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U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism aggressively promoted the Territory’s Open Door’s policy during the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW 2022 Conference in Orlando, Florida June 4-8, 2022, to international buyers, wholesalers and travel specialists.

The USVI footprint, as a major sponsor, remained visible throughout the entire conference showcasing the islands as a marquis Caribbean destination, which stands ready for international business. Branded activations included USVI imagery in the conference’s app and across the show’s entrance and floor, the USVI logo was prominently positioned in all programs and IPW branded signage. The department showcased the territory’s rich culture through live performances at three major events with local dancers, Mocko Jumbies, and a steel pan drummer. Key events included – USVI Media Marketplace, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a reception with USVI inspired dishes. At the reception, Commissioner Joseph Boschulte gave brief remarks and warmly introduced Chris Thompson, the CEO of Brand USA.

© start livin from Unsplash

Over 4.800 conference participants energetically engaged with an estimated 1.000 exhibitors on the conference floor. The USVI team conducted 60+ appointments from buyers, airlines reps, DMOs, and international press at the destination’s booth. The Commissioner and other key team members met with over 30 media outlets during the media marketplace all eager to write about the destination’s new and exciting developments, as well as unique stories.

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte presented tourism updates to over 200 journalists at the USVI press conference touting the Department of Tourism’s strategy of aggressively focusing on increasing airlift and overnight stays resulting in the region’s incredible tourism growth despite the pandemic and ongoing recovery post 2017 Hurricanes.

USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte addresses media at USVI press conference during IPW 2022.

“We continue to consider ourselves very fortunate as our islands were able to recover quickly and position ourselves strongly thanks to our government’s strategic direction and leadership during the pandemic”, says Commissioner Boschulte. “As one of the first Caribbean destinations to engage international markets during this period with sales activations to Denmark and Italy, the territory stands ready for international business culminating this strategy with strong positioning at IPW. We want to continue this momentum by building upon our existing relationships and forging new opportunities in international market with the hope of diversifying the visitor makeup to the U.S Virgin Islands.”

© Brendan Stephens from Unsplash

Destination highlights shared during the press conference include

  • Effective as of June 1, the USVI Travel Screening Portal was removed from USVI travel policy dropping restrictions for all domestic travelers. Federal guidelines and restrictions will continue to apply to international travel, including air travel from the British Virgin Islands.
  • Two new properties will be opening on St. Thomas this fall following a $350 Million dollar renovation, the Westin Beach Resort and Spa at Frenchman’s Reef and The Seaborn at Frenchman’s Reef, an Autograph Collection.
  • At the center of culture, Festival continues in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the 68th Celebration of St. John festival returning June 26 – July 4. Followed by 70th Annual St. Croix Festival, known as the Crucian Christmas Festival this December.
  • Described by many sailors as “Heaven on Earth,” the U.S. Virgin Islands is considered one of the best sailing locations in the world. This November, the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association will host the USVI Charter Yacht Show.
  • New to the US Virgin Islands, the Department of Tourism recently announced a three-year partnership with Uber Soca Cruise, widely known in the Caribbean as the largest soca fete on the sea.

More than 60 countries gathered in Orlando, Florida, for the 53rd annual IPW, the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the number-one driver of international tourism to the United States. Travel professionals from around the world gathered at IPW, including hotels, attractions, sports teams, cruise lines and airlines as well as tour operators, buyers and wholesalers.

About the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are an official U.S. territory in the Caribbean that consist of three individual islands – St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Perfect for leisure or business travel, the U.S. Virgin Islands are rich with culture, history, surrounded by breathtaking beaches. When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens can enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel as no passport is required for U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the United States. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are equivalent to entering the United States from any international country. Upon departure, a passport is required for non U.S. citizens. For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and Twitter (@usvitourism), and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). 

Cover photo author: © Josh Duncan from Unsplash

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