U.S. Virgin Islands Is First American Destination to Woo Danish Travelers

U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte addresses Danish journalists in Copenhagen last week. (Submitted photo)

The first American destination delegation to personally welcome Danish travelers back to the United States since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is reporting a successful in-market experience, chock full of possibilities.

On the heels of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ visit to Milan, Italy, for the World Routes Air Development Conference, the territory’s Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte and Assistant Commissioner for Marketing Alani Henneman-Todman made the journey to meet with a range of Danish stakeholders as part of the department’s strategic goal to strengthen ties with the Scandinavian country.

The USVI team met with tour operators, members of the media and other key partners in Copenhagen ahead of the White House’s lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated European and other international visitors starting Nov. 8.

“Our ties to Denmark go back many centuries, and we want to continue to build on that foundation as we refine our marketing and communications to reach our traditional visitors as well as younger generations of Danish travelers,” said Commissioner Boschulte, acknowledging that Danish visitors have traditionally been interested in exploring the shared aspects of the two destinations’ culture and history.

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With a strategic focus on increasing its reach into the Danish market, the V.I. Department of Tourism presented destination updates, including the territory’s management of the COVID-19 public health crisis; discussed sales and marketing opportunities; and shared ideas on issues ranging from airlift to on-the-ground coordination of accommodations and activities for Danish visitors.

(L-R): Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte, Assistant Commissioner Alani Henneman-Todman, Danish media personality Christian Degn (center), U.S.V.I. Denmark representatives Karin Gert Nielsen and Lise Hvid Holm. (Submitted photo)

Discussions with key Danish tour operators and travel professionals confirmed that there has been a generational shift in the interests and expectations of younger Danes, who, unlike their elders who often spend two weeks or more in the territory, are more likely to plan for a one-week stay in the USVI, coupled with a week in the mainland United States.

“A key goal in meeting with our Danish partners is to gain additional insight on how best to ‘modernize’ our marketing and branding to more effectively connect with all Danish travelers,” said Henneman-Todman.

Acknowledging that pre-pandemic levels of cruise ship arrivals are not expected to return overnight, Boschulte indicated that attracting Nordic travelers to the USVI requires a long-term vision and strategy: “We are sowing seeds and setting the stage to reap results in 2022, 2023 and beyond. We continue to get the message out that we are open and welcoming, and that we are excited about more cross-destination collaboration in areas such as music, film and other cultural experiences. This mission is the beginning of a multi-phased partnership.”

During their three-day visit to the capital city, the commissioner and assistant commissioner also met with Acting Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires Stuart Dwyer and his team in the U.S. Embassy to discuss the economic impact of Danish visitors to the territory and ideas for strengthening the linkages between the two destinations.