The British Virgin Islands is having a solid year. Speaking at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in, Barbados, the Islands’ director of tourism, Sharon Flax Brutus, announced an across-the-board increase in BVI Arrivals from January through June 2016.
BVI overnight arrivals are up by 3.5 percent; cruise arrivals have increased by 48 percent; and day-trippers from the United States Virgin Islands are up by 58 percent, Flax Brutus said. The territory also hopes to increase its annual number of visitors from 922,000 in 2015 to a million by the end of 2016.
Flax Brutus also revealed more details about proposed new nonstop air service to the BVI from Miami, scheduled to launch this fall, describing it as a boon for “people who just want to get to that sun.”
Currently, visitors to the BVI must connect via San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten or St Thomas.
While visitors spent $450 million in the islands in 2015, the forecast for the end of 2016, however, is flat, Flax Brutus noted, chiefly because of the closure of marquee resort Rosewood Little Dix Bay for refurbishment last spring.
The 99-room resort is expected to reopen in time for 2017’s festive season.