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HomeNewsLocal newsV.I. Answer Desk: Tourism’s Centennial Promotion

V.I. Answer Desk: Tourism’s Centennial Promotion

Source reader Jason Budsan wrote in with the following question:

It has been reported widely that a $300 voucher will be issued to travelers visiting the Virgin Islands when booking their vacation before October 1, 2017 for the 100th anniversary of Transfer day. Do you know the specifics of this offer, how does it work and who pays for the voucher?

A centennial-themed promotion being offered by the V.I. Department of Tourism has indeed gotten a large amount of media attention over the past few weeks. CNBC, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Thrillist are just a few of the outlets that have run attention-grabbing headlines like “The U.S. Virgin Islands Will Pay You 300 Dollars to Visit!”

Leaving aside these somewhat misleading headlines, the articles attached to them have, like much else related to the upcoming centennial of the sale of the Danish West Indies to the United States, not been entirely clear.

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The UK Telegraph for example ran an article stating that the promotion involved a $300 (£240) voucher to be used for “historical/cultural tours” around the territory, but the article’s author added “there is no specification on the website as to what ‘historical’ and ‘cultural’ activities might entail.”

Tourism’s website lists 28 participating hotels on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John that will help visitors arrange the tours covered by the voucher. But it’s true, details are not provided about the tours themselves.

The Source reached out to Alani Henneman-Todman, director of communications for Tourism, to find out more. Henneman-Todman replied with a flyer that listed all of the Centennial promotion’s participating businesses. That list, which the flyer also states is subject to change, is as follows:

On St. Croix

Big Beard’s Adventure Tours

Budget Rent A Car of St. Croix

Bush Tribe

Cane Bay Dive Shop

Captain Morgan Visitors Center

Caribbean Adventure Tours

Caribbean Sea Adventures

Centerline Car Rentals

Crucian Heritage and Nature Tours (CHANT)

Diageo USVI

Dive Experience

Kite St. Croix

Lyric Sails

N2 The Blue

Olympic Rent A Car

Paul & Jill Equestrian Stables

Rhythms at Rainbow Beach

Seaborne Airlines

Sea Thru Kayaks V.I.

Snuba of St. Croix

St. Croix Safari Tours

St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures

Sweet Bottom Dive Center

Tamarind Reef Resort Beach Shack

Virgin Kayak Tours

Virgin Islands Food Tour

West End Water Sports

Active Island Guided Running/Power

Walking Tours

On St. Thomas

Admiralty Dive Center

A&J Tours

All-In-One Scooters Rental

Ali Thomas Taxi Services

Anchor Dive Center

Art Explorium

Aqua Action Dive Center

Aqua Marine

Bali Bound Day Sails & Catamaran

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa

Banana Boat Watersports

Bikini Yacht Charters

Blue Paradise Charters

Bolongo Bay Heavenly Days Catamaran

Budget Rent A Car

Captain Nautica Excursions

Guided Tours & Boat Rental

Caribbean Tour Services

The Cat

Coki Beach Dive Club

Coral World Ocean Park

Discount Car Rental

Flying Fish Aviation

Fun Water Tours

Great Exploration Tours

Hakuna Matata Charters

Historical Trust Walking Tour

It Could Be Worse Disable Services

JST Taxi

Night Kayak, LLC

Paradise Rental Car

Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden

Presidential Taxi Services & Tours

Prestige Taxi VI

Red Hook Dive Center

Resort Adventure Centers

Seaborne Airlines

Screaming Eagle

Simon Larsen Historical Walking Tour

St. Thomas Adventure Tours

St. Thomas Diving Club

St. Thomas Food Tours

St. Thomas Jet Riders

Sun Seekers Beach Rentals – Coki Beach

Paradise Point Tramway

Tree Limin’ Extreme, LLC

VI Power Excursion Rafts, LLC.

Virgin Islands Eco Tours

Virgin Islands Power Excursion Rafts

Virgin Kayak

Wahoo Boat Charters

St. John

Concordia Eco Resort

Virgin Islands Eco Tours

There you have it. The connections between V.I. culture and history to some of the items on that list may be ambiguous, but the promotion’s flyer includes a short primer on the territory’s history that may steer visitors in the right direction.

According to a previous Source article, Tourism has spent approximately $60,000 on this Centennial promotional package. That’s a relatively small chunk out of the $1 million Tourism has spent, or committed to spending, on advertising, marketing and promoting the Centennial. (See Related Link: Undercurrents: Centennial Invitations Are Out, So Let’s Start the Party)

Promotional packages are nothing new to the department. Spending credits are frequently offered to visitors who book their trips through certain dates, at certain hotels, using special booking codes. According to Henneman-Todman these promotions are funded by the Tourism Revolving Fund.

The Centennial promotion is being offered all year in 2017 but visitors must book their trips before October. The promotion requires a three-night minimum stay. Visitors who travel to the V.I. in March will also receive a “commemorative centennial souvenir,” but none of Tourism’s promotional material hint at what that mystery item might be. 

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