Well, it looks like the US Virgin Islands is landing at the top of priority travel lists across the nation. Despite travel restrictions and mandates requiring visitors to take a COVID-19 test before arriving in the territory, data from a recognized travel insurance comparison site promises a busy season for Virgin Islanders.
Squaremouth is essentially an Expedia for travel insurance. You put in your dates, destination, number of travelers, etc., and the site generates a comparison of different providers. Squaremouth was established in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2003 and has insured 1.6 million customers since then.
Based on search inquiries between March and October, a report from the company showed a 200 per cent increase in travelers searching for insurance options relating to coverage for travel to the US Virgin Islands.
Historically, the company reports, European countries led the charge in travel insurance inquiries and purchases. Many countries in Europe currently have their borders closed due to COVID-19. In turn, Caribbean travel looks to be a highlight for American travelers this year.
“Border closures and travel restrictions have drastically changed where Americans are traveling, with the majority heading south to the Caribbean.”
Previously, The Bahamas and Costa Rica were the only Caribbean destinations to make the site’s top ten list. This year, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands, Aruba and Turks and Caicos joined the Bahamas on the list and ousted Costa Rica. Other dramatic increases worth noting are an increase of 300 per cent in inquiries about travel to Turks and Caicos and to the United States.
One might argue that the dramatic hike in travel insurance interest also matches up with the uncertainty of traveling right now. Travel insurance is more important than ever with destinations closing their borders, changing regulations and airlines adjusting and canceling flights due to a dwindling number of travelers. However, the hefty increase in inquiries to the USVI makes a lot of sense considering the number of travel destinations that are closed (or extremely regulated) for tourism business.
What does that mean for St. John? Hopefully a lot of new faces and repeat visitors on our sandy shores this winter 🙂 What does that mean for you? If you are planning a trip down this season, make your reservations sooner rather than later!