The USVI offers the perfect setting to enhance your group’s productivity and inspiration. The combination of luxury venues, top-tier meeting hotels and adventurous group activities make for successful group takeaway. Chantel Figueroa, deputy commissioner for USVI Tourism filled us in on the many options for planners.
How does the USVI combine luxury with adventure?
A lot of people think that luxury and adventure are mutually exclusive and that you can’t have both. Another assumption is that if nature or adventure is involved in the plans, that the group will be “roughing it.” That’s definitely not the case. In the USVI you can experience adventure in many different ways. Whether you are enjoying an adventure on a luxury yacht or even being adventurous with food. We have many fine dining restaurants with luxurious, local cuisine that is also looked at as an adventure. We offer things that are upscale, but also offer experiences that immerse you in the culture, history and environment. It’s very cool.
Why should planners choose the USVI for their groups?
What’s really important to know if that we are on U.S. property. The comfort of knowing that you are still in the United States, but having the opportunity to take a group to an exotic place in the Caribbean for an event is a win-win. Planners feel very comfortable because of the easy access. If you are a U.S. citizen you don’t need a passport, and it’s U.S. currency—that is huge! Groups do not have to clear customs, so they land, get their bags and go to their event. You’ll feel totally safe and at home here.
What can groups look forward to in the USVI?
Although we are U.S. territory, you cannot forget that we are also right in the middle of the Caribbean. You have a great opportunity for a true, authentic experience. We are right in the backyard of the United States, and we can educate all groups about the local landscape, history and culture.
You’ll land in St. Thomas but you can experience all three islands very easily. If a planner wants teambuilding or just a relaxing incentive option, they can go to St. John and St. Croix and really get a feel for the whole destination.
What is the feedback from planners and groups after they have visited?
Most planners say that they didn’t realize how easy it is to get here. As far as managing the group and shipping materials, everything is so convenient and easy for the planner.
They are also so surprised about the wealth of experience that the DMCs have. Our local DMCs are so creative and they know the island very well. In most cases they can make anything happen for your group. That’s something that they were very impressed with. They really go above and beyond to make things special. Yes, we are a little island in the middle of the Caribbean, but we are very professional with our groups.