A delegation from the British Virgin Islands attended Seatrade Cruise Global 2023 on 27th – 30th March 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The delegation was comprised of individuals from the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority (BVIPA), Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park (CBRTPP), British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (BVITB) and local cruise industry partners.
This year, the goal of the delegation was to be better together by building and expanding on the relationships and partnerships with regional and international partners while charting the way forward for the cruise tourism industry in the Territory. Meetings were held with Carnival Corporation, Club Med, MSC, Le Dumont, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Group, Mystic Cruises and Scenic Cruises. In addition to meeting with cruise lines, the delegation met with destination partners and regional port partners including the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and the Caribbean Village. The Caribbean Village is a marketing group comprised of regional destinations and ports that work together to promote cruising in the Caribbean.
The cruise outlook for the British Virgin Islands is steadily progressing after the industry restart in July 2021. The 2023-2024 cruise booking season has surpassed the most recent seasons. In 2021 after the reopening of the ports, the BVIPA recorded 72,293 cruise passengers for July-December 2021. In 2022, a full year of cruising recorded 265,723 passengers and currently the estimated cruise passenger arrivals for 2023 is 793,000.
The Chairperson of the BVIPA Board of Directors, Mrs. Roxane Ritter-Herbert stated, “Our attendance at Seatrade Cruise Global 2023 allowed us to make new connections and improve on established ones. This helped to highlight areas of growth and improvement for us as a port and cruise destination. Based on interactions and feedback from partners, the Ports Authority is committed to setting goals that will utilise and strengthen the forward momentum that we have created through our partnerships with the FCCA and The Caribbean Village.”
The four-day conference was held under the theme of Forward Momentum. According to the Seatrade Cruise Global the conference this year focused on the future of cruising and what the momentum means for both short-term and long-term innovations and business plans.