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Friday, March 31, 2023
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A Better Harbor Means a Better Economy

Dear Source:
My name is Rob Osmun and I am the general manager at Underwater Safaris, a dive company that specializes in Cruise Ship Scuba Tours.
Wednesday was quite an exciting day for those of us in the tourism industry as we watched the Charlotte Amalie harbor overflow with six ships for the first in quite some time. I had the pleasure of observing the Westerdam tender passengers ashore to take advantage of excursions and shopping, which was reminiscent of days long gone. In my opinion, Wednesday was a dress rehearsal to see just how well St. Thomas could handle an increased influx of daily visitors exploring our shores.
I must say that although we made it work on Wednesday, I am reminded of the recent editorials from Mr. Boschulte at WICO about why St. Thomas is in need of the upcoming port development project. Those of us who depend on tourism appreciate what this type of development means for our bottom lines. We need to prepare ourselves to accommodate the various sized vessels, including the increasing number of mega ships that are traveling to our region today.
As a business owner, I definitely welcome more six ship days if it means that more revenue is coming into our economy. My employees value the added traffic too and not just because it’s their job. My staff and I at Underwater Safaris believe that the U. S. Virgin Islands offers some of the most gorgeous and exciting dive sites in the world. The added traffic gives all of us a chance to showcase why the U.S. Virgin Islands has been the standard bearer that many other islands are following.
I, for one, am happy to see the increased activity as we kick off the new season. This gives me hope that brighter days are just ahead.
Rob Osmun, St. Thomas

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