By the Caribbean Journal staff
The US Virgin Islands is making hotel development a strategic priority, according to Governor Albert Bryan, Jr.
With few new hotels built in the territory in the last few decades, Bryan said he wants to change that, pointing to the economic power of hotel development in the Caribbean.
“It’s the ability to house people who shop, eat, want to play, want to have different experiences in the Virgin Islands … and that’s where we derive great economic benefit as a government and a community,” Bryan said at the CHRIS conference in Miami this week.
Bryan said he would personally work to streamline official procedures so “hotel developers could get new hotels operational quickly.”
That includes promoting existing incentives for hotel investors.
“To have a destination in the United States, where you can get 100 percent exemption from your state taxes and 90 percent exemption from your federal income taxes, is just incredible,” Bryan said.
It’s part of a wider tourism plan to present St Thomas as a “top-tier tourism product,” while developing “distinct identities” for St Croix and St John.