Published on : Monday, May 22, 2017
The V.I. Bureau of Economic Research had reported a 74% drop from 69,000 to less than 18,0000 in the initial three months of the year as compared to the same period last year. St. Thomas also observed a decline of nearly 11% from 604,572 to 540,154.
The number of cruise ship visits to the Frederiksted Pier had decreased from 26 to nine, and it dragged down the total number of cruise calls to the territory by about 13%. Beverly Nicholson-Doty said that they had actually lost market share and they were responsible for building market share for St. Croix as well as the entire territory.
She added that they had been facing certain challenges and therefore things have not really progressed at a smarter pace.
Nicholson-Doty did not yet clarify about the ‘relationship struggles’. But then, he said that Royal Caribbean that sails the majority of the cruise vessels, about 95 to 96% of the cruise ships to St. Croix, did indicate a ‘repositioning of ships’ probably to Western Caribbean.
The cruise lines schedule visits to the Virgin Islands with VIPA and also the West Indian Company. They do not notify Tourism, as per Nicholson-Doty.
At the beginning of 2017, Governor Kenneth Mapp had directed the DOT commissioner to ‘rebuild relationships with the cruise lines’.