Publicity Spotlight Shines on St. John, Local Businesses


Arawak Expeditions’ BVI kayaking and camping trip is featured in National Geographic Traveler’s cover story, 50 Tours of a Lifetime.

It seems the word is out: St. John and some of its local businesses have been put on the map recently thanks to plenty of positive publicity.

The island itself received a huge accolade from the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, when it was dubbed the second highest-rated island in the world. St. John came in behind the number one island, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The rankings were based on the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period, according to the website.

“We are very proud to receive these recent accolades which help to keep the destination top-of-mind among travel professionals and the traveling public,” said V.I. Department of Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “We appreciate the confidence both travelers and the media have placed in our territory, and along with our partners will continue striving to create memorable vacation experiences for our visitors to enjoy.”

Another big accolade was recently bestowed upon Arawak Expeditions by National Geographic Traveler, which included the tour company’s British Virgin Islands kayaking and camping tour on its 50 Tours of a Lifetime feature in the May 2013 issue.

“The selection process was competitive and our editorial team worked long and hard to find 2013’s most authentic, most innovative, and most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours,” the magazine announced in an email to Arawak owner Arthur Jones.

“This year marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society,” said Executive Editor Norie Quintos. “The tours we selected capture that spirit of exploration. They push the boundaries of mainstream tourism, whether taking travelers to the far corners of the globe, or helping them dive deep into the culture of familiar destinations.”

National Geographic Traveler has the largest audience of any travel magazine, meaning information on Arawak’s BVI tour will reach more than 8.5 million readers.

Jones is thrilled to have been chosen by National Geographic Traveler for Arawak’s BVI kayaking and camping trip, which starts on St. John with stops on Peter Island, Norman Island, Tortola, and Jost Van Dyke.

“We’re delighted of course,” said Jones. “There were only nine tours or trips selected from North America, and we were one of them.”

Also in the spotlight recently is St. John Brewers, which was featured in two national publications.

Beer Advocate magazine featured the brewing company in its article, “It’s 5-Percent Somewhere,” about brewing in remote places.

In addition to St. John Brewers, brewing companies in Guam and Hawaii are also featured. Chirag “Cheech” Vyas, who co-owns St. John Brewers with Kevin Chipman, explained in the article why they decided to have their recipes brewed and bottled in the states by Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine.

“Our brewery started out of the back of a pickup truck,” Vyas says in the article.

“They hand-bottled and self-distributed until demand for their beers became difficult to meet,” according to the article.”

St. John Brewers was also featured in Draft Magazine, where their back story is highlighted in the article “Island Beer: What’s Brewing in the Tropics.”

“It’s nice to be recognized by the industry,” said Vyas of his company’s recent publicity. “It’s about getting the message out that there is brewing in the Virgin Islands. Sometimes that’s overlooked, so it’s nice to be recognized by the American craft beer scene, since we are a part of it.”

Additional recent publicity includes accolades for Caneel Bay Resort, Trunk Bay, Lameshure Bay Beach, and St. John as a whole in publications including,, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and by esteemed travel writer Arthur Frommer.