Usvi Honored By Travel + Leisure And Scuba Diving Magazines

St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John lauded with prestigious awards

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, January 13, 2009 – The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is pleased to announce the numerous accolades the destination received in 2009 editions of two top national magazines – Travel + Leisure and Scuba Diving magazines.

The destination was awarded with top honors for three of its hotels in the January 2009 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine. This annual “500 World’s Best Hotels” issue features the awards list “Top 25 hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas,” in which each of the three islands were represented: Caneel Bay Resort, St. John (#12), The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas (#14), and The Buccaneer, St. Croix (#15). This marks the seventh year of Travel + Leisure’s annual Top 500 ranking, in which an international team of reporters and editors carefully chose its picks for high-end hotels, resorts, inns and lodges from among thousands worldwide. The issue is anticipated to reach approximately 980,000 readers, with another 100,000 monthly visitors estimated to visit its Web site. Recognition must be given to the management and staff of each of these award-winning properties, for their commitment to service and guest experience.

Additionally, Scuba Diving magazine recognized the Territory for its famed scuba diving and snorkeling offerings with more than a half dozen awards in the “Top 100 Readers’ Choice Awards” January/February 2009 issue. Among the destination’s awards highlights include top wall diving, top shore diving, top snorkeling and top overall value. St. Croix received six awards including “Top Dive Destinations in the Caribbean/Atlantic.” St. John and St. Thomas also received accolades as a top destination for snorkelers and beginner divers. Scuba Diving magazine garners a combined print and online readership of more than 200,000 from scuba and water sports enthusiasts worldwide.

Approximately 5 million media impressions have been generated as a combined result of the destination’s outstanding honors in Travel + Leisure and Scuba Diving magazines. “We’re proud to have our hotels and diving locations be so widely praised by two A-list publications,” noted Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “We look forward to seeing the positive implications that this extensive publicity will have on U.S. Virgin Islands tourism.”

* Editor’s Note: Select images of the destination coverage received in Travel + Leisure and Scuba Diving magazines are available upon request.