Governor Albert Bryan, Jr., has signed a proclamation marking May 2019 as Virgin Islands Travel and Tourism Month throughout the Territory. The proclamation calls upon U.S. Virgin Islands residents to observe the month by attending cultural activities and cleanups arranged by the Department of Tourism across St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.
According to the proclamation, "the events planned by the Department of Tourism will connect the dots of Virgin Islands culture and heritage and offer fresh new insights in how residents and industry partners can nurture an enormous global industry that can continue to drive economic growth in [the] Territory." Tourism is the largest industry in the Territory. In 2018, the U.S. Virgin Islands welcomed more than 1.4 million cruise passengers and nearly 500,000 air arrivals, totaling 1.9 million visitors. Spending by visitors Territory-wide last year generated an estimated $917,319,134; averaging $2.5 million per day, more than $104,000 spent each hour and $1,745.28 each minute.
"The tourism and hospitality industry in the United States Virgin Islands is vital to the Territory's growth and maintaining long-lasting economic stability in the region. As the melting pot of the Caribbean, interactions with visitors and the revenue that follows contribute substantially to the cultural and social dynamic of our people," stated the proclamation.
National Tourism Week takes place May 20 to 25. The department of tourism urges the public to participate on May 21 by wearing red to represent support of the department's endeavors, and on May 25 by meeting for a tourism cleanup. Cleanups will take place on St. Croix at STX Historic Towns; on St. John at Cruz Bay and Coral Bay; and on St. Thomas at Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook and Smith Bay. Cleanups will take place from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a prize will be awarded in each district to the agency that collects the most trash bags.
Other events include a coal pot competition at Emancipation Garden on St. Thomas; a little library launch at the Department of Tourism Park on St. John; and a little library launch at Frederiksted Health Clinic on St. Croix. The Department of Tourism will also conduct school visits throughout the Territory.