Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said he has gained a keener appreciation for the role of the cruise sector within the overall tourism landscape of the BVI following the Seatrade Global trade show in Miami.
Premier Fahie who led the BVI delegation at his inaugural Seatrade Global event from April 9 to 11 said it was crucial to attend this event to better understand the needs of the Territory’s cruise partners, while nurturing a more beneficial partnership with them.
The Premier said, “Equipped with this understanding, the BVI will be better positioned to enhance the tourism product, and take advantage of the vital training and career opportunities available for our people.”
Honourable Fahie added, “I attended this cruise industry event with clear goals, and through our productive meetings and the willingness of our valued cruise partners, I’m pleased to say that I will be working closely with my team and the cruise lines to address preexisting challenges that were highlighted during our meetings. Our relevance and survival in this industry demands that continuous two-way communication is maintained with our cruise partners. My administration will ensure that these relationships are effectively managed to maximize the benefits garnered.”
Premier Fahie emphasized that the BVI will continue to work diligently to maintain and advance its current position within the market, define and improve its tourism product, and leverage these attributes to provide opportunities for economic growth and career advancements for the people of the British Virgin Islands.
Honourable Fahie, who is also the Minister responsible for tourism, was accompanied by Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Honourable Kye Rhymer, and Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Sheeren Flax-Charles, as well as representatives from the BVI Tourist Board, BVI Ports Authority and Tortola Pier Park Ltd. The Premier chaired fruitful meetings with six (6) of the major cruise lines, executives of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) as well as other tourism stakeholders.
At the cruise trade show, meetings were also held with executives from Norwegian Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, MSC Cruise Lines and Virgin Voyages. The feedback received from all the cruise lines was very positive, with all lines expressing optimism about continuing a long-term partnership with the BVI.
This inevitably means that the BVI can expect increased calls to its ports for the 2019/2020 season and beyond. Ms. Michelle Paige, President of FCCA also pledged the Association’s continued support in promoting the BVI as a unique cruising destination to their key demographics, as well as continuing to coordinate efforts between the FCCA’s member cruise lines and the BVI.
During this year’s event the BVI booth had a vibrant showing of culture and local talent via drink samplings prepared and served by mixologists Jabari Stoutt, Vernon Stevens and Dwane Mason, as well as, tasty treats from Junior Chef, Mr. Ariq Flax-Clarke of the BVI National Culinary Team.
The BVI has been attending Seatrade Cruise Global, along with other key cruise trade shows for over 20 years in support of the Territory’s investment in its cruise infrastructure. These cruise events have been paramount in securing the BVI’s position in the cruise industry and in moving the tourism product forward.
About Seatrade Cruise Global
Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition is the leading annual global B2B event for the cruise industry. Bringing together buyers and suppliers for a four-day conference and three-day exhibition, the gathering draws more than 11,000 registered attendees, over 700 exhibiting companies from 130 countries and more than 300 international journalists to become the cruise industry’s epicenter of ideas, products and services. The who’s who of the industry participate in a comprehensive panel of discussions featuring experts, leaders and thought-makers including the State of the Global Cruise Industry Keynote with the chief executives of the world’s largest cruise companies. Seatrade is organized by UBM, which in June 2018 combined with Informa PLC to become a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B events organizer in the world. To learn more and for the latest news and information, visit www.ubm.com and www.informa.com.
About the British Virgin Islands
Known as a treasured destination rich in undiscovered experiences, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an alluring archipelago comprising 60 islands and cays located 60 miles east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke have attracted travelers globally with their cultural Caribbean authenticity. Located in Tortola, Road Town is the BVI’s capital.
Ranked #1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean by U.S. News & World Report in 2017 and 2018, the BVI is where nature’s best secrets are kept with an abundance of pristine beaches, azure seas, towering sage mountains and burnt-orange sunsets. It’s no wonder the BVI’s Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke were featured on the “Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” list in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017 and 2018.
The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the tropical mystique of the Territory’s unparalleled and enriching offerings. For more information, visit www.bvitourism.com
Attached: Photo of Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie chaired meetings with major cruise lines at the Seatrade Global event in Miami.