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USVI Department of Tourism Attends Annual Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit

(L-R) Alani Henneman, assistant commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; Joseph Boschulte, commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Vanessa Ledesma, acting CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, pictured during Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit. (Submitted photo)

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Tourism, led by Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, made a significant impact at the annual Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) held from April 22-23, 2024, at the Loews Coral Gables Hotel in Coral Gables, FL. Recognized as the premier hotel investment conference for the Caribbean, CHRIS provided an exceptional platform for industry professionals to connect, share insights and explore regional investment opportunities.

The summit offered valuable insights into the performance of the Caribbean tourism industry, demonstrating remarkable resilience as it outperformed the Americas and surpassed pre-pandemic growth levels, solidifying its status as a premier tourist destination.

Commissioner Boschulte, accompanied by Alani Henneman, assistant commissioner, and the USVI team, along with Wayne Biggs, CEO of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (EDA), delivered an insightful presentation on the investment opportunities in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Emphasizing the territory’s business advantages, unique offerings, taxation benefits and successful hotel development program, the presentation highlighted notable properties such as Hideaway at Hull Bay, Pink Palm Hotel, The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef, and Buoy Haus as successful beneficiaries of the program.

“Attending CHRIS allowed us to engage with potential hotel developers and management brands, opening doors for future projects in the USVI,” said Boschulte. “This summit provided a valuable platform to showcase the immense investment potential of our territory and underscored our commitment to sustainable growth and development.”

The Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit brought together about 450 registered delegates including industry leaders, investors and government officials to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the Caribbean hospitality sector. The agenda boasted a diverse range of sessions, networking opportunities and insightful discussions aimed at addressing the most pressing issues facing the industry at the time.

From investment opportunities in various Caribbean destinations to discussions on ownership, branding, and development, the summit offered a comprehensive platform for industry professionals to gain valuable insights and forge strategic partnerships.

A wide range of prominent hotel brands, investment firms and industry organizations were in attendance. Among the notable brands present were Hilton, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Sandals Resorts International and Club Med, along with numerous others. Investment firms such as Berkadia Real Estate Advisors, IDB Invest, Fortress Investments, CIBC Caribbean, and Banco Sabadell were also in attendance, reflecting the diverse financial landscape of the hospitality sector.

Additionally, industry organizations like the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and Hotel Investment Today were represented, highlighting the collaborative efforts and industry expertise present at the conference.

The USVI’s presence reaffirmed its commitment to fostering partnerships and promoting the region as an enticing investment destination. The USVI showcased its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage and favorable business environment, reinforcing its status as a premier choice for investments in the Caribbean.

To learn more about the USVI visit, https://www.visitusvi.com/.

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