The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the leading trade association representing the interests of destinations and stakeholders throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico, has announced a new strategic development agreement with the British Virgin Islands. Following the recent signing with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has become the latest “Presidential Partner” of the FCCA.
The agreement aims to expand the economic benefits of cruise tourism for the British Virgin Islands, which generated $12.63 million in total cruise tourism expenditures and $4.33 million in total employee wage income during the 2017/2018 cruise year, as reported by Business Research & Economic Advisors. The FCCA will guide the British Virgin Islands government in enhancing its product and increasing cruise calls while facilitating new experiences to offer cruise companies.
Micky Arison, Chairman of FCCA and Carnival Corporation & plc, said, “This new agreement shows the momentum that FCCA and destinations are having in working together to maximize cruise tourism’s benefits. The British Virgin Islands has been a long-standing partner of the industry, and I am thrilled that this agreement signifies the improvement of so many lives and livelihoods.”
Hon. Kye Rymer, Minister of Communication and Works, Government of the Virgin Islands, added, “We’re excited to expand our partnership with the FCCA as Strategic Development Destination Partners. This collaboration will amplify our cruise tourism reach, improve and develop the services and products we offer for our cruise guests and generate more opportunities for the people of the Virgin Islands in this sector.”
Under the partnership, FCCA will utilize its cruise executive committees to hold meetings and site visits focused on the British Virgin Islands objectives. The destination will also have access to the FCCA Executive Committee, comprising presidents and above of FCCA Member Lines, to help effectuate the agreement’s objectives and the destination’s goals.
The strategic partnership also aims to promote summer cruising, engage travel agents, and convert cruise guests into stay-over visitors. Michele Paige, President of FCCA, said, “Through this agreement, FCCA is fully committed to fulfilling individualized initiatives that will help locals prosper from the economic impact that the industry brings.”
The partnership will foster the purchase of local goods by cruise lines, improve employment, and develop a destination service needs assessment that will detail strengths, opportunities, and needs. The British Virgin Islands has been an FCCA Presidential Partner following the historic Hurricanes Irma and Maria and worked with FCCA following the pandemic.
WRITTEN BY: MATTHEW THOMAS