US Virgin Islands Highlights Banner Year, Outlines 2024 Goals

US Virgin Islands Highlights Banner Year, Outlines 2024 Goals

Noreen Kompanik

The U.S. Virgin Islands wraps up 2023 with remarkable achievements and a vision for
an even brighter 2024.

Under the leadership of Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of
the Department of Tourism, the territory has made significant strides in
several key areas.

The U.S. Virgin Islands continues to see robust revenue from
the shared economy industry, reaching an impressive $343.4 million in 2023, a
slight reduction from the record-setting figure of $360.53 million in 2022.

A hotel occupancy rate at a commendable 61.8 percent outpaces
the regional average daily rate (ADR). Additionally, the territory’s Revenue
Per Available Room (RevPAR) continues to soar above regional standards.

The U.S. territory played a prominent role in the Caribbean’s
double-digit tourism
growth, with international arrivals projected to see a 39 percent increase
above 2019 levels in the fourth quarter of 2023. Extended stay visits have seen
a 25 percent rise.

The Department of Tourism has expanded strategic marketing
efforts into sports marketing garnering partnerships with renowned sports teams
and entities, including the Boston Red Sox, New York Jets, Chicago Cubs, and
Klutch Sports Group.

Additionally, the department has established ambassadorships
with athletes who have familial ties to the territory including WNBA standout
Aliyah Boston, Brooklyn Nets player Nic Claxton, Professional Golfer Alex
Swain, and collegiate basketball standout Mervin James at Rider University.

These partnerships, combined with innovation marketing, international
Carnival presence, in-person activations, digital footprints and public
relations have contributed to a 21 percent increase in visitation from
pre-COVID levels.

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte said in a statement, “The
U.S. Virgin Islands has shown resilience and adaptability, even in challenging
times. As we enter 2024, we are excited to build on our success and focus on
key areas that will further elevate our destination.”

2023 also marked successful elevation of the territory’s
three Carnival celebrations opening the USVI to cultural exchange opportunities
with other islands and African countries.

The Department of Tourism also committed to re-engaging with
international markets focusing on Canada, Denmark, and Italy.

2024 Concentrations

  • Increasing flights from the U.S. and adding
    flights to St. Croix from the U.S. Canada, and Europe.
  • Partner with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association
    to increase cruise calls. Projections indicate an 80 percent rise through 2024,
    with nearly 650,000 new passengers expected.
  • Strengthen partnerships with marine
    stakeholders, expand marine experiences, and attract businesses to set up
    headquarters in the USVI.  
  • Attract increased film production due to the
    territory’s stunning landscapes and unique locations.

2023 Awards and Accolades

  • “Innovation Destination of the Year” by
    Caribbean Journal.
  • The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s
    Reef named “Best New Caribbean Hotel of the Year.”
  • “Porthole Reader’s Choice Award” for “Best
    Caribbean Cruise Destination.
  • “Brand USA Video Storytelling Award”
    for Venturing Out: St Croix.
  • “Gold HSMAI Adrian” award for
    comprehensive marketing approach.
  • Silver W3 Awards for “Campaigns-Brand
    Strategy for Marketing” and “Campaigns-Integrated Campaign for
    Marketing.”
  • St. John’s Trunk Bay included in the “6
    World’s Best Beaches” and featured in Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Places
    to Go in 2023.”
  • Travel + Leisure’s “50 Best 2023
    Destinations for beach lovers.”
  • Yahoo! Life’s “Top 10 Tropical Islands to
    Get to in Under Three Hours from the U.S. Mainland.”
  • “Best Caribbean Cruise Destination for 2023” for
    Travel Magazine.
  • Frommer’s “Best Places to Go in 2023.”

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DestinationsU.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands wraps up 2023 with remarkable achievements and a vision for an even brighter 2024. Under the leadership of Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of the Department of Tourism, the territory has made significant strides in several key areas. The U.S. Virgin Islands continues to see robust revenue from the shared economy industry, reaching…

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