Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, right, exchanged ideas with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett during a recent visit to Jamaica earlier this month. He also presented a portrait to Bartlett.

After of a recent visit to Jamaica to meet with public and private sector stakeholders, Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte reported successful talks with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and other private sector officials about the potential for regional economic revitalization with the unleashing of pent-up tourism demand.

As part of the economic recovery, Boschulte has embraced “coopetition,” a concept Bartlett supports. Coopetition is the act of cooperation between competing groups.

“The Caribbean is the most desirable warm weather destination, and we know how to deliver world-class experiences for our discerning guests,” said Boschulte, who believes it is important to connect the best brains across the region to advance Caribbean brand marketing in the global marketplace.

Both parties agreed about the need to leverage the strengths of regional destinations to overcome any weaknesses, and both observed trends that had emerged over the last 15 months, such as the loyalty and resilience of urban African-American professionals who have been key to the travel recovery in both destinations.

“Regional collaboration is important to our success and we must continue to share best practices, especially as they relate to public health safety protocols even as the traveling community becomes vaccinated,” Boschulte said. “While we have made great strides curbing the spread of COVID-19, variant strains remain a cause for concern, and we must be vigilant on all fronts to keep our communities and travelers safe.”

Although summer bookings to the Virgin Islands are robust, according to Tourism, the department continues to push forward on its marketing and promotional initiatives and is stepping up its marketing efforts this summer to remain in the minds of travelers, many of whom are already planning their fall and winter leisure and business trips.

“Even with this strong demand, we need to go to market and make the case that we can compete with the rest of the world any day, any week, any month of the year,” Boschulte said.