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History

The Department of Tourism was established on May 8, 1995 as an executive department. The Department of Tourism was formerly a part of the Virgin Islands Economic Development & Agriculture. EDA was then broken down into different departments with the Department of Tourism as one of them. The department is primarily responsible for the economic development of the Territory through the promotion of tourism and related activities.

The department is under the supervision of the Commissioner of Tourism and its responsibilities include but are not limited to the formulation, implementation, administration and coordination of programs and policies pertaining to all aspects of tourism.

history
Activities conducted by the Department of Tourism include the following:
  • Develop strategies that will make the Territory competitive and desirable as a tourism destination

  • Communicate and cooperate with all local or tourist-related businesses to determine their needs and how best to promote the industry

  • Promote Virgin Islands culture as a part of the tourism experience

  • Promote an understanding of the importance of the tourism experience

  • Develop promotional strategies for the U.S. Virgin Islands in all businesses and industries throughout the Territory

  • Identify and promote the unique features of St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, and Water Island in tourism advertising; and, develop long-term strategies to successfully develop the overall economy

The Tourism Revolving Fund was created by Act 5249 and established under Title 33, Section 3072 Virgin Islands Code. The Fund is administered by the Commissioner of Finance and consists of all sums appropriated from time to time by the Legislature, all gifts, contributions and bequests made, and 100% of all moneys received by the Government from the collection of Hotel Room Tax, which is 12.5% of the gross room rate or rental.

 

Monies disbursed from the Fund are used exclusively by the Department of Tourism for promoting the Territory as a tourist destination and for industrial promotion.