updated 6:19 PM PDT, Sep 5, 2017
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Ridge Road Described as Hazardous

Government was told on May 1st during the NDP Radio program that the Ridge Road tourists look out point as it stands is a traffic hazard.

In bringing the matter to the attention of members of government former Legislator Eileen Parsons announced that the situation of tour buses/ safaris parking along the road is very dangerous.

Mrs. Parsons who was the show’s moderator announced: “I would like to honestly plead for on any given cruise ship day you Honourable Vanterpool, (Premier and Minister for Finance) Dr. Smith, and (Junior Minister of Tourism) Mr. Christian come on the Ridge Road between my house and the church, and see the dangerous situation that is there on any given cruise ship day.”

“From my place to the church Safaris are lined, and the little elbow there it needs taking out. The road needs widening. It’s frightening. Sometimes the taxi men they are enjoying the view more than the tourists; so they don’t see who is coming to them or who is going. If you all could see it maybe something would be done to alleviate what could be a dangerous situation,” she added.

Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool noted that the situation with the road is known. However he explained that there was no widening because Government is dealing with land issues.

“That’s one of the reasons we haven’t really started that Ridge Road as yet, in terms of expanding it; because we are dealing with some land issues there. The road is too narrow, for us to improve the road like we are doing with the other roads; we need to at least get 22 feet wide. We normally want 24 but 22 will do. A number of areas there are very narrow,” the Minister pointed out.

Hon. Vanterpool said that the need to have a better stop point for the tour buses is part of the proposed road expansion initiative:  “We are working to try to get some more land and widen the [Ridge] Road so that, when we are ready to pave it, we can get at least a 22-foot road – but preferably especially with the Safari buses, a 24-foot wide road. So that’s something we are working on as we go along,” the Minister added.

 

Minister Says More Ships More Money for 2018

Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool announced that the BVI’s cruising sector will grow even more in 2018 as more ships are expected to make calls here.

While speaking on the 3rd April, NDP radio program Hon. Vanterpool disclosed that Royal Caribbean and Carnival which are no strangers to the BVI will also be returning next year: “We’ve had meetings in Miami, in March, a number of the cruise ship companies are vying to come. We now have to even try to control how we do that as we go along, but we expect more ships to come in 2018. We expect Royal Caribbean to be back in that year, and the following year hopefully we will begin to see some Carnival ships coming back into the territory.”

The Communications and Works Minister said that the increased arrival means more revenue, and he disclosed that estimated growth was confirmed by the Director for the Caribbean Cruise Association: “When I was at the trade show, one of the director for the Caribbean Cruise Association said to me ‘how much do you think each passenger will spend in your country?’ I said, the number is now $50 before we got the cruise pier. He said ‘how much you think it will get to when you do the survey this year or next year?’ I said $100, and he said ‘no, we expect it to be between $130 and $150 per passenger,” Hon. Vanterpool declared.

The Minister explained:"This means, when we get to the million range in a year, $150 million being spent by cruise passengers in the BVI. That's on taxis, purchases and tours and all the different things that we do, when we get to that level, then we will be adding $150 million to the economy- to the GDP. That's not peanut money, that is at least 15 percent of our GDP. I think it will be good".

 

  • Published in Tourism
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