The Premier made the disclosure during a press conference held on Friday, June 25.
“According to the data from the BVI Airports Authority received on the 23rd June 2021, 17,622 passenger arrivals have been recorded at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport since December 2020. Of this number, 3,962 passengers were residents, and 13,660 were non-residents or visitors,” he said.
He informed that May and for June so far has been particularly active in terms of visitor arrivals.
“In May 2,518 visitors entered the Territory, and the month of June still has one week to go, but already we are just short of 3,000 visitors – with one week in the month left to go. You would recall that the Road Town Ferry Terminal began receiving travellers from the US Virgin Islands in mid-April 2021. The BVI Ports Authority has reported that non-resident arrivals at Road Town since the reopening of the sea border has totaled 3,839 persons,” he remarked.
He said these figures show a steady climb and stated that the increases coincide with the various initiatives, such as the reduction of the BVI Gateway entry fees and no quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers.
Similarly, the figures also show that residents are also increasing their departures and arrivals in the last two months, he said.
“At the ferry ports, 1,705 residents have departed the Territory have been recorded since the reopening in April, and 972 residents have entered through the seaports. In May 2021, departing residents totalled 395 passengers at the seaport and the figure so far for June is 459. Total departures at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport for March 2021 was 1,501. Departures by aircraft in April was 1,935, and the figure for May was 2,081. June figures are expected to be higher,” the Premier disclosed.
Premier Fahie said bookings as per the data from the BVI Tourist Board for guests for the upcoming months is also on the rise.
He revealed that for June, bookings for boats now stands at 157 with a total of 899 guests.
For land accommodation, the bookings now stand at 657 with 1,392 guests.
For July, for the marine sector, there are already 148 bookings with 843 guests; for land-based accommodations, 610 bookings with 1,196 guests.
For the month of August, for the marine sector, there are some 33 bookings and 220 guests, and for land-based accommodations, 368 bookings with 596 guests.
The Premier pointed out that the data was captured prior to the reduction of the BVI Gateway fee and the revision of the quarantine protocols for fully and partially vaccinated travellers in Mid-June, and before the opening of the ports on Sopher’s Hole, West End; Dog Hole, Jost Van Dyke, and St Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda, as fully vaccinated ports of entry on 17th June 2021.
“The BVI Tourist Board has reported that with the significant increased activity on the BVI Gateway portal that has been realised and out-reach from the industry, there is optimism that we will have a formidable summer with a strong resurgence of bookings from October 2021 through May 2022,” he remarked.