Travelzoo, with 30m members worldwide, reports the Caribbean should be prepared for a return of North Americans seeking warmth and refuge from the lockdowns and strictures of the coronavirus pandemic.
Timely, accurate information key
In a recent survey of its widely traveled membership, Travelzoo found the key to bringing travelers back to the Caribbean lies in providing timely and accurate travel restriction information, and cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. Other factors include visitor safety, travel deals, a low or declining number of COVID-19 cases, flight availability and fewer restrictions, such as mandatory quarantine and curfews.
USVI Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte was upbeat about the results of the Aug. 7-10 survey, whose results were disclosed during a recent webinar, 'Gauging Consumer Travel Sentiments: Travelzoo's Caribbean Travel Outlook,' hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
The results, which placed the USVI ahead of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Aruba and Puerto Rico (in that order) among US travelers, was a 'comforting confirmation of the efficacy of intelligent and efficient actions by the people of the USVI, led by Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and his special teams assembled to cope with the COVID-19 challenge,' Boschulte said.
For Canadians, the next most desired places after Cuba were (in order) the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Barbados.
Boschulte believes the Travelzoo survey results validate the USVI's emphasis on clearly enunciated and carefully implemented health and security protocols and industry guidelines, including the importance of wearing a mask in public. 'Our focus on health, hygiene and safety obviously resonated with these well-traveled people whose opinions are heeded by other potential travelers,' he said.
The USVI Travel Screening Portal, developed by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Health, in close coordination with the governor’s office and the Virgin Islands Port Authority, screens travelers prior to arrival.