Crafts Alive vendors feel that the completed Pier Park will result in business decline on their end; nonetheless, earlier this week, they were encouraged by the Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Mr. Claude Skelton-Cline to stop viewing the new project as a sales detractor, and become excited at the immense possibilities and opportunities the Pier Park will bring.
In explaining his optimism, the Ports Managing Director explained that the berthing agreement between the BVI Ports Authority and cruise lines Norwegian and Disney ends the seasonality of the sector and will usher in a 52-week per annum cruise tourism business. This will be sweetened with the fact that a total of 425,000 cruise passengers is expected to arrive: great news for stakeholders of the industry.
“I want to tell Crafts Alive that they are going to be even more alive! The Crafts Alive is really gonna come alive. What I will tell them to do is lift the standard of their service, the quality of their products, and get ready to make money because the people are coming,” he said.
The Managing Director said the completed ports project will make the BVI the envy of the region, and is going to create an era of opportunity; he called on all persons with interests in the tourism industry to get ready: “All the persons on our outer islands and what we call the marine highway, this is a grand opportunity for them to expand their businesses. This is an opportunity for persons who own properties around historic sites, or that site is actually on their land, to recreate that site; have the story-line behind that site.”
“We want to over emphasize to taxi drivers, especially, that whereas you had a season for cruise industry, and then no season at all, we are saying to you now you have 52 weeks per year cruise tourism. So, the taxi men and women will have year round opportunities to make money…In addition, what I would strongly encourage the taxi owners to do is to think about how they expand their land-based taxi to water taxi. This is an opportunity for them to grow their businesses,” Skelton Cline added.