82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesST THOMAS FEATURED IN CRUISE INDUSTRY MAGAZINE

ST THOMAS FEATURED IN CRUISE INDUSTRY MAGAZINE

The efforts of the West Indian Co. Ltd. and the V.I. government to deal with growth in the cruise industry has been highlighted in a cruise industry publication.
The article, which appeared in the spring 2000 issue of Cruise Industry News, is favorable and upbeat, saying that St. Thomas has been able to cope with the growth of the cruise industry.
The downside, said the one-page article, is the growing traffic menace and the daily struggle to shuttle cruise passengers from the WICO dock to the Charlotte Amalie shopping area. Edward Thomas, WICO chief executive officer, is quoted as saying that while he welcomes all cruise arrivals to the port of St. Thomas, it has become a daily challenge.
"We never try to put more than one ship from each line at the dock one day," Thomas said. The remaining ships arriving that day are then assigned positions elsewhere in the harbor.
To address the industry's concerns about traffic congestion — a source of passenger dissatisfaction — Thomas told Cruise Industry News that water taxis must be a part of a future solution, regardless of the political unpopularity of the idea.
Thomas is also quoted as saying it is no longer a question of "whether we should or shouldn't develop" the secondary pier at Crown Bay – "We have to develop Crown Bay."
He said that WICO, the VI Port Authority and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association are awaiting the findings of Star Center, a company contracted to provide a study of traffic movement in the area. Michele Paige, FCCA executive director, said that any development of the Crown Bay Dock will depend on the study's findings.
Thomas cited the need to have a facility that can accommodate two mega-ships – those longer than 800 feet.
The article said that if the study determines it is viable to develop Crown Bay, additional landside developments will be considered.
On other issues, the article said the cruise industry is opposed to the institution of a $2.50 head tax, something that has been considered by the Legislature.
Cruise Industry News quoted from a draft of a contract it secured between the Virgin Islands and FCCA – the cruise industry was offering St. Thomas in-season as well as summer-season traffic increases of 10 percent annually, with a 25 percent annual increase on the table for St. Croix.
But in its proposal, the FCCA warned that the Virgin Islands could expect a reduction of about 400,000 passengers a year if the head tax legislation was approved. The reduction could take effect as early as the year 2006, the FCCA said.
Without the head tax, the islands are guaranteed 1.09 million passengers in the same year if the territory signs off on the contract.
However, the article said the contract has not yet been signed and "St. Thomas is one of the very few islands that can lay some form of claim to being in the 'driver's seat' when at the table with the cruise industry."
The article also highlights the expansion of the WICO pier now under way to accommodate the large Eagle-class vessels and deal with the buffeting effects of the new Azipod propulsion systems.
It repeats WICO's belief in the economic advantages of cruise tourism, which accounts for "roughly half of the total" of tourism dollars coming into the territory.
Thomas told the publication, "I think the key question for the Caribbean is whether or not the ports can keep their infrastructure up to pace with the new vessels, which are being built so far and so big. The question is: Can ports keep up?"

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,721FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
The efforts of the West Indian Co. Ltd. and the V.I. government to deal with growth in the cruise industry has been highlighted in a cruise industry publication.
The article, which appeared in the spring 2000 issue of Cruise Industry News, is favorable and upbeat, saying that St. Thomas has been able to cope with the growth of the cruise industry.
The downside, said the one-page article, is the growing traffic menace and the daily struggle to shuttle cruise passengers from the WICO dock to the Charlotte Amalie shopping area. Edward Thomas, WICO chief executive officer, is quoted as saying that while he welcomes all cruise arrivals to the port of St. Thomas, it has become a daily challenge.
"We never try to put more than one ship from each line at the dock one day," Thomas said. The remaining ships arriving that day are then assigned positions elsewhere in the harbor.
To address the industry's concerns about traffic congestion -- a source of passenger dissatisfaction -- Thomas told Cruise Industry News that water taxis must be a part of a future solution, regardless of the political unpopularity of the idea.
Thomas is also quoted as saying it is no longer a question of "whether we should or shouldn't develop" the secondary pier at Crown Bay – "We have to develop Crown Bay."
He said that WICO, the VI Port Authority and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association are awaiting the findings of Star Center, a company contracted to provide a study of traffic movement in the area. Michele Paige, FCCA executive director, said that any development of the Crown Bay Dock will depend on the study's findings.
Thomas cited the need to have a facility that can accommodate two mega-ships – those longer than 800 feet.
The article said that if the study determines it is viable to develop Crown Bay, additional landside developments will be considered.
On other issues, the article said the cruise industry is opposed to the institution of a $2.50 head tax, something that has been considered by the Legislature.
Cruise Industry News quoted from a draft of a contract it secured between the Virgin Islands and FCCA - the cruise industry was offering St. Thomas in-season as well as summer-season traffic increases of 10 percent annually, with a 25 percent annual increase on the table for St. Croix.
But in its proposal, the FCCA warned that the Virgin Islands could expect a reduction of about 400,000 passengers a year if the head tax legislation was approved. The reduction could take effect as early as the year 2006, the FCCA said.
Without the head tax, the islands are guaranteed 1.09 million passengers in the same year if the territory signs off on the contract.
However, the article said the contract has not yet been signed and "St. Thomas is one of the very few islands that can lay some form of claim to being in the 'driver's seat' when at the table with the cruise industry."
The article also highlights the expansion of the WICO pier now under way to accommodate the large Eagle-class vessels and deal with the buffeting effects of the new Azipod propulsion systems.
It repeats WICO's belief in the economic advantages of cruise tourism, which accounts for "roughly half of the total" of tourism dollars coming into the territory.
Thomas told the publication, "I think the key question for the Caribbean is whether or not the ports can keep their infrastructure up to pace with the new vessels, which are being built so far and so big. The question is: Can ports keep up?"