BVI late? USVI named fastest growing tourist destination

A section of the neighboring US Virgin Islands. (Photo credit: hotels.com)

As the BVI continues to resurrect its tourism industry which was hit hard during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent statistics show that the neighboring US Virgin Islands (USVI) is currently the fastest growing destination in the world. the Caribbean.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands saw a 44% increase over the same period in 2019 – a growth rate that no other destination has managed to match,” said a report from the Caribbean Journal – a premier publication. plan for regional tourist destinations.

The report also states that the growth of USVI began during the pandemic and is due to factors such as “expert tourism management and flexible travel health policy”.

A look alongside the BVIs shows that tourism is one of the main economic pillars of the British Overseas Territory. But at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the territory’s tourist numbers dropped drastically due to the strict measures the government announced for travelers in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus in the community.

At that time there were many calls for the rules to be relaxed, but the government led by Andrew Fahie was adamant that the rules would remain in place.

As a result, the BVI lost many day trippers, land tourists and boaters to countries like the USVI. who had more favorable COVID-19 policies.

In addition to these factors, there are floating questions as to whether BVI tourism is suffering from the fallout from the recent arrest of former Prime Minister Fahie who remains confined to a Miami apartment as he awaits trial in the United States. United States on drug and money laundering charges.

There are also those who have postulated that the government is distracted by implementing the reforms recommended by the commission of inquiry and has no time to focus on reviving the tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Premier Wheatley recently revealed the government is considering easing measures to make it easier for some boaters to travel between the USVI and the BVI.

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