One of the most popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean is looking to help bolster their economic recovery by collaborating with other islands in the Caribbean. The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism announced that Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte recently underwent successful talks with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and other private sector officials about how the Caribbean can revitalize tourism and restart local economies after more than a year of waiting. They’re calling the collaboration a “coopetition” – a combination of cooperation and competition.
U.S. Virgin Islands Tourism Recovery
“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,” Commissioner Boschulte said. “The Caribbean is the most desirable warm weather destination, and we know how to deliver world-class experiences for our discerning guests.”
Both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Jamaica are popular not just among cruisers, but travelers in general. The Caribbean Tourism Organization reported a 2020 Caribbean-wide overnight visitor decline of 65.5 percent, down from a record 31.5 million visits to the region in 2019. The U.S. Virgin Islands, however, saw 415,749 air arrivals in 2020, representing just a 35.1 percent reduction year-over-year. Global tourism declined 73.9 percent over the same period.
As of May 15, visitors to the U.S. Virgin Islands with proof of vaccination can skip the mandatory 14-day quarantine and subsequent tracking device that comes with it, but you still need to get a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 5 days prior to travel. You will also need to retest upon arrival in the islands and will be required to quarantine until the results of that test are known.
Jamaica Remains at Level 4 Travel Advisory
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has Jamaica at a ‘Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19’ and encourage all Americans to avoid travel to the country. The CDC also requires international travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding their return flight to the United States.
Jamaica currently accepts the following kinds of COVID-19 tests:
- A Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR)
- A Nucleic Acid Amplification test (NAA)
- An RNA or molecular test
- An Antigen test
Everyone visiting Jamaica need to complete a Travel Authorization document during check in and boarding pre-flight. Passengers will not be able to board their flight without it. The document is not required to book your flight initially. You can obtain the document HERE.