US Virgin Islands Leading Caribbean Tourism Rebound

us virgin islands caribbean reboundSt Croix.
By

It was one of the first Caribbean destinations to reopen amid the pandemic. Now it’s leading the Caribbean’s tourism rebound. 

The United States Virgin Islands, buoyed by its class-leading Travel Screening Portal, was the top performing destination I the Caribbean in July, compared to the same period in 2019. 

Indeed, the US Virgin Islands’ July arrivals were 106.3 percent higher than July 2019, before the pandemic, according to data from ForwardKeys shared by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. 

That was followed by Puerto Rico, which saw nearly 40 percent growth in July compared to July 2019. 

It’s a testament to what has been one of the region’s model reopenings, with a strong policy that from the outset was meant to “manage” the virus, according to Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte. 

us virgin islands caribbean rebound
The Ritz-Carlton, St Thomas.

The US Virgin Islands is joined by several destinations seeing numbers ahead of those recorded prior to the pandemic, according to Vanessa Ledesma, CEO of the CHTA. 

That includes Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Aruba and The Bahamas. 

That’s not a surprise, Ledesma said, given expanded airline routes from major U.S. markets to those destinations. 

The US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were the only two destinations showing an increased in revenue per available room in the Caribbean, Ledesma said. 

us virgin islands caribbean rebound
St John.

It’s added up to a very strong year for the US Virgin Islands, which was named Caribbean Destination of the Year in the 2021 Caribbean Travel Awards in January. 

“Caribbean’s recovery strategies and actions will continue to include: advancing health safety initiatives, building trade and traveler confidence, advancing better tour operator policies, advancing regional collaboration to support tourism’s recovery, making the case for travel with key international markets, and advocating for jurisdictional and regional policies supporting recovery,” the CHTA said. 

For more on how to visit the US Virgin Islands, see here.

— CJ