Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development
Release Date:
Tuesday, 31 October 2023 - 1:34pm

Start of the 2023/2024 Tourist Season

Madam Speaker, I stand before you today on the threshold of a new and promising era as we mark the commencement of the 2023-24 tourist season in our beloved Virgin Islands. This season holds the promise of renewed hope and prosperity, a testament to our resilience in the face of the unprecedented challenges previously brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased to report that while we have faced numerous hurdles, our tourism sector is steadily rebounding, and we anticipate a vibrant and successful season ahead.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our tourism industry has been profound, and the road to recovery has been a journey of determination and collaboration. We faced immense challenges as travel restrictions, lockdowns, and safety concerns disrupted the very essence of our tourism-driven economy. It has taken the combined efforts of our government, private sector, and the indefatigable spirit of our citizens to navigate these tumultuous waters.

However, I am delighted to share that the tides are turning in our favor. The numbers are on the rise, with tourists showing a renewed interest in experiencing the unparalleled beauty, warmth, and culture of our Virgin Islands. Cruise ships have returned to our ports, airlines are increasing their flight frequencies, and our world-class resorts and attractions are once again buzzing with eager visitors. This resurgence is a testament to the allure of our destination and the tenacity of our people.

As we welcome visitors from around the globe, we must also acknowledge the importance of adhering to strict health and safety protocols. The well-being of our citizens and our guests remains our top priority. Our steadfast commitment to ensuring a safe and secure environment for all visitors has not wavered. We will continue to work closely with the relevant health authorities to safeguard our community and guests alike.

Our tourism industry is not just about economics; it is about the preservation of our culture, the empowerment of our people, and the opportunity to showcase the natural wonders of our islands. It is about maintaining our position as a global leader in sustainable and responsible tourism. This season is a testament to our resilience and dedication to this cause.

We must also seize this opportunity to reevaluate and diversify our tourism offerings, ensuring a more sustainable and resilient industry in the future. Innovation and adaptation are the keys to securing the long-term success of our tourism sector. By embracing technology, promoting eco-tourism, and investing in infrastructure, we can position the Virgin Islands for continued prosperity in the years to come.

Madam Speaker, I want to express my gratitude to the citizens of the Virgin Islands for their unwavering support and resilience. It is your strength that has allowed us to come this far. I also extend my appreciation to the private sector, tourism operators, and all those who have worked tirelessly to rebuild our industry. The path ahead may still have its challenges, but together, we can and will overcome them.

It is important to draw our attention to a remarkable and distinguishing aspect of the Virgin Islands' tourism industry that sets us apart in the region. We proudly hold one of the highest rates of returning visitors, a testament to the warmth and hospitality for which our islands are renowned. This is an achievement we should cherish and protect, as it reflects the genuine care and welcoming spirit of our people.

As we embark on this new tourist season, it is imperative that we remember the profound impact of our interactions with our guests. The way we treat our visitors, the experiences we provide, and the memories we create are integral components of what our destination offers. We must continue to exemplify the values of hospitality, respect, and friendliness that have made the Virgin Islands a preferred choice for travelers from all corners of the world.

Our guests are not just visitors; they are ambassadors of our islands, and their positive experiences will be shared with friends and family, thereby inspiring future visits. The impression we leave on them is a reflection of who we are as a community. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that their stay is not only enjoyable but also memorable.

Let us remain committed to delivering world-class service and experiences that will not only encourage the return of past guests but also entice new visitors to explore our beautiful Virgin Islands. Each encounter with a guest is an opportunity to make a lasting connection and promote our destination on a global scale.

In the spirit of unity, resilience, and a shared vision for the future of our tourism industry, let us pledge to uphold the highest standards of hospitality, professionalism, and courtesy. By doing so, we will ensure that our beloved Virgin Islands continue to shine as a beacon of hospitality and remain a sought-after destination for generations to come.

Thank you, and may our commitment to exceptional hospitality be a hallmark of this new tourist season and the ones that follow. Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)

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