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U.S. Virgin Islands tap Scandinavian market

Bevan Springer | 3/28/2013, 5:08 p.m.
U.S. Virgin Islands tap Scandinavian market

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Jamaica's Butch Stewart picks Almond in Barbados

COPENHAGEN, Denmark-- Denmark and the wider Scandinavian market will continue to be a prime tourism market for the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).

USVI Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who recently wrapped up a weeklong visit to Denmark, said the Scandinavian countries generate more than 16,900 annual visitor arrivals to the territory. She said the prospects for growing the market were encouraging.

Nicholson-Doty spoke of productive meetings and visits with travel and media partners, in which she announced a summer and fall promotional offer for the Danish market and provided updates on the varied and growing attractions in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Coordinated by the Department of Tourism's Scandinavian offices, Nicholson-Doty, who also is chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, met with leading trade and consumer media houses in Denmark. She also led a seminar for top tour operators, charter operators and airlines.

"It's been busy here in Denmark; [we're] solidifying our historical ties as we seek to increase our arrivals from the Danish and the wider Scandinavian market," Nicholson-Doty

reported.

She also disclosed that preliminary plans were being developed--in concert with other government departments--for a special Transfer Day centennial celebration in 2017. Transfer Day, a territorial-wide celebration, marks the anniversary of the United States' $25 million purchase of the Virgin Islands from Denmark.

Also in Denmark was a wider USVI delegation led by Governor John P. de Jongh Jr.; it was the first official gubernatorial visit to Denmark in 13 years. The governor's team, which focused on business, economic and sustainable development opportunities, included representatives from the Economic Development Authority, the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce and a tax attorney from the international law firm Winston & Strawn.

Denmark has traditionally been the largest international tourism market for the U.S. Virgin Islands, with the majority of guests visiting the island of St. Croix.Visitor arrivals from Scandinavia to the USVI have jumped 129 percent since last year due to aggressive promotions and new charter flight service.

Because the U.S. Virgin Islands are a United States territory, U.S. citizens traveling to the islands from Puerto Rico or the U.S. Mainland do not require a passport. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.