Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

BVI hosts familiarisation trips for int’l journalists, travel advisors

BVI hosts familiarisation trips for int’l journalists, travel advisors

Local tourism industry stakeholders have been partnering with institutions in North America and the United Kingdom to bring travel advisors, journalists, and social media influencers on familiarisation trips to the BVI to see first-hand that the territory remains a prime leisure and sailing destination.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Premier and Tourism Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said since the territory’s tourism sector reopened in December 2020, the Virgin Islands have welcomed 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. It addition to those there are also more than 15 travel advisors.

“Our teams in collaboration with our tourism industry partners (TIPs) have attended dive shows, boat shows, wedding and honeymoon shows and shows for the 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,” Dr Wheatley said.

“Additionally, our teams have hosted travel agent training, destination presentations and social events in their respective regions; all to drum up business for the Virgin Islands. It is fair to say that the work of our teams in collaboration with TIPs has contributed immensely to the quick rebound of the BVI tourism industry,” the Tourism Minister added.

He noted that validation of the BVI being a top travel destination does not only come from journalists and travel agents but is also seen in many accolades through which the Virgin Islands has received special recognition.

“Just to name a few of these accolades: USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards 2022, recognised the iconic Soggy Dollar Bar and Hendo’s Hideout in Jost Van Dyke as the second and third top Caribbean beach bars, respectively. The landmark Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda was number seven in the Best Caribbean Attraction category, and Callwood’s Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay took eighth place for the Best Caribbean Rum Distillery,” Dr Wheatley said.

“U.S. News & World Report has named the BVI the number one Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean for three consecutive years and Number Two in 2021-2022. Our loyal visitors will have an opportunity to name the BVI as the best ‘Country’ or ‘Island’ at the upcoming Condé Nast Traveler 2022 U.S and U.K. Readers’ Choice Awards. Individual Tourism Industry Partners are annually nominated among the top Hotels & Resorts”, the Premier continued.

The Tourism Minister highlighted that last year, two of the top resorts were voted in the top 40 Caribbean Resorts with the legendary Rosewood Little Dix Bay taking the top prize.

“The BVI Tourist Board has been proceeding with great enthusiasm to market Destination BVI using attractive and appealing imagery, and innovative competitions aimed at enticing prospective guests to travel to the territory,” he said.

Meanwhile, the BVITB recently completed a destination photoshoot, which is expected to produce fresh and appealing new imagery that targets younger US and European travellers.

“On the culmination of the marketing campaign, ‘Something to Celebrate’, the BVITB launched a competition that yielded 13,473 entries. This competition was a celebration of BVI ambassadors through a series of interviews entitled, ‘BVI Celebration Ambassadors’,” Dr Wheatley said.
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