Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence + 1 201 861-2056
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism + 1 340 642-9789
Michele Paige, President, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association
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The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Operations Committee meeting in Miami this month.
CRUISE GROUP LAUDS U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS PARTNERSHIP
MIAMI (April 29, 2018) – Michele Paige, President of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), says the partnership with the Ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands is “at an all-time high”.
Her comments came after this month’s FCCA Operations Committee meeting, which allowed the USVI delegation to exchange hurricane preparedness best practices and lessons learned with colleagues from the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico.
Paige observed that the partnership between the USVI and the FCCA spans decades and stands even stronger in the aftermath of last September’s storms. “If you just look at what transpired during the hurricane, we were never wondering who to talk to. We always had the Commissioner and the Governor, they were always there, very accessible, and we never questioned what they said, because we had that confidence,” she said.
The relationship between the trade group and the U.S. Virgin Islands is very firm. “It goes way beyond partnership,” she observed, referring to a statement USVI Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty made at Seatrade Cruise Global last month. “Before, we thought we were family. Now, we know we’re family.”
Paige described the success of the meeting in, for example, setting a new protocol for communications. “We’ve now set the standards for excellence. We’ve now set the way forward (and) everyone is absolutely blown away that the Virgin Islands is going to be, not only better than before, but (to) be that demand product that we’ve always talked about. It takes the private sector and the public sector working together with the cruise industry. This is the first step in (many) that we’re going to be (taking) together.”
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty, who attended the meeting with David Mapp, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA); Damian Cartwright, VIPA’s Assistant Executive Director and Director of Engineering; and Clifford Graham, CEO of the West Indian Company, thanked the FCCA and its member lines for their spirit of collaboration and for helping destinations to strengthen their product offerings.
“By working together to develop strategies to enhance the visitor experience in our destinations, we’re making sure we stay part of the highly sought-after Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary,” Commissioner Nicholson-Doty said.
During the regularly scheduled FCCA Operations Committee meetings, high-level executives from FCCA Member Lines – which operate about 200 vessels, making up 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity – gather to discuss operations and opportunities in the region.
Carlos Torres de Navarra, Vice President, Commercial Port Operations, Carnival Cruise Lines, is the current Chairman of the FCCA’s Operations Committee.
About the U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram ( @visitusvi) and become a fan on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.