Department Of Tourism Launches Phase Ii Of Visitusvi.Com Web Site

Enhancements include Spanish translation and updates to the Travel Agent, Packages & Promotions and Meetings & Incentives offering

ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, December 1, 2009 – The Department of Tourism has unveiled a suite of enhancements to its tourism Web site, VisitUSVI.com, newly updated as of November 20. The recent enhancements mark the second phase of the Department’s ongoing strategy to keep the destination at the forefront of marketing to potential visitors online.

The phase II enhancements include additional content and functionality in the Packages & Promotions, Meetings & Incentives and Travel Agent areas of the site, as well as a Spanish language translation available for the entire site.

In light of the continued success of the Department’s incentive packages, VisitUSVI.com has seen a significant increase in traffic to its Packages & Promotions page. As a result, the Department has enhanced user functionality throughout the page with larger visuals to coincide with each promotion, as well as the ability to more easily add new destination packages and promotions to the site. Currently featured is the Territory’s INNTimate Treasures package.

Additionally, visual upgrades were applied to the Meetings & Incentives page to highlight important content such as the Material Library, Meeting Planners Guide, Group Rewards page and newly-added Request for Proposal form. A Request for Proposal form allows meeting planners to easily submit group event details via the site. Upon completion of this form, details of the event are sent in real-time to on-island destination management companies and properties which fit the meeting planners bid specifications to facilitate to the highest level of customer service response.

In an effort to help travel agents sell the destination to potential visitors, the Department has also created a new Travel Agent Kit on VisitUSVI.com’s Travel Agent page that includes key assets for agents to utilize for creating visually-pleasing presentations to customers. These include a selection of images and video from all three islands.

The newly-added Spanish translation function also marks an important step in reaching this key demographic of visitors to the destination. An Español icon placed at the top right corner of the home page allows users to instantly translate the entire site into Spanish.

To ensure that the information featured on VisitUSVI.com remains up to date, the Department’s marketing team has undergone extensive training to make updates to the site’s content on a monthly basis.

“On behalf of the Department of Tourism, we are thrilled to unveil the second phase of VisitUSVI.com. These enhancements make information about the destination even more accessible, efficient and interactive than ever, for both new and returning visitors to the Territory in addition to other key audiences such as travel agents and group planners,” said Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “Given the rapidly-evolving digital world, we recognize the importance of providing Web content that is consistently relevant to online users.”

Since the launch of VisitUSVI.com in February of 2009, the site has seen a 100 percent increase in monthly unique visitors. The DOT’s aggressive marketing of the new site has doubled the number of consumers who are actively seeking out the USVI online as a vacation destination.

For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com. When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.