The British Virgin Islands have been among the most desirable vacation destinations for years. Visitors from around the world visit the British Virgin Islands seeking turquoise water and gorgeous views. Until recently, travelers from the United States have been unable to get there with a nonstop flight.
This recently changed when American Airlines started sending passengers on nonstop flights from the United States to the British Virgin Islands. The airline’s first nonstop flight to the British Virgin Islands was on June 1st. Departing from Miami, this nonstop flight took only three hours with no connections and will be the first of many flights to come.
Previously, travelers would have to stop in the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico on their way to the British Virgin Islands. Cutting out layovers can work wonders to make a travel experience feel much smoother. Short layovers create stressful travel conditions, especially when traveling abroad, and American Airlines has gradually offered more direct flights over the years.
The premier of the British Virgin Islands, Natalio Wheatley, is happy about the development saying “This is the first time in history that a flight has completely sold out in such a short amount of time, and we are grateful that American Airlines has partnered with us to bring this long-awaited service to fruition, bringing ease and accessibility to our treasured destination”.
Their first direct flight on June 1st was so popular that American Airlines quickly added five more flights throughout the month. American Airlines also just announced that they will be adding more flights to the British Virgin Islands from Miami starting in December. They will be offering two direct flights from Miami per day instead of one which is what they currently offer.
Not only does this benefit U.S. residents, but it also gives BVI locals more travel options. Kye Remer said, “Our residents will also benefit from convenient connections for business and leisure travel to dozens of destinations across America’s route network”. This came at the right time as Miami is a major tourist hotspot right now, and BVI residents can easily get there now.
With the option for direct flights, the British Virgin Islands are poised to see an increase in visitors. Natural disasters and the global decline in travel for a few years threatened the region’s status as a thriving staple in Caribbean travel.
The tourism industry in the British Virgin Islands took a hit in 2017 due to Hurricane Irma. Devastating and destructive, Hurricane Irma displaced thousands of people and halted tourism entirely. The efforts of many humanitarian organizations, like the British Red Cross helped get countless people back on their feet. Six years later, the effects of Hurricane Irma still loom, but the British Virgin Islands are thriving.
Tourism in the British Virgin Islands picked back up but was rocked by another major pitfall. The COVID-19 pandemic put international travel on hold threatening thousands of service jobs. While the dent in tourism was felt economically, the British Virgin Islands have bounced back and tourism has skyrocketed.
Over 83,000 people the British Virgin Islands by plane, on average. Another nearly 220,000 travelers visit the British Virgin Islands by boat each year. Historically, the British Virgin Islands have been among the most popular cruise ship destinations because of its location.
However, the addition of nonstop flights to the British Virgin Islands may turn the tide and make air travel the primary method of travel. American Airlines offers flights to the Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Anguilla, among other Caribbean destinations. There are 60 islands to explore in the British Virgin Islands, and now is the best time to visit.