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New Tourism Developments in the British Virgin Islands for 2014January 13, 2014 By: Joe Pike
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- As part of our ongoing coverage of the 2014 Caribbean Travel Marketplace, Travel Agent got the latest news on the British Virgin Islands.
On December 15, 2013 Windward Islands Airways International (WINAIR) recommenced service to the British Virgin Islands. The airline provides double daily service between Beef Island (EIS) and St. Maarten (SXM) operating 19-seater de Havilland Twin Otter aircrafts. WINAIR’s return to the BVI will increase capacity to the territory by an additional 13,000 seats per year and provides excellent connections for passengers traveling from the U.S. and Europe via St. Maarten. WINAIR currently has interline agreements with most of the major US carriers flying into St. Maarten making the transfer of passengers seamless. The WINAIR flights are bookable through the Global Distribution System (GDS).
Ferry companies in the BVI are offering new and updated schedules that provide travellers, tourists, visitors and the local population with more options to meet their travel needs between St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and the BVI.
Road Town Fast Ferry has added the vessel Provincetown 3 to their fleet for the winter season. The new ferry has the capacity to seat 149 passengers and operates seven days a week.
Inter Island Ferry that provides ferry service between the U.S.V.I and BVI added once monthly service to Anegada from Tortola on the first Sunday of each month as follows: Red Hook, St. Thomas at 7:30 a.m.; St. John at 8 a.m.; Anegada at 4 p.m.
A new BVI Greeter Service will be launched this month at the Cyril E. King Airport and the Edward Wilmoth Blyden IV Marine Terminal located in Charlotte Amalie to provide an added convenience for travellers. Two welcome information centers will be established whereby a BVI host will be stationed to greet visitors travelling to the BVI and offer assistance to make their transfer experience even smoother. A number of ferry companies are also making it easier for travellers to be connected to a private water taxi by arranging a transportation link for the customer if the need arises.
The Original Virgin Canopy Tour is a new sky-high island adventure based on Tortola. Similar to a zip line, the Original Virgin Canopy Tour consists of seven traverses built in between and above the island’s towering trees. The eco-friendly tour involves being hooked to a double line that takes individuals through a soaring path in the sky, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding islands. The elevation of the tour is approximately 920 feet above ground with a vantage point of St. Croix, Norman Island, Peter Island, Deadman’s Chest, Flanigan Island and the Wreck of the Rhone.
Oil Nut Bay is the newest addition to the British Virgin Islands selection of luxury resorts. Situated on the island of Virgin Gorda, Oil Nut Bay is an extravagant resort community designed for travellers who seek posh amenities within picturesque Caribbean living. The Cliffs is a fashionable and opulent villa that offers guests a first-rate experience through extended-term residence leasing, or for those on short-term visits who seek to be indulged.
Designed with Oil Nut Bay’s commitment of environmental integrity, The Cliffs features an upper grand unit at 1,334 sq. ft., and two lower units that are each 890 sq. ft. The penthouse showcases Fendi Casa décor and furnishings, sweeping uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea through floor to ceiling sliding glass windows, plush bedrooms, a spacious great room, and a full-size swimming pool.
The proprietors of Maria’s By the Sea Hotel unveiled the expansion of their Tortola-based hotel in the heart of Road Town, catering to both business and leisure travellers. As one of Tortola’s most historic hotels, the property has added state-of-the-art amenities and luxury suites within walking distance to the island’s quaint downtown. The expansion includes 32 additional bedrooms, four bedroom suites, a conference room, a banquet hall, an executive boardroom, business and fitness centres. Easy access to the ferry dock makes daytrips accessible to other islands in the BVI, with top-rated restaurants, shops and nightlife located nearby.
In an effort to improve customer service a series of workshops were conducted under a new We Are One BVI campaign to improve customer service standards and training within the BVI tourism sector. The workshops examined the roles and responsibilities of the islands’ tourism ambassadors and those whom perform an integral role in shaping, as well as maintaining the BVI image and brand. Participants attended from airports authority, ports authority, customs and immigration, the Royal Virgin Islands police force, airline and ferry representatives, taxi and tour operators, and industry partners.