NASSAU — The US Virgin Islands is seeing renewed demand from hotel developers looking to build in the territory, according to USVI Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte.
Boschulte, who was speaking during the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace Conference in Nassau, The Bahamas, said it was the result of a new push to draw tourism investment in the destination.
“There’s been significant interest in hotel development in the territory,” Boschulte said. “As we all know, in order to stay relevant you have to continue to push the envelope and get more accommodations.”
Indeed, several major projects are on the way right now in St Thomas, with the imminent rebirth of St Thomas’ flagship resort, the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef, and the anticipated launch of the new Noni Beach resort, which will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
It’s been three decades since the US Virgin Islands saw the opening of a new-build, permanent hotel in the territory, and Boschulte said the time was ripe for new development.
“To be a mature destination and to continue to be successful without new hotel product is a testament to what we have to offer when you get to the territory,” Bosculte said. “As we continue to move forward, we believe the time is right to come in and invest in the territory’s hotel development.”
It’s part of a broader push by USVI Governor Albert Bryan, Jr, who has pushing officials to stress that the USVI is not just open for business, but “open for tourism business,” Boschulte said.
And new development is particularly important as the rest of the Caribbean continues to see a surge in hotel development.
“What we’ve learned is that people want to do some of these [new hotel] properties on U.S. soil,” he told Caribbean Journal. “And we’re confident we’ll get some business done in the near future.”