Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith OBE stated, “This is indeed good news. Part of my Government’s vision for our tourism industry is to create a captivating and safe tourist destination. Though the natural beauty of our islands is exquisite, we are constantly seeking ways to develop attractions to add to the BVI tourist experience. We will continue to strengthen our product and add to our current tourism menu; while at the same time explore ideas for making our offerings more attractive and relevant for new and repeat visitors.”
Premier Smith added, “We will continue to establish BVI as a global brand; we will continue to welcome more visitors to our shores; we will continue to streamline processes to attract investors; we will continue to create efficiencies and fresh market opportunities and most of all we will continue to work with the private sector to make our tourism industry even more vibrant to continue providing the ultimate, unique visitor experience.”
“I wish to commend the Chairman Mr. Russell Harrigan and his team for the work they are doing to reposition this Territory as a prime tourism destination in the Caribbean,” Premier Smith said.
“The British Virgin Islands is recognised globally as one of the finest destinations for our spectacular beaches, ultimate sailing, stellar diving, the vast variety of island-hopping experiences and our welcoming people. It is a high honour for us to see Virgin Gorda positioned as the best island in the Caribbean. There can be no higher recognition than one coming from our visitors. This is a direct result of all the hard work done by the Territory as a whole over the last 2 1/2 years to reposition our tourism. Accolades such as this are invaluable in helping us to increase the tourism exposure and opportunities for the British Virgin Islands,” said Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board, Russell Harrigan.
Travel + Leisure, a go-to magazine for travel enthusiasts, listed Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands as the #1 island in the Caribbean, surpassing Exumas, Bahamas; St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; Bermuda, and St. Lucia.
Virgin Gorda is also listed #8 on the overall top #10 list of islands in the world and is the only Caribbean island listed alongside islands in Greece, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ecuador, Canada, and Washington.
“We are extremely proud to have Virgin Gorda listed as the top island in the Caribbean and overjoyed to be the only island in the region to be named alongside nine of the most sought after destinations in the world,” said Director of Tourism, Sharon Flax-Mars. “Virgin Gorda embodies the beauty, spirit, culture and serenity of the BVI. We will continue to strive for excellence and provide our residents, and visitors quality beyond measure throughout our islands and cays.”
Travel + Leisure also announced the awards online. The video may be viewed through this link: http://www.travelandleisure.
For Travel + Leisure’s 19th annual poll, readers were asked to cast their votes for hotels, destinations, and companies that epitomize the very best in travel. Islands are rated on the following characteristics: natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people, and value. This year’s list is considered one of their most comprehensive to-date.
About the British Virgin Islands
An archipelago comprised of 60 islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are located approximately 50 miles east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Road Town, located on Tortola, is the British Virgin Islands’ capital.
Renowned as one of the world’s premier sailing destinations, the BVI’s dynamic and vast topography provides a unique opportunity to “island hop” with ease — with each island characterized by its own cultural and natural wonders. Among these attractions are The Baths on Virgin Gorda, Anegada’s Flamingo Pond, and Tortola’s Sage Mountain. Destination highlights also include world-class yachting, snorkeling, hiking, sustainable tourism and, for diving enthusiasts, the Caribbean’s most stunning wreck dives, such as the RMS Rhone.
A pristine and romantic island paradise evoking a bygone era, the British Virgin Islands are nonetheless easily accessible for U.S. travelers flying into Tortola/Beef Island’s Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) via frequent connecting service from nearby Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts or St. Maarten/St. Martin. Visitors traveling to the BVI from St. Thomas can also travel via ferry. Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI conveniently uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.
For more information on all that the British Virgin Islands have to offer, visit the official BVI Tourist Board website at www.bvitourism.com or contact 1-800-835-8530.