ST. THOMAS - St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been ranked the No. 1 Caribbean destination on Airbnb - with a 600 percent increase in bookings over last year.
The Territory's capital, Charlotte Amalie, earned that distinction on Airbnb, a marketplace for home rentals which has a number of listings in the Caribbean, ranging from cottages to beachfront villas. In its announcement, the sharing economy platform noted tourists are visiting the Caribbean again and bookings are up year over year.
"We have been working diligently to rebuild and revamp our tourism product, and we are encouraged that our efforts to increase overnight visitors to the USVI are bearing fruit. With the return of traditional hotels, resorts and villas - along with the strong growth of sharing platforms - we are pleased with this validation by Airbnb," said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who thanked all Airbnb hosts for showcasing the warmth and beauty of the Territory.
The rankings are based on internal Airbnb data as of September 2018, measuring future guest bookings for November 2018 to March 2019 in the Caribbean (destinations with a minimum of 100 guest arrivals) compared to future guest bookings last year for the same time period and with the same parameters.
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty noted as visitors return to the destination in strong numbers, the Department of Tourism was resolved to continue improving the product "to ensure they have the best experience every time they visit the Virgin Islands".