The Government of the British Virgin Islands has paid tribute to former Chief Minister, tourism visionary and local cruise industry pioneer Cyril B. Romney, by renaming the Tortola Pier Park in his honor. The BVI’s cruise facility was renamed Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park (CBRTPP) at an official ceremony recently held at the facility. The renaming of the Tortola Pier Park is part of the BVI’s quest to pay homage to stalwarts of the community who have significantly contributed to the development of the territory.
Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. Orlando Smith commented, “Most Virgin Islanders will agree that there is one name that is synonymous with the cruise sector in the BVI and that is the name Cyril B. Romney. He had a vision for the development of the cruise sector and was steadfast in seeing that vision through, whether it was from the lofty seat of Chief Minister of these islands, or as an astute businessman. Because of his dedicated efforts we have a bustling cruise sector today with many services provided by locals who directly experience its economic benefits. I stand proud to be associated with what has been a long-deserved honor for Mr. Romney and I am pleased that his family can share in this momentous occasion.”
In his capacity of Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board, Romney initiated several strategies for promoting cruise tourism and was the visionary for the construction of a cruise pier and facility. As a businessman, he made significant investments in equipment and services to serve the needs of cruise as well as overnight guests. These investments included boats, yachts, buses and properties at Peter Island (Oceans 7), White Bay and Dolphin Discovery, a major attraction for cruise visitors prior to the 2017 hurricanes. Internationally, Romney was the face of the BVI at cruise sector meetings such as Sea Trade and the FCCA Convention, prior to representation by Government and the BVI Ports Authority.
In commenting on Romney’s contribution to cruise tourism Minister for Communications and Works Mark Vanterpool said, “He travelled far and wide to promote the BVI as a worthy cruise destination and eventually convinced the government, following studies piloted by him while he was Chief Minister, to build a cruise pier, hence ushering in cruise tourism in the BVI.”
Romney served as Chief Minister of the BVI from 1983-1986 and as a member of the Legislative Council from 1978 to 1995. He was also the first Virgin Islander to hold the post of Financial Secretary. He passed away on July 19, 2007 leaving a legacy of various accomplishments in politics, tourism, financial and business services.