U.S. Virgin Islands Honored By Magazine Readers

St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas named as among the best in the Caribbean

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands, July 11, 2008- The U.S. Virgin Islands has been named one of the Top Five Islands in the Caribbean by the readers of Travel + Leisure in the magazine’s 13th annual “World’s Best Awards.” In addition, resorts on all three islands were rated among the “Top 25 in the Caribbean” – Caneel Bay on St. John, the Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas and The Buccaneer on St. Croix. This is the first year that resorts on each of the three islands have been featured on the list simultaneously. The winners of Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards” were selected by over 200,000 of the magazine’s monthly readers who rated their favorite hotels, spas, airlines, cruise lines, outfitters, cities, and islands around the globe.

This distinction comes on the heels of Islands magazine recent accolade for St. Croix, listing the island as “The Best Island to Live On” in their annual top ten list. The decision was based upon several factors including St. Croix’s beautiful landscape, cost of living, and the fact that St. Croix is a U.S. Territory, with “no immigration, work permit, or property rights worries, it’s English- speaking, it’s affordable, and it’s a non-stop flight…”

“Over $500 million dollars has been invested into the growth and expansion of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas during the past few years,” states Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “Recognition from the readers of both Travel + Leisure and Islands magazines highlights the importance of investing in the renovation and revitalization of our hotels and tourism infrastructure. The broad appeal of our islands not only attracts visitors looking to stay in some of the best resorts in the Caribbean, but the ease and convenience of being a U.S. Territory entices them to make America’s Caribbean their home.”

Travel + Leisure readers gave the USVI a score of 75.27, ranking it fifth among Caribbean destinations. Caneel Bay received a score of 82.96, Ritz Carlton 82.35 and The Buccaneer 81.96. Scores were based on subscriber’s responses to a survey developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure complied from January 16 through March 22, 2008. Respondents rated their experiences at hotels, spas, airlines, cruise lines, outfitters, cities, and islands on a scale of one through five, ranking the facilities, location, service, restaurants, attractions and ambiance. The complete awards list will appear on the August 2008 issue of Travel + Leisure on newsstands July 22. For more information about this year’s “World’s Best Awards,” visit www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2008.

Islands magazine compiled the list of “The Best Island to Live On” based on research and first-hand experiences of the magazine’s readers. For more information, visit http://www.islands.com/article.jsp?ID=1000061237.

For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, visit usvitourism.vi. 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.