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Travel Agents Like V.I. for Honeymooning, Romance

June 3, 2004 – Who says romance is dead? A leading international travel publication has named the Virgin Islands among the world's best honeymoon and romance destinations.
Conde Nast Traveler magazine conducts an annual "World's Best'' survey covering cruise lines, resorts, spas, hotels and everything travel-related in between. It announced in New York this week that for 2004 the Virgin Islands ranked seventh in the magazine's "Overall Favorite Honeymoon Destination'' category for international travel.
The survey respondents also ranked the territory among the top10 international destinations in the following categories: "Best for Beaches'' (No. 5), "Best for Snorkeling and Diving'' (No. 7) and "Best for Romance'' (No. 10).
And among Caribbean destinations best suited for honeymooners, the territory was ranked third.
The "World's Best" winners were announced this week in New York during Caribbean Week activities. Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards and other Tourism Department representatives are taking part, promoting St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
"It is an honor to accept these prestigious awards, which recognize the most elite destinations from around the world," Richards in a release from Martin Public Relations, the territory's mainland publicity agency. She added that "it is particularly satisfying to receive the awards during Caribbean Week festivities among so many other outstanding Caribbean destinations."
Conde Nast Traveler polled more than 400 travel agents certified by the American Society of Travel Agents who specialize in honeymoons. In addition to destinations, the survey ranked specific properties in some cases.
The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas Resort placed fifth in the "Best Resort Spa" category.
"It's always nice to be recognized for our efforts,'' Jackie Volkarp, Ritz-Carlton acting general manager, said on Thursday. "We strive to do a little more each and every year, be it new treatments or creating a better, overall spa experience for our guests, especially those who return.''
Caribbean Week is presented by the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization. The week's schedule concludes with a CTO marketing conference and a "Governments of the Caribbean State Ball" on Friday and Caribbean-themed special events for children and adults at the Brooklyn Public Library on Saturday. For the full list of activities, see the CTO's Caribbean Week Web page.

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