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Honeymoon Beach in St. John Vies for Top Spot in USA Today’s Prestigious Caribbean Beach Award

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The U.S. Virgin Islands’ Department of Tourism is rejoicing in the prestigious nomination of Honeymoon Beach on St. John for the USA Today’s Best Caribbean Beach award. Located in the exquisite Caneel Bay, Honeymoon Beach is one of the 16 remarkable beaches on St. John, a testament to the island’s natural splendor.

St. John, with 60 percent of its territory under the guardianship of the U.S. National Parks, boasts a rich tapestry of lush foliage, pristine beaches, and a thriving marine ecosystem. This protective measure has been pivotal in preserving the island’s unspoiled beauty, as noted by the Department of Tourism.

The announcement, made by USA Today on Tuesday, includes Honeymoon Beach in its carefully curated shortlist. This selection, crafted by a panel of experts, now opens the door for the public to cast their votes for their preferred beach until January 1, 2024.

Commissioner Joseph Boschulte of the Department of Tourism shared his elation and pride over this significant nomination. “The inclusion of Honeymoon Beach in this prestigious list is a reflection of our enduring commitment to environmental stewardship and the enchanting appeal of our territory. We are deeply honored by this recognition and urge everyone who has cherished memories of the beach to vote and share your stories,” he remarked.

The Department of Tourism is mobilizing community engagement, inviting both residents and visitors who have experienced the tranquil allure of Honeymoon Beach to partake in the voting process. This effort underscores the community’s support for one of USVI’s most valued natural wonders. The nomination is not just an honor, but also a recognition of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ continuous efforts in preserving and showcasing its magnificent coastal landscapes.

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Tourism

Best Beaches to Visit in the Virgin Islands

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The Virgin Islands boast some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, offering a mix of serene escapes and vibrant locales. Here’s a guide to the best beaches you should visit when exploring this tropical paradise.

Trunk Bay, St. John

Trunk Bay is one of the most famous beaches in the Virgin Islands, known for its pristine sand and crystal-clear waters. Located within the Virgin Islands National Park, it features an underwater snorkeling trail that is perfect for exploring marine life. Trunk Bay’s beauty and amenities make it a must-visit destination for beach lovers and snorkelers alike​​.

Magens Bay, St. Thomas

Magens Bay is a popular spot on St. Thomas, offering a mile-long stretch of soft white sand and calm, turquoise waters. It’s ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a variety of water sports. The beach is also equipped with picnic tables, restrooms, and a snack bar, making it a great choice for families​.

Honeymoon Beach, St. John

Accessible by a scenic hike or boat, Honeymoon Beach provides a tranquil setting within the Virgin Islands National Park. This beach is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Visitors can also rent beach chairs and snorkel gear, making it easy to spend a relaxing day by the water​​.

Lindquist Beach, St. Thomas

Lindquist Beach, located in Smith Bay Park, is one of St. Thomas’s hidden gems. It offers a more secluded experience with clear waters and powdery sand. The beach is popular for picnicking and is a great spot to escape the crowds, providing a serene backdrop for relaxation​​.

Turtle Beach, St. Croix

Situated on Buck Island, Turtle Beach is renowned for its vibrant marine life and excellent snorkeling opportunities. The beach’s pristine environment is part of the Buck Island Reef National Monument, offering visitors the chance to see hawksbill turtles and a variety of colorful fish. This makes it an ideal destination for both snorkeling enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy a picturesque beach day.

Maho Bay, St. John

Maho Bay is a favorite for its shallow, calm waters and the chance to see sea turtles grazing on seagrass. The beach’s gentle conditions are perfect for swimming and paddleboarding, and its tranquil setting makes it a popular choice for families and snorkelers​​.

Hawksnest Beach, St. John

Located just a short drive from Cruz Bay, Hawksnest Beach is known for its accessibility and natural beauty. The beach is lined with palm trees and features a coral reef close to shore, making it ideal for snorkeling. It also offers picnic facilities, making it a great spot for a day trip​​.

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Although part of the British Virgin Islands, White Bay is a must-visit for those exploring the region. This beach is famous for its lively beach bars, including the Soggy Dollar Bar, where the Painkiller cocktail was invented. The stunning white sand and clear waters make it perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and socializing​​.

Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

Cane Garden Bay in Tortola is a vibrant area known for its water sports and nightlife. The beach offers a mix of quiet spots for relaxation and areas bustling with activities. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, and local cuisine at nearby restaurants and bars, making it a well-rounded destination for both day and night activities​.

Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas

Brewer’s Bay is known for its natural shade and excellent snorkeling opportunities. Located near the airport, this beach offers a quieter alternative to the busier tourist spots. It’s a favorite among locals for its serene environment and beautiful underwater scenery​.

These beaches showcase the diverse beauty and recreational opportunities available in the Virgin Islands. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, these destinations offer something for every type of traveler.

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Tourism

Taste of the Caribbean Returns After Four-Year Hiatus

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The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has announced the much-anticipated return of the Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition this fall. This marks the event’s first occurrence since 2019, as it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Celebration of Caribbean Cuisine

The Taste of the Caribbean is a premier culinary event that gathers chefs, mixologists, and culinary teams from across the Caribbean. These talented individuals compete in various categories, showcasing the rich and diverse flavors of Caribbean cuisine. The competition not only highlights traditional dishes but also innovative culinary techniques and modern interpretations of Caribbean food.

Event Details and Highlights

Vanessa Ledesma, CHTA’s acting CEO and Director General, expressed excitement about the event’s return, emphasizing its importance for the region’s culinary professionals. The competition will feature multiple categories, including best chef, best bartender, best pastry chef, and various team competitions. Participants will have the opportunity to display their skills and creativity, bringing together a blend of traditional and contemporary Caribbean gastronomy.

The event is also expected to feature live demonstrations, workshops, and seminars conducted by culinary experts. These sessions aim to provide educational opportunities for attendees, allowing them to learn more about Caribbean cooking techniques, ingredients, and cultural food practices.

Economic and Cultural Impact

The return of the Taste of the Caribbean is seen as a significant boost for the region’s hospitality and tourism sectors. The event attracts visitors from around the world, including food enthusiasts, travel bloggers, and industry professionals, all eager to experience the best of Caribbean cuisine. This influx of visitors is expected to benefit local economies, providing support to hotels, restaurants, and other businesses in the hospitality industry.

Moreover, the event serves as a cultural celebration, promoting the Caribbean’s rich culinary heritage and fostering a sense of community among the islands. It provides a platform for Caribbean chefs to gain international recognition and for attendees to immerse themselves in the vibrant culinary traditions of the region.

A Look Back and Forward

The Taste of the Caribbean has a storied history, with past events contributing significantly to the careers of many chefs and mixologists. The competition has helped to elevate the profile of Caribbean cuisine on the global stage, making it an event of great importance for the culinary community.

As the event prepares to return, there is a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement. Chefs and culinary teams are gearing up to showcase their best creations, and attendees are looking forward to indulging in the diverse and delectable flavors that the Caribbean has to offer.

For more details on the event schedule, participant registration, and ticket information, visit the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s official website.

Conclusion

The revival of the Taste of the Caribbean is a testament to the resilience and vibrancy of the Caribbean culinary community. It promises to be a spectacular celebration of food, culture, and talent, reaffirming the Caribbean’s status as a culinary destination. As the fall season approaches, all eyes will be on the Caribbean to see which chefs and culinary teams will rise to the top in this prestigious competition.

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Tourism

Elmore Stoutt High School Student Named BVI’s 2024 Junior Ambassador of Tourism

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Adrianne Thomas, a standout student from Elmore Stoutt High School, has been crowned the 2024 Junior Ambassador of Tourism for the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Her selection follows a remarkable performance in the annual speech competition organized by the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board & Film Commission (BVITBFC), held earlier this month at UP’s Cineplex in Road Town.

The competition featured eight talented students from secondary schools across the BVI. Thomas emerged victorious, continuing the impressive streak for Elmore Stoutt High School, whose student Naomi Onwufuju secured the title in 2023. This win underscores the school’s dominance in fostering tourism awareness and leadership among its students.

In her new role, Thomas will act as an advocate for the BVI’s tourism sector, promoting the islands’ unique attractions and cultural heritage. Her responsibilities will include participating in local and international events, enhancing the visibility and appeal of the BVI as a prime tourist destination.

The event saw intense competition, with Carey-Ann McKee from Bregado Flax Educational Centre Secondary Division and Soccorria Telesford from BVI Seventh Day Adventist School securing the second and third places, respectively. The contestants showcased their knowledge and passion for tourism through their presentations on various topics provided by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

As the Junior Ambassador of Tourism, Thomas will also serve as a Brand Ambassador for telecommunications provider CCT, which awarded her a cell phone and a year of free service. She will represent the BVI at the CTO Regional Tourism Youth Congress in the Cayman Islands, scheduled for September.

The Junior Ambassador of Tourism program aims to engage the youth in the promotion and preservation of the BVI’s tourism industry. It fosters a sense of responsibility and pride in the territory’s natural and cultural assets. According to Clive McCoy, Director of Tourism, the competition plays a vital role in raising awareness about the opportunities and challenges in the tourism industry among the public, particularly the youth.

Thomas’s win not only brings pride to her school but also sets a high benchmark for future participants in the program. Her achievement highlights the importance of youth involvement in promoting tourism and showcases the potential of young leaders in driving the industry forward.

The success of this year’s competition and the enthusiastic participation of students underscore the growing engagement of BVI’s youth in the tourism sector, promising a bright future for the industry.

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