The US Virgin Islands has kicked off its charter yacht industry with the hosting of the USVI Charter Yacht Show.
Last week’s event, held with rigorous health and safety protocols, brought more than 50 charter yacht brokers, with another 100 signing in virtually.
“It was our pleasure to support this year’s U.S. Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show. The resilience of this industry has allowed for tourism to flourish despite these challenging times,” said Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism. “The marine industry is a very important sector to our overall tourism product, and we look forward to marketing the charter yachting sector along with all other marine businesses throughout the Territory. We hope that attendees, both in person and virtually, enjoyed this year’s event and recognize the endless opportunities this destination offers mariners. As we continue to navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic, we are encouraged by the interest we’ve seen in the U.S. Virgin Islands by this important community.”
It was a big boost for the industry, which is “well-positioned” to provide a safe vacation option for visitors amid the pandemic, thanks to small groups of passengers and crew, ample time at sea and frequent stops at secluded anchorages, according to the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association.
“Something we are particularly proud of is the healthy and effective communication between government and the private sector. This truly creates an environment of progress and growth and we are very thankful to all those involved that have assisted in this endeavor,” said Dare Blankenhorn, VIPCA president and owner of St. Thomas-based Charter Caribe. “The end of this successful 2020 Charter Yacht Show marks the beginning of a new phase for the USVI Marine Industry. We recognize the challenges that still sit in front of us, but we are confident in the agility of our business community and the greatness of our natural assets. Keep your eyes out for big things coming to the marine industry here in the USVI, as we navigate the waters of the modern world.”
The US Virgin Islands reopened for tourism in September.