Information Officer II
Dept. of Information & Public Relations
Telephone: 468- 2740
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has stated that it is imperative for partners in the Tourism industry to hear the expectations of passengers and cruise lines following a town hall meeting on October 2.
Experts from the Cruise Industry including the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Disney Cruise Lines met with local cruise industry stakeholders at the meeting hosted by Tortola Pier Park Ltd. in collaboration with the BVI Tourist Board and BVI Ports Authority.
Premier Fahie said that it was important for the Cruise Executives to come to the Territory and conduct the public forum.
The Premier said, “This forum gave stakeholders an opportunity to share their concerns and seek advice and co-operation in improving the Territory’s tourism products; diversifying its offerings; and achieving greater financial yield and economic dispersion from the industry. Ultimately, it is my Government’s vision to see an increase in the number of ship calls, gain economic impact from increased passenger spending and employ more Virgin Islanders in the industry.
President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, Ms. Michele Paige commended Honourable Fahie for his leadership and vision in engaging the cruise lines in developmental strategies for the industry. This sentiment was also shared by all the panelists.
Ms. Paige said, “The first time I met the Premier I knew there was something special about him, he impressed me because he listened and followed through. His vision and goals for the BVI cruise industry has called me to action. We are all part of team BVI, we are all in this together to showcase what the BVI has to offer.”
Ms. Paige stated that she was attending the Cruise Town Hall Meeting in the BVI with her colleagues from Disney, Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean to be able to speak one-on-one with BVI cruise stakeholders in an effort to help them grow and enhance their offerings.
“We will continue to work side by side with the BVI team to showcase the unique facets and culture of the destination and enhance the product offering as we work to make BVI a world class cruise destination,” she stated.
The FCCA President also advised that locals develop signature BVI offerings that are culturally driven.
“We have to go back to basics, we have to create something that's unique,” Ms. Paige said, adding, “We have to look at things new… people want experiences. Cruise lines want to call where people want to go and where they can make the most money.”
The Cruise Executives Delegation present were: President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, Michele Paige; Associate Vice President of Government Relations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Andre Pousada; Vice President of Destination Services Operations, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Christine Manjencic; Vice President of Destination Development & Government Relations, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Sandra Weir; Director of Commercial Homeport Operations, Carnival Cruise Lines, Carlos Estrada; Executive Director Marine and Port Operations, Disney Cruise Lines, Russell Daya; Manager of Ports Operations & Development, Disney Cruise Lines, Ralph Dahlgren.
The Government is on a mission to 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 advancement for the people of the British Virgin Islands. To this end, the Government is working along with its local partners BVI Ports Authority, BVI Tourist Board and Tortola Pier Park to enhance and market the Territory’s product offerings.
- Cruise Executives at the Cruise Town Hall Meeting on October 2.
- Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie speaking at the Cruise Town Hall Meeting.
- President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, Ms. Michele Paige