Tourism calls for “all hands on deck” for USVI reopening

Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte is calling for all hands on deck across the Virgin Islands in order for the reopening of the territory to leisure visitors to be safe and successful, according to a release from the Tourism Department.

Delivering closing remarks during a Senate hearing this week, Boschulte said “we need everybody to collaborate and work as we have been doing in our community, which is (demonstrated) by our COVID-19 success rate.”

Boschulte said he is confident the territory is prepared but the government cannot be solely responsible for powering up the Virgin Islands’ economy, while maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

He praised Commissioner of Health Justa Encarnacion for successfully leading the COVID-19 response while the V.I. borders remained open during the pandemic. “We have to remember that this is a public health emergency, and we are guided by the professional judgment of the Department of Health,” Boschulte said. “Commissioner Encarnacion and her team have expertly created the infrastructure and capacity the Territory now has to prevent, screen, test and treat as we adjust to the COVID-19 ‘new normal’”, he said.

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte (center) addresses the Legislature of the Virgin Islands via Zoom this week. (Department of Tourism photo)

A series of informational flyers have been posted to, where detailed health and safety guidance for service providers will also be updated. “We have a commitment to protect our residents’ safety, well-being, and livelihoods, and we want our visitors to have full assurance that they can feel safe during their stay,” Boschulte said.

Boschulte thanked Senator Myron Jackson and the Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation and Aging for their oversight; convening the hearing to discuss COVID-19 protocols for reopening the historic towns of Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Frederiksted and Cruz Bay to visitors; and addressing the overall readiness of the territory.

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