U.S. News

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS SOLIDIFIES RELATIONSHIP WITH CRUISE LINES

For Immediate Release
Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Contacts:
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism +1 340 774-8784
Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056
Governor Albert Bryan Jr. (center) listens attentively to cruise line executives in San Juan last week.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS SOLIDIFIES RELATIONSHIP WITH CRUISE LINES

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and Commissioner Joseph Boschulte upbeat about plans for the cruise sector

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (October 27, 2019) – The U.S. Virgin Islands continues to strengthen its relationship with cruise line partners as the region prepares for the strong growth forecast for the cruise ship industry.

Speaking at the annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show, USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr. reported that the delegation gathered much valuable information about the evolving form of the massive cruise industry.

The Governor added that the USVI delegation, which included Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte, his team at the Department of Tourism and representatives from The West Indian Company Limited and the Virgin Islands Port Authority, was so well briefed by the cruise industry leaders that they can confidently plan how the Territory should further respond to the needs of the changing marine sector.

Underscoring the timeliness of the meetings, the Governor said that with friendly competition throughout the region and the world, the face-to-face sessions were “a good checkup on our health to see what we’re doing right and most importantly, what we’re not doing enough of.”

Sustained infrastructural investment was continuing apace, stated Governor Bryan, adding that dredging projects, the addition of a new port in the Charlotte Amalie harbor, the improvements on Main Street and the upland plans for Crown Bay were important developments for ensuring the Virgin Islands product was trending alongside cruise sector growth.

The Governor also stressed the importance of regional collaboration with its neighbors. The USVI delegation attended the meeting alongside several Caribbean heads of government,  including Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie, and Prime Minister of St. Lucia Allen Chastanet.

Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line (second from right), talks cruise tourism with (pictured clockwise) Commissioner Boschulte, WICO board member Jason Charles, and Governor Bryan.
Governor Bryan said areas of opportunity include responding to demand from the European market as well as revitalizing the visitor experience. He also said it was important to collaborate with the federal authorities: “Working through our visa issues with the U.S. Government to allow those (international) passengers to disembark very quickly and enjoy our islands, brings a whole new flock of tourists that have never been (to the USVI) for the first time, not only to enjoy their daytime experience but to come back again and enjoy overnight stays.”

The Governor also referred to the need to rebalance the industry: “We have a very mature tourism product in St. Thomas and we have an emerging market in St. Croix (and) St. John. (We must determine) how do we combine those things in the right way that not only gives us the spend that we want, but also attracts the type of customer that’s going to have the vacation that they want in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

During the convention, representatives from Coral World Ocean Park, Cruise Ship Excursions, Island Networks, Leatherback Brewing Company, Pirates Treasure Museum, Skyride To Paradise Point, and the Virgin Islands ‘Bush Tea Lady’, featured their products and attractions.

Commissioner Boschulte led an interactive session with Virgin Islands operators and cruise line executives to help strengthen the bonds between the cruise industry and the Territory’s private sector. “We are very satisfied with our progress on bolstering this very important cruise pillar,” the Commissioner stated, thanking private sector partners and especially his tourism team for all that they do in delivering an exceptional experience to visitors to the Territory. “We have a lot of work to do, and look forward to elevating our game in the weeks and months ahead.”
About the U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.

CULTURAL ICON MOURNED IN U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

For Immediate Release
Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Contacts:
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism +1 340 774-8784
Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056
 
 

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (October 7, 2019) – The U.S. Virgin Islands is mourning the loss of one of its cultural icons, Lena Schulterbrandt, long recognized as a champion of the tradition and heritage of her home island of St. Croix.

Ian Turnbull, Director of the Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals, said Mrs. Schulterbrandt was to be honored during this year’s Crucian Christmas Festival.

“Instead we now sadly mourn her passing and convey our condolences to her family, her loved ones and her legion of fans and followers,” said Turnbull.

The posthumous tribute to Mrs. Schulterbrandt will complement the festival’s theme: “What a sight to see: music, culture and pageantry”.

“Our plans to recognize such a grand figure during Cultural Night and to honor her contributions and her efforts to inspire our youth to be more involved in our heritage will continue, albeit posthumously,” added Shamari Haynes, Assistant Director of the Division of Festivals for St. Croix, who recalled Mrs. Schulterbrandt’s important work with the tourism department’s greeter’s program.

Haynes hailed Mrs. Schulterbrandt as a dedicated advocate for the preservation of Crucian culture and the development of culinary arts.

The schedule for this year’s Crucian Christmas Festival – one of three major annual cultural events celebrated throughout the Virgin Islands – has undergone a revival. Festivities will be held between December 6, 2019 and January 5, 2020.

St. Croix’s renowned musical group Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knights will also be honored on its 50th anniversary in the music business. In honor of the group, the carnival village has been named “Stanleyville” this year.

About the U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.

ST. CROIX’S STANLEY AND THE TEN SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS TO BE HONORED

For Immediate Release
Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Contacts:
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism +1 340 774-8784
Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056
Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knight
Photo credit: Malek Bascombe

Iconic Quelbe Band will be celebrated at 2019/2020 Crucian Christmas Festival

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (October 5, 2019) – St. Croix’s renowned musical group Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knights will be honored at this year’s Crucian Christmas Festival on its 50th anniversary in the music business.

Newly-appointed Director of the Division of Festivals, Ian Turnbull, announced that the iconic group will be celebrated at the festival, whose carnival village has been named “Stanleyville” this year.

One of three major cultural events celebrated annually on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, this year’s Crucian festivities will be held on “The Big Island” between December 6, 2019 and January 5, 2020.

“It’s hard to find another musician (Stanley Jacobs) or musical group deserving of this honor after working tirelessly to keep our quelbe music and Crucian culture alive for more than five decades,” said Turnbull, who confirmed that culinary icon and culture bearer Lena Schulterbrandt will also be honored during the festival’s “Cultural Night”.

With the theme “What a sight to see: music, culture and pageantry”, this year’s festival schedule is undergoing a revival and will include calypso and soca events, a boat parade, food fair, pageants, reggae and latin nights, along with the traditional children’s and adult parades.

Shamari Haynes, the division’s assistant director for St. Croix, stated that new components of this year’s festival include a Sweet Bread and Jam Breakfast Fete in Christiansted, and Jou’Day, a day-time street party, each of which will showcase the food truck cuisine of St. Croix. Food trucks will also be able to park on the periphery of the festival village.

He reminded vendors participating in the festival of a committee meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at Gertrude’s restaurant at 5:30 p.m.

All vendors doing business with the Division of Festivals are required to have a valid USVI Business License and DUNS number.

For further information, vendors can contact the Division of Festivals at the Department of Tourism.

Assistant Director Haynes can be reached at 340-772-0357 or shaynes@usvitourism.vi, while Director Turnbull and Assistant Director for St. Thomas Halvor Hart III can be contacted at 340-774-8784, or iturnbull@usvitourism.vi and hhart@usvitourism.vi, respectively.

About the U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.

COMMISSIONER BOSCHULTE TO ADDRESS TOURISM MEETINGS IN MIAMI

For Immediate Release

Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Contacts:
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism +1 340 774-8784
ahenneman@usvitourism.vi 

Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056
bevan@marketplaceexcellence.com

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte

MIAMI (August 7, 2019) – United States Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte will lead the Territory’s delegation to the 2019 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair in Miami this week.
Commissioner Boschulte will deliver opening remarks at one of the world’s premier gatherings for journalism education, career development and networking opportunities, which draws leaders in journalism, media, technology, business, arts and entertainment and politics.
More than 3,000 of the nation’s top journalists, media executives, public relations professionals and students will gather for the conference from August 7 to 11, 2019.
The Commissioner joins a distinguished list of headline makers who have addressed the convention in the past, including then-Senator Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joseph Biden, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former Republican National Committee Chairs Michael Steele and Reince Priebus. Commissioner Boschulte will focus on the importance of the Territory’s tourism and economic recovery plans and strengthening ties with the African American community.
The Commissioner will also lead a panel discussion on “African American-Caribbean Connections – Building Bridges and Telling the Stories that Matter”. The panel will be moderated by Charlotte-based WSOC-TV reporter Ken Lemon and include former World Editor of The Miami Herald John Yearwood.
Also attending the convention is Virgin Islands author and filmmaker Peter Bailey, who will screen his film, “Paradise Discovered: The Unbreakable Virgin Islanders”. The screening is the 15th stop on Bailey’s nationwide tour that began on St. Thomas about a year ago. Following the film’s screening, Associated Press writer and frequent MSNBC contributor Errin Haines Whack will host a Q & A session with Bailey.
This year, the Department of Tourism will support the attendance of three students from the University of the Virgin Islands, while the USVI’s Spectrum Band and the Caribbean Ritual Dancers will provide entertainment for convention attendees.
Following the NABJ convention, Commissioner Boschulte will join USVI First Lady and Economic Development Authority Business Ambassador, Yolanda Bryan, in Atlanta for a Tourism Ambassadors reception, featuring performances by Spectrum Band, musical artist Mic Love and the Virgin Islands Heritage Dancers.
About the U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.