87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, March 31, 2023
HomeBusinessSt. Croix businessTourism Commissioner Affirms Health and Safety Come First

Tourism Commissioner Affirms Health and Safety Come First

Commissioner Boschulte at Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council Virtual Conference.

The health and safety of residents and visitors are top priorities for the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

Addressing the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council (PAMAC) Virtual Conference last week, USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte said that while the popular Caribbean destination entered the “Open Doors” phase of its “COVID-19 Path to a New Normal” last week, the rollout would be a careful one with continued adherence to hygiene and sanitization measures.

Commissioner Boschulte said that the Department of Tourism will continue to bolster its awareness efforts as his team strengthens dialog with cruise and airline partners concerning itinerary planning and public health protocols.

“We believe that our successful reintroduction into the leisure market is going to be defined by clear education and shared expectations among guests, residents and the business community,” said Boschulte, affirming that health and safety measures will not be compromised.

The commissioner, who last week also addressed the territory’s Spring Revenue Estimating Conference, said that the unprecedented changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic are dramatically affecting tourism; however, he is seeing some bright signs on the horizon.

“The continental United States will continue to be the top draw for future business, (and) a steady flow of traffic is envisaged based on high interest and pent-up demand during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) shutdown,” he said.

The return of airlift, the reopening of hotels and resorts, the resumption of the cruise industry, and the collective management of this public health crisis are factors that will affect the territory’s recovery, he reported.

Boschulte believes that COVID-19 remains the decisive factor. “The reality is that until the virus is under control and efficient systems are in place to restore confidence in travel, it’s simply too soon to tell when we can expect travelers to start booking again. The USVI is uniquely placed in that we are part of the United States and no passport is required for U.S. citizens,” he said.

“As the U.S. Virgin Islands reopens its tourism industry to leisure visitors, we will continue to focus on protecting lives and livelihoods,” said Boschulte.

“The road ahead will be challenging, but the territory is no stranger to challenges. By working together, we will make it through these difficult times and journey through this period to a new day of normalcy,” he said.

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.