Airline Executives Express Strong Confidence in USVI; Boschulte has fruitful talks with airlines
The U.S. Virgin Islands’ handling of the COVID-19 public health crisis along with savvy marketing tactics are credited for the confidence airlines have placed in adding and increasing services to both Sainte -Croix and Saint-Thomas.
Speaking at the recent Routes Americas 2021 air service development event in Orlando, Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte said the multi-agency approach to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the territory has helped travelers and travelers alike. airline executives to select the US Virgin Islands as a top choice for leisure travel.
“Despite blockages on world travel, we have had incredible winter and spring seasons, and we expect to experience one of the strongest summer months in US Virgin Islands history,” said Boschulte, who reported that Sainte-Croix and Saint-Thomas are registering about 10,000 and 30,000 weekly seats respectively this summer.
“We have welcomed new non-stop service from places like Dallas, Miami, Orlando, New York and Newark, NJ, and an increase in the elevator through multiple gateways,” said the commissioner, who revealed that plans were underway for a new service to St. Croix in the continental United States. “We are also on the verge of concluding an agreement for new flights between Canada and St. Croix and will continue to work on the resumption of seasonal flights from Denmark,” said the head of tourism.
Boschulte said the response from airline executives in Orlando was exceptional and as the territory heads into the post-vaccination period, he was confident in increasing business as refurbished hotels such as Divi Carina Bay. Beach Resort & Casino and Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa in Sainte-Croix is coming back online in the coming months. He was also optimistic that the iconic Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort and Noni Beach, a St. Thomas Autograph Collection resort, would eventually return to the St. Thomas accommodation inventory.
“But what has really been remarkable throughout the pandemic is the sharing economy – Airbnbs, condos and villas – that has kept our economy going as we continue to safely welcome thousands of travelers. on our shores every day, ”he said.
Going forward, the Commissioner said that the work of an expanded sales team in the market as well as the continued deployment of innovative marketing tactics, especially on digital platforms, will be essential to keep the momentum going: “We we feel good where the USVI is positioned and are encouraged by the information we are receiving on plans for continued growth during the 2021-2022 winter season, ”he said.
During Routes Americas, Boschulte and his team met with representatives from Air Canada, American Airlines, Cape Air, Caribbean Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and WestJet Airlines in addition to representatives from data-driven aviation service companies.
The USVI team also hosted an educational travel industry luncheon to provide destination updates to meeting planners, travel agents, and journalists in the Orlando area.