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Industry Briefs
U.S. Virgin Islands Energizes New York City


The US Virgin Islands took New York City by storm at the first Travel + Leisure Global Bazaar, which over the weekend of September 16 to 18, 2011 attracted hundreds of high-end consumers and potential travelers to the Territory. The attractive USVI Department of Tourism booth – which featured the island of St. Croix throughout the three-day event – was a big hit with patrons as they thoroughly enjoyed the culinary and cultural expertise on display at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan.

The Armory – part palace, part industrial shed favored by international art shows – came alive to the creative expression of the Carnival dancers, Miami-based Virgin Islander steel pan player Stan Brown (who often provides entertainment at tourism events), mocko jumbies and arts and craft vendors who ushered attendees into a festive Carnival spirit.



"We were pleased to partner with Travel + Leisure magazine to showcase the heart and soul of our culture and heritage, and give people the opportunity to see, taste, touch, hear and feel the vibes of St. Croix this time around," said Brad Nugent, the St. Croix-based Assistant Commissioner of Tourism who attended the Bazaar. "We have a unique relationship with New York and were also able to speak to the vibrant Caribbean Diaspora market while there," he said.



Thanks to US Virgin Islands chefs and a master mixologist, visitors flocked to the USVI booth as seafood kallaloo, red peas soup, johnny cakes and pork ribs, with Cruzan Rum to help them go down, whetted the appetites of the American consumers who stood in long lines to sample the VI flavors. Mark Underwood, a member of the USVI Diaspora in the United States, along with other Virgin Islanders, was impressed with the way his island home competed on the same arena with some of the biggest names in tourism.



"I think it's very important for the exposure and for people to see what's going on," said Underwood who runs SRX Events. "We are ambassadors on a daily basis ... and it's important for us to understand that tourism is our number one source of income," he encouraged. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Travel + Leisure magazine, produced by American Express Publishing, has millions of readers. For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow them on Twitter ( @ USVImockojumbie) and become a fan on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI).



When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.
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