By Nekita Turnbull [GIS]
The Tortola Pier Park called an ‘unmatched shopping, dining and entertainment facility’ was officially opened last evening.
The eventful day offered the public an opportunity to tour the Pier Park as well as receive a first class experience of the Territory’s prime tourism product.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, stated at the official opening ceremony that destination BVI is on the move.
Premier Smith said, “In order to stay ahead of the game, we had to move in a new direction, and do more to offer a unique difference and standout. Speaking from personal experience — and I have travelled far and wide on business and for pleasure — I can say without fear of contradiction that what we have created here today is unsurpassed anywhere.”
The Premier said that the pier park offers an impeccable selection of unique merchandise, jewelry, drinks, clothing and more that cannot be found anywhere else. He added that since the opening of the cruise pier, many persons have made positive comments about the development of the pier park including heads of state, leaders in the tourism industry, captains and tourists.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool, in his remarks said he was elated to see the completion of the project. He stated that it is a well-executed project and a worthy investment for the people of the Virgin Islands.
Honourable Vanterpool added “To those of you who are visiting this facility for the first time, I am sure that you are amazed and pleased at what your Government is doing to guarantee the long term sustainability of the Cruise Tourism Industry in the Virgin Islands.”
Following the opening of the cruise pier in April, 2015, there has been an increase in the number of cruise ship passengers visiting the Territory. A record number of 700,000 passengers are also expected to visit in 2016. Tortola Pier Park now holds about 23 retail stores while the Terminal Building is occupied with 100% locally owned businesses.