2022 1st Qtr Travel and Cruise Magazine

Page 38

Members & Travel Agents

FCCA Partners with the U.S. Virgin Islands on Strategic Development Agreement

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lorida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has partnered with the U.S. Virgin Islands on a strategic development agreement for 2022 that will focus on increasing the destination’s overall economic impact from cruise tourism. The agreement, coming from a directive by the FCCA Executive Committee, will feature access to key decision makers and their joint efforts with FCCA to fulfill the objectives, including increased cruise calls, new experiences and products, collaboration with the local private sector, more employment and purchasing opportunities, conversion of cruise guests to stay-over visitors, promotion of summer cruising, creation of consumer demand, travel agent outreach and more. “This agreement is a further testament to the continued partnership that the U.S. Virgin Islands has had with FCCA and the cruise industry,” said Micky Arison, Chairman of FCCA and Carnival Corporation & plc. “The destination has supported cruising through the best and worst of times, and I am proud that this agreement will make it possible to better the lives and livelihoods of so many people there.” “We are grateful for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ support through the pandemic, with this landmark agreement being more

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proof of their dedication to cruise tourism, and we cannot be more excited to reciprocate the faith they have shown in us and the industry by maximizing their benefits from the sector,” said Michele Paige, President, FCCA. “Through this agreement, the U.S. Virgin Islands will have FCCA’s full commitment to fulfilling the destination’s initiatives, including assisting the private sector and helping all locals prosper from the economic impact that the industry brings.” After being a success story for Caribbean tourism in the wake of COVID-19, experiencing a banner year for stay-over tourism in 2021 and breaking numerous records, the U.S. Virgin Islands is looking to turn the page for their cruise tourism, which generated $184.7 million in total cruise tourism expenditures, in addition to $77.9 million in total employee wage income, during the 2017/2018 cruise year, according to the Business Research & Economic Advisors report “Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.” “The U.S. Virgin Islands celebrates its steadfast partnership with FCCA and its Member Lines,” said USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte. “Strategic marketing and collaborative programs promoting the allure of the cruise industry

and our awe-inspiring islands are expected to provide the Territory with a springboard for a speedy resumption, as we enter the endemic phase of Covid-19.” Through the agreement, FCCA will not only guide the U.S. Virgin Islands government on enhancing their product and increasing cruise calls, but also will facilitate new experiences to offer cruise companies and collaborate with the local private sector to maximize any opportunities. Additionally, the agreement will put the U.S. Virgin Islands in the spotlight for the new and improved programs that FCCA has developed with focuses on employment, purchasing and converting cruise guests to stay-over visitors. As a top-down initiative directed by the FCCA Executive Committee, which includes presidents and above of FCCA Member Lines, the new strategic partnership will grant open access for the U.S. Virgin Islands with these key decision makers and the Committee’s efforts to effectuate the agreement’s objectives and the destination’s goals. Some of the other features of the strategic partnership will include promoting summer cruising, engaging travel agents, creating consumer demand and developing a destination service needs assessment that will detail strengths, opportunities and needs.