Local tourism industry players have partnered with institutions across North America and the UK to bring travel advisors, journalists and social media influencers on familiarization trips to the BVI to see by themselves that the territory remains a destination of choice for leisure and navigation.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said that since reopening the territory’s tourism sector in December 2020, the Virgin Islands has hosted 15 journalists representing more than 14 publications, including Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, USA Today, Travel Pulse, Harper’s Bazar, Telegraph Travel, The Daily Telegraph and Forbes Magazine. In addition to these, there are also more than 15 travel advisors.
“Our teams in conjunction with our Tourism Industry Partners (TIP) have attended dive shows, boat shows, weddings and honeymoons and shows for meetings, incentives, conventions and events ( MICE); most notably, the Progressive New England Boat Show; the New York Times Travel Adventure Shows in Chicago, Washington DC and New York and most recently the 2022 Miami International Boat Show,” said Dr Wheatley.
“In addition, our teams conducted travel agent trainings, destination presentations and social events in their respective regions; all to boost business in the Virgin Islands. It is fair to say that the work of our teams in conjunction with the TIPs has contributed immensely to the rapid rebound of the BVI tourism industry,” added the Minister of Tourism.
He noted that validation of the BVI as a top travel destination not only comes from journalists and travel agents, but is also seen in numerous accolades through which the Virgin Islands has received special recognition.
“To name just a few of these accolades: USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards 2022, recognized the iconic Soggy Dollar Bar and Hendo’s Hideout in Jost Van Dyke as the second and third best beach bars in the Caribbean, respectively The famous Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda was number seven in the Best Caribbean Attraction category, and Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay took eighth place for Best Caribbean Rum Distillery,” said Dr. Wheatley.
“US News & World Report has named the BVI number one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean for three consecutive years and number two in 2021-2022. Our loyal visitors will have the opportunity to nominate BVI as the best ‘country’ or ‘island’ in the upcoming Condé Nast Traveler 2022 US and UK Readers’ Choice Awards. Individual tourism industry partners are named as top hotels and resorts each year,” the Premier continued.
The Minister of Tourism pointed out that last year two of the best resorts were voted among the 40 best resorts in the Caribbean, with the legendary Rosewood Little Dix Bay winning the top prize.
“The BVI Tourist Board has proceeded with great enthusiasm to market Destination BVI using eye-catching and appealing imagery and innovative competitions aimed at enticing potential customers to visit the territory,” he said. he declares.
Meanwhile, the BVITB recently completed a destination photoshoot, which is expected to produce fresh and engaging new images that target young American and European travellers.
“At the culmination of the marketing campaign, ‘Something to Celebrate’, the BVITB launched a competition which generated 13,473 entries. This contest was a celebration of BVI Ambassadors through a series of interviews titled “BVI Celebration Ambassadors,” Dr. Wheatley said.
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