The US Virgin Islands has a plan to not only sustain its tourism industry post COVID but grow it. But, this time it won’t just be relying on the beautiful beaches and crystal clear water to attract visitors. U.S. VIRGIN
Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte pledged to leverage the Territory’s “natural appeal and a growing complement of facilities to attract athletes to practice and compete on and off our shores.” Boschulte along with Commissioner of Sports, Parks & Recreation Calvert White, and Virgin Islands Sports Commission Chairman Leon Hunt, Commissioner Boschulte said promoting the benefits of the Territory’s sporting capabilities and infrastructure was critical, in addition to extended seasons for training and the enjoyment of a year-round tropical climate. “In addition, teams won’t have to worry about passports as they are not needed for U.S. citizens, and we have top-rated facilities as well as U.S. standards and coaches to provide oversight,” said the tourism chief.
The growth of the “tournament hosting industry” where the island hosts college teams for competitions like the Paradise Basketball Jam over Thanksgiving break is one of the key sectors where the commissioners see growth potential.
From hosting the annual Paradise Jam basketball tournament to leveraging the USVI Soccer Federation’s FIFA-certified soccer field on St. Croix, and hosting the ITF junior tennis tournament, Commissioner Boschulte stated that the Department of Tourism will continue to invite members of the media to attend and participate in events such as the USVI Charter Yacht Show, the St. Thomas International Regatta, Carlos Aguilar Match Race, Beauty and the Beast Triathlon, Beach to Beach Power Swim, and the USVI Tennis Cup.
The islands aren’t only focusing on what they can do on land with the commission citing that the U.S. Virgin Islands economy made by 150 week/term charter vessels, 75 day charter, 17 sport-fishing and 55 bareboat charter vessels were estimated at approximately US$45 million.
“We forecast 2020 numbers to be positive due to a large number of visiting vessels, as well as our expanded reach into the charter yacht, regatta, and game fishing sectors,” The Tourism Commission reported this year. The commission further reported that the U.S. Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show successfully brought large numbers of vessels into the Territory, further boosting the economy and leveraging the Territory’s charter facilities.
The web page www.usviupdate.com/marine provides an overview of the Territory’s assets and resources for the marine industry for anyone interested in seeing what the territory has to offer and has planned for the future.
The report all and all precedents a healthy future for tourism in territories as the world begins its recovery from the most devastating plague in recent history.