to the new travel environment that the pandemic has brought”.
Local stakeholders such as the BVIPA, the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park, the BVI Tourist Board and local agents took a serious look into this industry at the recently held Miami forum dubbed the Seatrade Cruise Virtual: Expedition Cruising.
“Maintaining a presence and relationship with global cruise partners is essential during the COVID
-19 pandemic as we need to understand what the resumption of safe cruising will look like for all involved,” the BVIPA’s Marketing Director, Natasha Chalwell said after the forum.
“It is crucial that we align ourselves with our cruise tourism partners locally, regionally and internationally to position ourselves for the eventual safe resumption of the industry,” she added.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the pier park, Vance Lewis said Seatrade Cruise Virtual was a chance to expand the territory’s knowledge base, identify changing trends, and connect with the BVI’s “smaller, luxury cruise partners across the globe”.