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Country Highlights

The Virgin Islands (British): Harnessing Tourism

The tourism industry is a significant contributor to the economy of the Virgin Islands. In the United States Virgin Islands, tourism accounts for nearly 60% of the GDP and is a major source of employment, with nearly 3 million tourists visiting the islands annually. However— the territory’s heavy reliance on tourism has made its economy vulnerable which was evidently noticed in the struggle to bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decline in tourism due to the pandemic has posed challenges with the total number of tourists nearly halved in 2021 compared to 2019.

Alongside financial services, tourism is the British Virgin Islands’ other pillar industry, attracting over 500,000 visitors annually. Yachting in particular makes the BVI a prominent luxury destination.

The territory’s calm waters, secluded coves and short distances between islands create ideal yachting conditions. Consequently— the Virgin Islands hosts one of the world’s highest concentrations of luxury yachts for tourism. Boat charters, marinas, repairs and provisioning comprise a thriving marine ecosystem.

Annual sailing events in Virgin Islands like the Spring Regatta also entice visitors for more tourism, along with deep sea fishing tournaments and watersports like diving, snorkeling and paddleboarding.

Cruise ships are another major segment, with the new cruise pier opened in 2021 doubling capacity. Day-tripping passengers support an array of shore excursions and shopping in Road Town. The presence of offshore financial systems has had positive spillovers and second-round effects in some countries – such as Barbados – where OFCs employ 2.5% of the labor force.

Boutique resorts and villas in Virgin Islands catering to high-end travelers have proliferated across the islands as well in recent years. Award-winning luxury properties like- Oil Nut Bay, Guana Island Resort and Scrub Island Resort attract affluent visitors. This high-value tourism prevents overcrowding while spending outsized sums locally.

Moving forward though— the BVI must manage tourism’s environmental impact. Protecting coral reefs, reducing waste and improving sustainability practices will preserve natural assets. Promoting cultural heritage and community values will also help residents share prosperity more equally.

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Understand the macroeconomic situations that affect the global positioning of countries.

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Featured Reports

Understand the macroeconomic situations that affect the global positioning of countries.

Businesses can better understand how chatbots can advocate their vision.

DeFi helps reduce dependency on traditional methods of transactions.

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Understand how the U.S. discrepancy in accordance to their debt creates a havoc. 

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