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From left: JetBlue Airways’ Jack Massey and Dylan Kleopfer, Virgin Islands Port Authority Executive Director David Mapp, Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty and JetBlue’s Eric Tanner in New York recently.

Tourism commissioner tells partners USVI open for business

US Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty continues to make audiences across the US mainland and the globe aware that the territory is open for business.

Addressing a broad range of consumers and industry stakeholders over the past week in Atlanta, Chicago and New York, Commissioner Nicholson-Doty thanked partners for their support of the US Virgin Islands during the ongoing recovery process and suggested that the best way to continue helping the US Virgin Islands is to visit the territory.

Last weekend, the commissioner addressed close to 200 delegates attending the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Region III Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and thanked the media for keeping St Croix, St John and St Thomas in the spotlight since last September's storms.

Comprehensive update

While in Atlanta, Commissioner Nicholson-Doty participated in a live on-air segment with Lynda Kinkade on CNN International's 'CNN Newsroom', where she gave a comprehensive update on the US Virgin Islands' recovery.

"We have several hotels that have reopened ... our yachting industry is absolutely glorious, and we have wonderful villas. However, it is a journey ... we will have more hotels opening at the end of the year and as we look towards the future, we really feel that we're going to have an even better tourism product," the commissioner told national and worldwide listeners tuned into the popular news program.

During her in-market travels, she also met with journalists from the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Daily News, and TravelPulse.

At a meeting with United Airlines in Chicago, the commissioner, who was accompanied by David Mapp, executive Director of the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA), provided updates on the territory's accommodations and tourism offerings. She reconfirmed that United resumes service to St Thomas this weekend from Newark, New Jersey and Washington, DC. The airline will recommence flights to St Thomas from Houston later this month, and provide daily flights from Washington Dulles International Airport this summer between early June and late August.

The commissioner and executive director held similar talks with JetBlue Airways in New York and attended an airline training programme in the city. "As we bounce back, it's critically important that we update our partners on the significant progress we are making, while taking the necessary steps to ensure that flights return as more accommodations become available," Commissioner Nicholson-Doty said.

"Power has been restored across the territory, our beaches and attractions have reopened, cruise lines and airlines have returned, and a wide variety of accommodations are available even as our rebuilding and resiliency work continues," she reported, affirming that the "USVI is still nice". 

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