Residents who earn an income from tourism are being told to prepare for a busy cruise season as the BVI is expected to see a surge in cruise arrivals in the coming months.
According to the minister responsible for the territory’s ports, Kye Rymer, the BVI is expected to get some 417 cruise calls in the 2022/2023 season which runs from December to April. He said 79 of those cruise calls are expected to spend multiple days on the sister islands.
Rymer said residents need to understand the huge impact cruise arrivals have on the economy and livelihoods of many residents. He urged residents to continue showing courtesy to cruise visitors as this plays a part in encouraging them to return to the territory.
“The cruise industry benefits our economy with employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Cruise Line Industry Association’s State of the Industry 2022 report shows that every 24 cruise guests the industry books equates to one job,” Rymer explained.
“Just to give you an idea of the amount of money that is to be earned from the cruise industry: In 2016, Business Research and Economic Advisors estimated that the BVI economy earned $55 million from cruise passenger spend based on 700,000 passengers and an average spend of $78 per passenger per day,” Rymer added.
He said in the upcoming seasons, the BVI is expected to earn some $75 million from cruise arrivals because the average passenger spending has increased from $78 to $107.14.
Rymer also revealed that some new cruise lines are confirmed to make calls to the BVI in the in the 2023
“The Ritz Carlton Virgin Collection and Virgin Cruises are now slated for the 2023/24 season.”
The global cruise industry took a major hit during the COVID 19
pandemic. However, cruise operators are expecting the industry to recover fully in 2023.
The BVI’s cruise sector also suffered during the COVID 19
pandemic. But Minister Rymer said over the past year, cruise arrivals reached 70 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes.