Getting the cruise sector back to its pre-Irma state is a big priority of Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool who stated that the large ships have informed that they would like to see more improvements done before they return.
During the NDP radio program on 19 March Hon. Vanterpool said that his Ministry is trying to work on a number of things in an effort to get the cruise sector back on track. He said that ships have been visiting the Territory but not at the level that they did before Irma. “
“They have been coming on slowly, but the bigger ships want to see more improvements. Improvements to the roads, improvements to the beaches, improvements to the infrastructure on the beaches…the vendors and facilities: bathrooms and so on,” the Minister explained.
Hon. Vanterpool said that government is hopeful that by summer or early in the fall major cruise ships would be back here in the Territory. In noting how urgent the return of all the ships are Hon. Vanterpool said: “Our economy is very crucial along those lines of taxi operators who have been suffering quite a hit and have gotten a very hard hit from the storm. We want to encourage and try to help them to get back on the track with improving the infrastructure and even some of the water transportation. So, we can get our tourism sector along the cruise ship lines back on track.”
In October last year Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said that there is a reasonable expectation that cruise ships may visit the post Irma BVI soon: “When we looked at the cruise industry we observed that the cruise dock was not really damaged and therefore from that point of view there is no reason why the ships cannot come, but then we have to look at what we have to offer our visitors,” Hon. Smith announced.
The Premier explained that the speedy return of cruise ships to the territory will also depend on how quickly all residents join hands with Government and other efforts to clean up the Territory.