The US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has expressed an interest in collaborating with its Caribbean neighbours on tourism-enhancing initiatives.
The initiative comes as the bread-and-butter sector in the region rebounds from the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking in the wake of a recent visit to Jamaica to meet with public and private sector stakeholders, Joseph Boschulte, US Virgin Islands commissioner of tourism, reported successful talks with Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett.
He also spoke with other private sector officials about the potential for regional economic revitalisation with the unleashing of pent-up tourism demand.
Part and parcel of the recovery commissioner Boschulte affirmed will be embracing “coopetition”, a concept minister Bartlett supports.
“The Caribbean is the most desirable warm weather destination, and we know how to deliver world-class experiences for our discerning guests,” said the commissioner, who believes it is important to connect the best brains across the region to advance Caribbean brand marketing in the global marketplace.
Commissioner Boschulte and minister Bartlett agreed about the need to leverage the strengths of regional destinations to overcome any weaknesses, and both observed trends that had emerged over the past 15 months, such as the loyalty and resilience of urban African American professionals who have been key to the travel recovery in both destinations.
“Regional collaboration is important to our success, and we must continue to share best practices, especially as they relate to public health safety protocols even as the traveling community becomes vaccinated,” Boschulte said.
Although summer bookings to the USVI are robust, the department of tourism continues to push forward on its marketing and promotional initiatives.
“Even with this strong demand, we need to go to market and make the case that we can compete with the rest of the world any day, any week, any month of the year,” said the commissioner.