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5 Reasons Why This Caribbean Paradise Is Booming In Popularity Right Now

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Many of the beautiful island countries that make up the Caribbean have been experiencing a real boom in tourism so far this winter.

A recent report showed that several of the countries in this beautiful part of the world are reporting double-digit growth at the end of 2023 and becoming hugely popular as winter sun destinations.

But one set of islands in particular is really making its mark in the minds of travelers this year.

young traveler relaxes on a beautiful beach in st thomas us virgin islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands

Tourism visitor numbers for the fourth quarter of 2023 are up almost 40% on the same period in 2019, according to the latest information from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

What’s driving this surge besides the fact that this country is very safe and most people’s idea of paradise?

Let’s take a closer look:

Sun, Sea, Sand, And Culture

The U.S. Virgin Islands are made up of three main islands – St Croix, St Thomas, and St John – and are situated just off the east coast of Puerto Rico, with the British Virgin Islands on the other side.

St Croix has a fascinating history, having previously been colonial territory of England, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Malta, and even Denmark.

The latter of those gives the island’s largest town its name – Christiansted – and it’s a beautiful place of colorful buildings, old forts, and quaint cobbled streets.

Fort Christiansted in st croix us virgin islands

Besides the colonial history, St Croix has its fair share of stunning beaches, such as Rainbow Beach and Cane Bay Beach, as well as great nightlife and casinos.

Over in St Thomas, you can find some of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ best dining with fantastic seafood restaurants and local eateries run by friendly folk.

This island has plenty of fascinating history of its own, being home to the 17th-century Danish-Norwegian fort of Fort Christian.

view of a beautiful bay on st thomas us virgin islands

Not to be outdone, St John is widely regarded as a premiere snorkeling and diving location in the Caribbean.

It is also home to the incredible Virgin Islands National Park, which covers 5,500 acres and is packed with hiking trails and jungle experiences.

Air Travel Availability Is Improving

Americans can already fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands from a host of different cities, but the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism states that seat capacity has increased from the mainland by 23% to the island of St Croix and 21% to St Thomas.

The tourist board is working hard to continue increasing the flight options and states, “Our focus is on adding flights to St. Croix from the United States, Canada, and Europe.”

clock tower in Frederiksted us virgin islands

Flight options to Cyril E. King Airport, St Thomas

  • New York, Boston, Miami, San Juan (American Airlines)
  • Atlanta and New York JFK (Delta Air Lines)
  • Boston (JetBlue)
  • Fort Lauderdale (Spirit Airlines)
  • Chicago, Washington Dulles, Newark (United Airlines)

Flight options to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, St Croix

  • Miami, San Juan (American Airlines)
  • Atlanta (Delta Air Lines)

Award-Winning In Many Ways

The sun-drenched destinations on these beautiful islands have been achieving international recognition this year.

The island of St Thomas was recently hailed “Innovation Destination of the Year” by Caribbean Journal, while the Westin Beach Resort and Spa was bestowed the title “Best New Caribbean Hotel of the Year.”

trunk bay on st thomas in us virgin islands

Meanwhile, Trunk Bay on St Thomas was named one of the world’s best beaches and also featured in Conde Nast’s Best Places To Go In 2023 List.

A Great Cruise Stop Off

The tourism board has also been working closely with cruise companies to expand the opportunities to visit via this mode of travel.

It has recently partnered with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to help with this.

birds eye view of cruise ship sailing on blue seas

Predictions are that the cruise passenger visitor numbers could grow by as much as 80% in 2024.

Easy For Americans To Visit

For American travelers, visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands is essentially the same as a domestic trip due to the fact it is official United States territory.

If you are flying from the U.S. mainland or Puerto Rico, you do not even need a passport to enter these islands, and you can enjoy other benefits such as online check-in and no need for a visa.

colorful chairs on pristine white beach in us virgin islands

It’s only a small detail, but one that can really help make traveling that little bit smoother and more enjoyable.

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