Atlanta, Georgia — Dept. of Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte is intent on taking the marketing strategy of the U.S. Virgin Islands to new heights by utilizing a variety of advertising avenues, including the dominant online platforms that have been underutilized, and that are also more cost effective. “You’re going to see a lot more digital, a lot more segmentation, a lot more directly trying to reach our people who we believe are going to come back and support our events,” Mr. Boschulte said Sunday at a VI Ambassadors event the department hosted in Atlanta.
Also changed was the theme song that for years dominated the marketing of the territory. “Virgin Islands Nice”, the ubiquitous reggae song by Pressure Busspipe, is being replaced with “VI to the Bone” by Mic Love, a Soca hit that has garnered over 106,000 views on VI Consortium’s Facebook platform in about a month.
Mr. Boschulte lauded Pressure Busspipe at the event for creating a song that has been at the center of the territory’s promotion, and said the new marketing will have a focus on the territory’s people.
Mic Love, the Spectrum Band and cultural dancers took center stage during the VI Ambassadors event held at The Gathering Spot, an Atlanta-based facility co-owned by St. Croix native TK Petersen. There, Mr. Boschulte spoke of the new strategy as well as the upcoming Crucian Christmas Festival, which for the first time will be administered by the Dept. of Tourism.
“I feel like it’s very important for everyone in here to understand why we’re doing this event,” Mr. Boschulte began. “As the Tourism Department and the USVI move into our next evolution of tourism, we believe it’s most important to highlight our people, our culture, our food, and our history, and there’s no better voice than our own people.”
“This year for the first time the Department of Tourism is over the Division of Carnival and Festivals, so all the VI people who haven’t made it home for festival in St. Croix, carnival in St. Thomas and festival in St. John, we want to make sure that you know that we’re going to be out marketing these events. We need all our people to come back,” the commissioner said.
In 30 to 45 days, the department’s marketing for the Crucian Christmas Festival will be launched, Mr. Boschulte said.
The announcements come on the heels of the territory’s participation at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention, which was held this year in Miami, Florida. At the event, Mr. Boschulte — in front of over 3,000 journalists — seized the opportunity to highlight the territory as the best in the Caribbean whose destination had considerably rebounded following the devastation wrought on it by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
Feature Image: Joseph Boschulte unveils new marketing strategy at VI Ambassadors event in Atlanta (VI Consortium)