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FCCA, USVI re-up partnership with full cruise recovery seen in 2023

Article-FCCA, USVI re-up partnership with full cruise recovery seen in 2023

Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association renewed its strategic development partnership with the US Virgin Islands in a year when cruising is expected to stage a full recovery at the multi-port destination.

This continues an agreement signed in 2022 while also marking more than a decade of USVI as an FCCA 'presidential partner.'

'The destination has shown its belief in FCCA and the cruise industry through the best and worst of times, and I am honored that this has led to improving the lives and livelihoods of so many people there,' said Micky Arison, chairman of FCCA and Carnival Corp. & plc.

'Together we will continue to showcase the USVI to the prestigious audiences that the FCCA helps us reach, along with great opportunities for strategic meetings within the cruise industry,' said Joseph Boschulte, USVI tourism commissioner.

USVi became a Caribbean success story in the wake of COVID-19, experiencing a banner year for stay-over tourism in 2021, then the territory worked to turn the page on cruise tourism.

Additional 440,000 Royal Caribbean cruisers

A full cruise recovery for the destination is projected in 2023, with passenger volume expected to return to 2019 levels. USVI will also receive an additional 440,000 passengers from Royal Caribbean International, with St. Croix welcoming 140,000 of those, almost tripling its current annual total, and St. Thomas hosting the remaining 300,000, a 70% increase.

As well, USVI continues to welcome new ships, including Celebrity Beyond in November 2022.

In 2017/18, cruising generated $184.7m in total cruise tourism expenditures, in addition to $77.9m, in total employee wage income, according to the Business Research & Economic Advisors report 'Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.'

Aiming to amplify benefits

The FCCA agreement focuses on amplifying these benefits. It gives access to key cruise line decision-makers and encompasses joint efforts to fulfill objectives including increased calls, new experiences and products, collaboration with the local private sector, more employment and purchasing opportunities, conversion of cruisers into stay-over visitors, promotion of summer cruising, consumer demand creation, travel agent outreach and more.

'Through this agreement, the US Virgin Islands again has 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,' FCCA CEO Michele Paige said.

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