Traffic projections are moving up in the British Virgin Islands, with the new Tortola Pier Park expected to surpass the half million mark by next year.
“Any port can have a wonderful facility and be able to accommodate the largest cruise vessels, that is easily done through investment. When you develop the customer service and culture, that makes the difference,” said Dona Lisel Regis, CEO.
She said customer service was the foundation of everything going on.
The $83 million facility has 65 shops and over a dozen food and beverage choices, plus live music, and most recently the addition of a doctor. There is also a crew lounge.
“One of the main things for us is to bring out the culture of the British Virgin Islands,” Regis added. “You are not going to find things that are made in China; you will find things that are made here.”
Agreements with Disney and Norwegian guarantee traffic and provide summer calls.
“Summer is important to us and there are days when we have less ships, such as the weekends, that is an area to exploit,” Regis noted.
She said she is working closely with nearby ports: St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico.
“When you look at the possibility of building an itinerary, (Tortola) is an interesting destination,” Regis explained. “The experience here is not a duplicate of other ports.”
The government has made sure the growth is sustainable, according to Regis, and is on top of congestion concerns and keeping the area safe.
“The focus of the government is not only on the landside development, but the entire destination,” Regis continued. “A lot of work has gone into product development in terms of beaches, attractions and all of these things have been packaged.”
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