British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Dec 05, 2021

Florida-based cruise association backs BVI reopening, endorses gov’t

Florida-based cruise association backs BVI reopening, endorses gov’t

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has issued a ringing endorsement of the BVI as a travel destination for cruise passengers, underlining the strong partnership it holds with the BVI; particularly the territory’s leadership.

President of the FCCA, Michele Paige, said she has had the privilege of working diligently with Premier and Minister of Tourism Andrew Fahie to have the people of the BVI reap the full benefits of cruise tourism.

The FCCA president said the BVI will be one of the first recipients of cruise ships, adding that ships are also expected to stay longer in the destination.

Paige said the member cruise lines of the FCCA acknowledged the commitment Premier Fahie has made to implement the necessary protocols to be able to have the safe resumption of cruise ships to the territory.

She further charged residents of the BVI to ensure they seize the benefits to give tourists the experience that underlines what is unique and special about the BVI.

“Sell to them (visitors) your customs, your culture, your history, your food – all of the special things that you produce in the BVI. This is your time to shine because happy passengers spend money,” the FCCA president said.

Additionally, Paige said the Premier is working towards having more segments of the BVI populace hired by the cruise industry, including entertainers and engineers.

“This is the time to be able as partners to make things happen, we’re working on being able to purchase more from the BVI,” Paige added.

The FCCA President further encouraged the people of the BVI to remain resilient, noting the hardships faced in the last year and a half because of the absence of cruise tourism locally.

Premier hosts ‘series of meetings’ with cruise lines

In a recent Facebook post, Premier Fahie said he has hosted a series of meetings with United States cruise lines to discuss the restart of local cruise calls for fully vaccinated passengers.

In the same social media post, the Premier is seen photographed with the head of another stakeholder in the industry — the Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at Norwegian Cruise Line, Steve Moeller.

The BVI depends heavily on the cruise industry which forms a hugely significant part of its much-vaunted second economic pillar of tourism.

Cruise passengers last visited the territory in March of 2020 at the start of the global pandemic which forced many nations around the world to close their borders. Commercial cruising is scheduled to return to the BVI this month.

The Premier has assured his government’s commitment to a healthy restart of the cruise industry


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