U.S. Virgin Islands Unveils 2009 Group Incentive Plan

Rewards for 2009 Group Travel Represent up to $20,000 in Added Value Per Group

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, December 10, 2008 – As extra incentive for groups to plan meetings in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2009, the Department of Tourism is introducing a Group Rewards Program for meeting planners that will launch on December 15.

Meeting planners who book a block of 20 rooms or more for a minimum of four nights between December 15 and April 30, 2009 for group travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands between January 1 and December 31, 2009 will be entitled to a $50 credit for each member of their group, with up to $100 per room booking. The credit can be applied toward dining, transportation and other designated activities throughout St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Better yet, all meeting planners can enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000.

“The corporate and incentive market represents up to 25 percent of all overnight visitors to the Territory and is of great importance to the U.S. Virgin Islands. As such, the Department of Tourism is dedicating significant resources in 2009 to support this key market,” states Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “Our islands offer ideal meeting environments, dining venues and recreational activities that are perfect for groups of all sizes and our hotels, ranging in size from the quaint to the major conference facilities, accommodate all needs.”

Hotels participating in the Group Rewards Program include: Best Western Carib Beach Resort, Best Western Emerald Beach Resort, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Windward Passage, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas and Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa on St. Thomas; The Buccaneer, Carambola Beach Resort, Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort and The Palms at Pelican Cove on St. Croix; as well as Caneel Bay and the Westin Resort on St. John.

The Group Rewards Program applies to new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer. To take advantage of the $50 per person credit, groups must be booked through one of the participating Destination Management Companies, including Caribbean Tour Services, Island Meetings & Incentives, Inc., Premier Destination Services and Tropic Tours on St. John and St. Thomas; and SunCelebrations on St. Croix. Details of the Group Rewards Program and sweepstakes can be found at usvigroups.com.

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.