Information & Facts
Industry in the US Virgin Islands is based primarily around
tourism though petroleum refining takes place off St. Croix. Like
many other Caribbean countries, things are pretty relaxed, and
formal business attire is not considered necessary as the climate
makes this quite uncomfortable. The people are friendly and polite
and shaking hands is common with introductions for men and women;
business cards are handed out at introductions. Business hours are
typically 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday with lunch breaks around
The islands are hot and humid throughout the year, with most
rain falling between August and October. The busiest tourist season
is from December to May, during the northern hemisphere winter, and
outside of these months rooms are cheaper and the islands less
crowded. Between April and August the waters are calmer and
underwater visibility is best for diving and snorkelling.
The international country code for the US Virgin Islands is +1
340 and the code for dialling out internationally is 011 (followed
by the relevant country code, for example 01144 for the United
Kingdom). City/area codes are not required. The AT & T Wireless
GSM mobile network covers the islands. Internet cafes are available
in the main resorts.
In the US Virgin Islands, politeness is important. Greet people
before asking questions or requesting assistance. Greetings depend
on the time of day, with good morning, good afternoon, and good
evening being common. You may hear locals thanking 'jumbi'
(spirits) for good luck, or blaming them for misfortune.
Travellers to the Virgin Islands who are residents of the USA
follow the same regulations that apply to the United States.
Travellers over 21 years are allowed 1 US quart of alcoholic
beverages; and perfumes, lotions and other goods for personal use.
Travellers who are non-residents do not have to pay duty on the
following items: 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes or 2kg tobacco, or a
proportionate mix of these. Gifts and alcohol brought into the
Virgin Islands by non-residents are not exempt from duty.
120 volts, 60Hz. Two-flat-pin plugs are
Health risks include hepatitis A and dengue fever. Only bottled
water should be drunk outside the major towns. Medical facilities
are of a high standard, but health insurance is vital as medical
care is very expensive.
English is the official language. Spanish, Creole and
some French are also spoken.
The official currency is the US Dollar (USD) divided into 100
cents. Most credit cards are accepted, including American Express,
Diners Club Mastercard and Visa, and are useful for withdrawing
cash at ATMs. Travellers cheques are widely accepted in hotels,
shops and restaurants provided they are in US Dollars. Foreign
exchange bureaux are available to exchange other currencies, but it
is best to arrive with US Dollars as many banks and hotels will not
exchange foreign currency.
Entry requirements are the same as for the United States of
America. There is no immigration control for visitors arriving from
mainland USA. Visitors entering the country under the Visa Waiver
Programme (VWP) must have a machine-readable passport (MRP) that
has a bar code on the photo page. From 26 October 2006 eligible
travellers under the VWP must include biometrics in their
machine-readable passports if they wish to enter the country
without a visa, containing unique personal data such as
fingerprints or iris details. All new passports issued on or after
26 October 2005 must contain a digital photo image in order to
travel visa-free. Due to new security measures, all visitors to the
USA will have a photograph and two fingerprints taken by an inkless
scanner on arrival, including those travelling visa-free under the
Visa Waiver Programme. All travellers arriving or departing by air,
land or sea between the USA and Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean,
Bermuda, and Central and South America are required to present a
valid passport. It is highly recommended that passports have at
least six months validity remaining after your intended date of
departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often
apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official
Normal precautions apply, especially in the back streets of
towns at night. Don't leave valuables lying on the beach when
snorkelling or swimming.
Tipping of 15 to 20% percent is customary for good service. Some
hotels and restaurants automatically add a service charge and room