With the British Virgin Islands long established as one of the Caribbean’s most alluring beach, sailing and diving destinations and the BVI real estate market considered one of the world’s most desirable investment locations, the BVI has achieved significant tourism growth during the first half of this year.
BVI Tourism Growth – H1 2016
According to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of visitors to the BVI increased by 27.3% during January to July 2016 compared to the same period of 2015.
There were increased in overnight visitors, cruise visitors and day trippers.
The data indicates that there were 280,876 overnight visitors to the BVI during the 6 month period versus 270,325 during the same 6 month period last year. This represents an increase of 3.9%.
Cruise visitors increased by 47.7% from 300,750 in the first half of 2015 to 444,200 cruise visitors in the first half of this year.
The number of day-trippers to the British Virgin Islands increased by 55.8% from 6,427 to 10,011 during the period.
Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr Orlando Smith, commented “The success rate is as a result of the collaborative effort where Government, businesses and the people are working together, and I thank BVI Tourist Board for their strategic marketing efforts in promoting our destination.”
BVI Airways to Support Future Growth
The BVI is aiming to attract 1 million tourist arrivals in 2016.
As part of this strategy, the government is supporting the launch of BVI Airways which will operate the first non-stop flights from Miami to the BVI.
It was recently announced that plans for the launch are progressing and that the airline has purchased its first aircraft – an 86-seat AVRO Regional Jet 100.
Tourism Growth in Central America & Caribbean
The BVI is certainly not the only destination in the region to achieve such positive tourism growth.
According to the recently published UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international arrivals were up by 4% across the Americas, with Central America achieving an increase of 6% and the Caribbean growing tourism arrivals by 4% during the first half of 2016.
With tourism so closely linked to the Caribbean real estate sector, the increase in visitor arrivals is great news for the property industry.