"We're Here To Support Your Economy"--Tourists

Sherine Williams, Journalist | December 06, 2017 11:29 am MST
Photo Credit: Sherine Williams/BVI Platinum News
The multi-colored safari taxi, loaded with tourists, slowly exited the Tortola Pier Park and headed towards the town under overcast skies and a familiar Christmas breeze, which swept Tortola on the morning of December 6.

"This is Road Town, the capital of the BVI...," said the Safari's tour guide.

The voice faded as the vehicle headed into Road Town with eager cruise passengers.

The scene was a pleasant one for residents of Tortola who had just welcomed Marella Discovery, the first cruise ship since the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.

The ship docked at Tortola's pier, with close to two thousand guests (mainly from the United Kingdom) on board.

Tourists who have arrived on Marella Discovery on December 6, said they were not discouraged by the devastation two major hurricanes caused in the BVI this year. They however noted that they were excited to contribute to the BVI's economy which has taken a hit from the last Hurricane season.

"Anything we can give to the economy, we'll support you guys," said one cruise passenger Diana who suffers from arthritis and revealed she was looking forward to Tortola's warm weather.

The visitors who spoke to BVI Platinum News said they saw the devastation to infrastructure and homes in media reports. But they said they were still excited to visit the Territory for its enjoy the warm weather and natural beauty.

Marella Discovery docked in St. Marten before visiting the BVI, introducing passengers to a Caribbean island that suffered damage from storms this year.

Another tourist Kevin Brown, said he was glad the islands are recovering well from this year's devastation.

"It's gonna be exciting to see the island and experience some places off the beaten track. We are just happy we can support because we know the importance of tourism to Caribbean economies," Brown said.

"We were really expecting to see many of the shops around the pier but some are closed right now so we will be walking out to see what else is available. We were really impressed with St. Martin yesterday s hopefully we will be just as impressed with the BVI," said another visitor, Wayne.

Photo Credit: Sherine Williams/BVI Platinum News
"We are just going to walk around and have a look at how life is, hopefully we will put some money back in the economy. I love that the people make us feel so welcome and we are grateful that we get to come to these places anyway," said another cruise passenger Simon who was walking the streets of Road Town.

As soon as the guests were cleared by customs, some were met by safaris which were scheduled to take them to select sections of the island, properly cleaned and restored to accommodate them.

They will be taken to sections of Tortola's East End and Long Bay Beach, which was prepared Tortola's cruise passengers who will arrive in December.

Before the cruise ship's arrival on Decmber 6, government departments embarked on a massive clean up operation in and around Road Town, to restore roadways and other infrastructure in time for the cruise visitors. The government has declared Road Town safe for cruise visitors.
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