British Virgin Islands plans to develop marine tourism

The newly appointed Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Dr. Hon D. Orlando Smith, OBE has introduced a number of initiatives to increase marine related tourism and superyacht activity in the Islands, acknowledged in the industry as the sailing capital of the Caribbean.

The first of these initiatives was to declare Gun Greek in Virgin Gorda as an officially designated sea port of entry in to the Territory. The Port, which is located in the North Sound area of Virgin Gorda, has seen considerable growth in the superyacht trade over the last several years. The designation enables superyachts and other vessels to proceed directly to the cruising grounds around the North Sound rather than having to clear in Spanish Town or Road Town.

The Premier has also pledged to continue to support and encourage events such as the Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous, which is entering its third year in Virgin Gorda.

Planned improvements to the airport and cooperation with connecting flights will make access to the BVI quicker and easier.

Commenting on air access to the territory, Premier Smith said, “Air access is the number one strategic challenge facing tourism in the British Virgin Islands. To address this issue in the long term, we have taken the decision to extend the runway at the Terrance B. Lettsome International airport to accommodate direct air access from North America. In addition, we are in consultations with local, regional and international carriers to ensure that visitors have direct access to the territory for the winter season this year and beyond.

“We also recognise that another challenge we face is that of getting people from Antigua to the BVI, connecting via British Airways and Virgin. Our goal is to reduce the lay over time it takes to get to the BVI by this winter and we are in discussions with LIAT and other carriers who are looking at servicing this route.”

An archipelago of 60 islands and cays located in the northern Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands is consistently recognised as one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world.

The BVI also offers a wide range of accommodation, including floating rooms in the form of yachts or land-based abodes, from inns, villas and cottages to high-end hotels and private resorts encompassing entire islands.

For further information on the British Virgin Islands, visit www.bvitourism.co.uk.


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