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British Virgin Islands received record-breaking number of holidaymakers in 2016

The tourism sector in the British Virgin Islands is continuing to grow, and in 2016 it experienced a significant increase in overnight visitors. Figures released by the government revealed that more than 406,000 visitors stayed overnight in hotels, apartments, and B&Bs by the end of the year. This is the first time that the Caribbean nation has recorded more than 400,000 visitors overnight.

British Virgin Islands received record-breaking number of holidaymakers in 2016

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has reached a milestone in tourism, after recording more than 400,000 overnight visitors for the first time in 2016. Figures released by the government’s Central Statistics Office reveal that the Caribbean nation welcomed a total of 404,027 overnight travellers by the end of 2016.

During the period between 2012 and 2016, the number of overnight visitors to the British Virgin Islands increased by 15.5 per cent. This marked an annual growth rate of 3.1 per cent, which boosted the country’s tourism sector.

As well as an increase in overnight visitors, the report by the Central Statistics Office revealed that cruise passengers and day trippers to the islands increased by 35 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively. Last year, 17,539 day trippers visit BVI, while 699,105 cruise passengers arrived by ship.

“The BVI Tourist Board has been successful in its efforts at navigating what has been a challenging year for tourism in the BVI with impacts such as the closure of Rosewood Little Dix Bay and Biras Creek Resorts and the zika virus.”

Stated Dr Orlando Smith, the Premier and Minister of Tourism for the British Virgin Islands.

He added that the nation’s economy is still robust and the government is planning initiatives that were outlined in the 2017 Budget and are aimed at growing the tourism sector further. The island is continuing to strong visitor numbers from markets in North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

The tourism board will also accelerate the One BVI public awareness campaign; a project that is aiming to raise the nation’s tourism profile, highlight the importance of tourism, and improve the country’s aesthetic appearance. The campaign encourages local residents of all ages to interact with visitors to enhance their experience and show off what the islands have to offer.

The British Virgin Islands are a collection of islands in the Caribbean, made up of four main islands and several smaller one. The British overseas territory is located east of Puerto Rico, and boasts miles of reef-fringed white-sand beaches, 28 national parks, and turquoise waters that are home to an array of colourful marine species.

The largest and most populated island Tortola, is home Road Town, the capital, which has a bustling harbour, and the thriving Sage Mountain National Park. Other islands include Virgin Gorda with it huge granite boulders on the beach called The Baths; Anegada, a flat island that is home to the Horseshoe Reef, the largest coral barrier reef in the Caribbean; and Jost Van Dyke, a small volcanic island that is home to the bustling Great Harbour with its restaurants, bars and cafes, and popular spot for New Year’s Eve celebrations. 

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