It began during the pandemic, when expert tourism management and a flexible travel health policy helped drive a new wave of visitors to the US Virgin Islands.
And the last two years has seen unprecedented levels of tourism growth in the Territory, making the USVI the fastest-growing destination in the region right now.
Indeed, the US Virgin Islands has seen a 44 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019 — a growth rate no other destination has managed to match.
““The Caribbean tourism industry has led the world in recovering from the pandemic,” said Jose Boschulte, the USVI’s Commissioner of Tourism. “And the US Virgin Islands has been at the forefront of the region’s recovery.”
The tourism growth has been accompanied a dramatic increase in new airlift to the USVI, both on major carriers like American Airlines and Delta and fast-expanding low-cost carriers like Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines, among others.
The destination’s blazing growth comes as it’s prepared for a major injection of room stock this winter, with the highly-anticipated opening of two Marriott resorts: The Seaborn, part of the Autograph Collection, and the new Westin St Thomas, both of which are set at the iconic Frenchman’s Reef property, the product of a $425 million project.
The USVI is also set to welcome a slate of events this fall, including the VIPCA Charter Yacht Show November 12-15, the International Yacht Brokers Association and IGY Marina Caribbean Charter Yacht Show December 8-11, the Paradise Jam Basketball Tournaments in November, and St Crox’s beloved Crucian Christmas Festival.
That comes as the USVI has also seen a major renaissance for its cruise industry, which was hit hardest by the pandemic.
And, increasingly, the USVI is seeing new interest as a sailing and yachting destination, another trend that began during Covid and has seen tremendous growth, both from notable charter companies like The Moorings, which now has a base at Yacht Haven Grande in St Thomas, to boutique firms like And Beyond.
“We are continuing to build upon our existing relationships and to create new ones to attract more visitors to the U.S. Virgin Islands,” who was speaking during the recent CHTA Marketplace conference in Puerto Rico. “Our goals are to grow the cruising business, amplify our airlift, and increase overnight stays, so it is essential that we attend, network, partner, and learn from our industry peers.”