US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton has been receiving a lot of calls asking about the status of hotels. At this time about 50 percent of the membership accommodations sector have begun the process of assisting guests with early departures and rescheduling future bookings. Accommodations cancelations for bookings in the next 90 days have tripled in the last 72 hours. USVIHTA is aware of restaurants as well as activities and attractions that have also decided to temporarily suspend business – the percentage is unclear at this time. The average closure period has ranged from March 31 up to May 1. Many members cited concerns of a pending curfew or limited flight service should the U.S. implement a travel ban from the Caribbean. At this time, we do not have any flight cancelations; however, load factors arriving have dropped.
A curfew has NOT been issued; however, curfew passes were discussed in case we go that route. There were a lot of questions around this from those on the call, so we were told more details will be released soon.
They acknowledged the Department of Health needs to draft and send out guidelines for gatherings under 50 people. Our situation is unprecedented, so these tools do not exist at this time. They realize some hotels and restaurants have more than the 50-person maximum occupying businesses now. They encouraged restaurants to place tables six feet from one another. We would also like to encourage members to consider to go orders. Please also try to limit guests gathering in public areas of the properties by closing pools and hot tubs. There is an EMC meeting this Thursday at 10 a.m. where we expect to received more guidance.
The Coast Guard command center continues to monitor all incoming vessels thoroughly. Ports are still open, and they noted they will never close all ports without proper notice and coordination with GVI. Work with PR on cargo and fuel logistics with curfew in place in PR.
DLCA – advising consumers that if there is price gauging to let them know. They are following up on all complaints.
PSA going out to public on closure off Fort, Public Restrooms and Buck Islands (no more than 10 on a vessel).