Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool has said that the Government of the Virgin Islands is working diligently with key cruise stakeholders, towards the full restoration of the destination.
Minister Vanterpool while addressing House of Assembly on Thursday, April 26 said that in the last few weeks the Ministry of Communications and Works along with the Cruise Stakeholder Committee has been expediting clean-up efforts throughout the Territory.
He added that an increasing number of hotels, private villas and restaurants are becoming operational. He said, “70% of historical sites are open; an average of 57% of retail businesses in Tortola and Virgin Gorda are now fully operational; 81% of vehicles are available for land tours, 65% for sea tours and 77% of car rental agencies are open.”
Teams will continue to improve the amenities and vending on the land and sea destinations with an anticipated reopening of Tortola Pier Park on May 25.
Minister Vanterpool further stated that the Territory is behind in its efforts for the return of Disney Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
“It is encouraging to report, that despite the fact that the BVI is delayed with its restoration efforts, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), who I met with last week in Miami, has expressed their commitment to our destination and their readiness to return.” He continued, “We are now forecasting the return of Disney Cruise Lines in July and Norwegian Cruise Lines in October.”
While works continue, the Government of the Virgin Islands wishes to remind the public that it is illegal to dump bulky waste, including beds, refrigerators, and other furniture and construction materials in or near residential dumpsters according to the Litter Abatement Act.