Fahie said he will be absent from the territory for the entire week and once he returns, he will report on the outcome of his visit to SeaTrade.
The Tourism Minister said his team has a strategy they hope to execute while at the Summit. He noted that his team returned from the summit last year with more than 100 extra calls from cruise lines.
“We intend to see if we can increase the number of calls coming and also the season in which they will come. We know certain seasons; we know that we have a slow season, and we want to see if we can increase ships in that time and expand our services,” Fahie said.
“We want to ensure that our taxi operators can make more revenue to be able to support themselves. All the different entrepreneurs and businesses, the shopkeepers, Craft Alive and the whole gamut, to make more and increase the spin-off effects the cruise ships will have,” the Tourism Minister added.
Premier Fahie noted that the execution of the strategy his team has does not begin once they reach the SeaTrade Summit. He said there has been constant contact with industry parties over the last few months.
“Certain things we will be able to sit face to face and be able to finalise. I am looking forward to a successful sea trade for the people of the Virgin Islands to benefit more in the future,” Fahie explained.
The Tourism Minister said that, over the last several months, there has been increased activities throughout the territory’s sea and airports, both commercial and private entities, as well as domestic and international travellers.
“All our harbours and marinas are experiencing a significant upsurge in business. This is a testament to the measures put in place by your government in our phased and managed reopening and re-energising of our economy during the pandemic, and our overall efforts to continue to grow our tourism product and our economy,” Fahie said.
“This is also proof that our tourism product is very strong, is in high demand and enjoys confidence. At the same time, however, we must not become complacent, as there is always room for improvement, and we must keep finding ways to further enhance the visitor experience,” he continued.
The Premier also highlighted the return of the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival after a two-year absence because of COVID-19.
“It was encouraging to note that all the hotels, guest homes, car rentals – even private homes and vehicles — were booked out,” he said.
“I wish to congratulate the Virgin Gorda Festival sub-committee and the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee, the Minister of Culture and his team and all the other stakeholders, for their outstanding work in reviving the Easter Festival in Virgin Gorda and keeping our culture alive,” the Tourism Minister added.