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Governor Bryan Hosts Royal Caribbean Group for the Fourth USVI Community Business Forum

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U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — The Office of the Governor and Royal Caribbean Group will host  the fourth session of the USVI Community Business Forum series which will take a closer look at the cruise giant’s expected return to the territory this summer.

The USVI Community Business Forum IV is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., on Wednesday June 16, 2021. The session will be held virtually via Zoom and can also be viewed Live on Facebook.com/GovernmentHouseUSVI.

To get the Zoom link, visit www.vi.gov/cbf/ or for more information call 340-774-0001. Virgin Islands business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in starting a business directly or indirectly related to the tourism or hospitality industry are encouraged to attend and participate.

This month’s forum will feature Jayne Halcomb, Royal Caribbean Group’s Director of Business and Destination Development – Caribbean and the Americas and Elisa Shen, Associate Vice President of Onboard Revenue & Hotel Operations for Royal Caribbean International, along with VI Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion and the Office of the Governor’s Territorial ADA Coordinator, Julien Henley.

“We are truly excited about part four of the Community Business Forum,” said David Bornn, Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Albert Bryan Jr., who is facilitating the organization of the event. “Royal Caribbean Group has participated in two of our previous events, and this time we anticipate much more detailed information about their expected return to the US Virgin Islands – both St. Thomas and St. Croix – this summer.

“The Bryan-Roach Administration has been undertaking these Forums  to ensure that our local businesses are ready for the return of cruise guests and to also have general business development information to help them reset and rebuild after COVID-19 Pandemic,” he said.

The Center for Disease Control recently lifted its No-Sail Order which was imposed in March of 2020. The cruise lines have had to meet certain stringent criteria to resume sailing and to prevent any future outbreaks on the ships.

The CBF series is an initiative of the Office of the Governor, the VI Economic Development Authority and the VI Department of Tourism, in partnership with Royal Caribbean, to provide business owners with the tools and resources they need to adapt, innovate, and embrace technology to rebuild the VI economy.

“It has been more than a year since our last cruise ship call, and that has certainly taken a toll on our tourism industry,” Governor Bryan said. “We are happy to see Royal Caribbean return after such a prolonged absence, but we also have to be ready to receive cruise passengers while maintaining our health guidelines. I’m urging business owners, especially those who work closely with our guests such as taxi drivers and tour operators, to be a part of this conversation.”

The CBF series was launched in December 2020 and focuses on overall economic and workforce development in the USVI. All of the information presented in the forums are available at www.vi.gov/cbf.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is committed to transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov

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