ISLAND FACTS

ISLAND FACTS

Monarch

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Governer

His Excellency John S. Duncan

Premier

Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE

National Flag

Union Jack is the national flag of the United Kingdom. It is so called because it combines the crosses of the three countries united under one Sovereign - the kingdoms of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Ireland. 

Territorial Flag

The Territorial Flag is a defaced blue ensign with the Union Jack in the upper hoist corner, which is centred at the fly end with the badge bearing the Virgin Islands Coat of Arms. It was officially adopted on 15 November 1960. 

National Anthem

God Save The Queen - The British National Anthem dates back to the eighteenth century. “God Save The King” was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745, which came to be known as the National Anthem at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

Territorial Song

"Oh, Beautiful Virgin Islands" was officially adopted in the House of Assembly on the 24th July 2013.

Lyrics by: Ayana Hull.

Melody by: Ayana Hull & Kareem Hull.

Recorded by: Deanna Wattley.

Territorial Badge or Coat of Arms

This symbol consists of the coat of arms, the word "Vigilate" and the wreath. The coat of arms depicts Saint Ursula framed by eleven oil lamps, which represent the 11,000 virgins after whom the Virgin Islands were named. Beaneath St. Ursula is a scroll that reads, in Latin, "Vigilate" (Be Watchful). The wreath, an embellished garland of two green branches tied in the centre with a blue bow surrounds them both. The territorial Badge was officially adopted on 15th November 1960. - 

Territorial Dress

On July 24, 2012, the Territorial dress of the Virgin Islands was officially adopted by the House of Assembly. At the heart of the Territorial dress, is the Virgin Islands Print or Territorial Print which depicts unique aspects of our culture: The turtle dove, oleander, hibiscus, soursop, sugar apple and the Virgin Islands sloop along with the islands of the Virgin Islands and our name represented in the cloth. The print has been created in white, blue and red fabric. Mrs. Florence Phillips and Miss. Kirtin Frazer designed the Territorial Dress while Mr. Keiron Harry designed the Territorial Print.

Territorial Flower

The White Cedar Flower has been chosen as the Territorial Flower. It is the flower of the White Cedar Tree, the Territorial Tree which is indigenous to the Virgin Islands and was integral in the development of the Virgin Islands sloop and, in turn, the economy. 

Territorial Tree

White Cedar (Tebebuia Heterophylla) is the native cedar on our islands. This tree was important because its wood was used to make the stern, stern posts and frame of our famous Virgin islands sloops.  

Territorial Dish

Fish and Fungi is the Territorial Dish of the British Virgin Islands. Our forefathers were fishermen and sailors and made their livelihood off the sea. Without question, fish was a staple in every home, whether fish and fungi with mayonnaise sauce or fish and fungi with butter sauce.  

Territorial Colors

The following colours have been chosen to represent various aspects of the Virgin Islands and its people. The Territorial colours are:

Yellow – Representing the rising sun

Green – Representing our verdant hills

Blue – Reflecting our beautiful Caribbean Sea

White – Reflecting our beaches

Red – Representing the feisty nature of Virgin Islands

Territorial Music

The music that has travelled with us from Africa through slavery and emancipation and evolved through to today -- Fungi Music -- has been chosen as the official music of the Virgin Islands. “Fungi”, meaning “cook up” is the local name of folk music. According to local history, fungi music has its roots in our African Heritage. When uprooted from their motherland, our African ancestors took with them as much of their culture as they could. They brought with them the “Bamboula drum” and their dances. Fungi music evolved in the Virgin Islands during slavery, and was later passed on from generation to generation. 

Territory Status

Non-Sovereign, overseas territory of the United Kigdom, internal self-governing. 

Language

English (Official), Spanish     

Legal System

English Law, Judicial Branch

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court     

Capital

Road Town, Tortola 

Largest Island

Tortola     

Population

29,151 (est. based on 2009 census) 

Religions

Christianity (majority), Hinduism, Islamic Faith, Other    

Airport & Codes

Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, Beef Island (EIS)

Auguste  George Airport, Anegada (NGD)

Taddy Bay Airport, Virgin Gorda (VIJ)

Calling Code

From the U.S. dial 1 (284).

From the U.K. dial 001 (284)     

Economy

One of the most prosperous in the Caribbean; highest income generators – tourism and financial services. 

Monetary Unit

US Dollar. Major credit cards are accepted in many, but not all establishments.    

Departure Tax

By Air: $20.00 per person leaving by air

By Sea: $20.00 (visitors) $15 (residents)

Accommodation Tax

7% Hotel Accommodation Tax payable by guests who stay for six months or less in hotels, apartments, houses, cottages, villas and similar accommodations.    

Sales Tax

None 

Bank

Bank of Nova Scotia, National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, VP Bank (BVI), First Caribbean International, First Bank Virgin Islands.    

Driving

Persons staying in the territory under 30 days are not required to purchase a temporary driver’s license. However, if your stay is over 30 days a license is required. 

Customs Duties

All imports are subject to varying rates of duty. Imports entering The British Virgin Islands on a temporary basis will not be subject to duty.      

Cruising Permits

A cruising permit is required for all cruising in The British Virgin Islands SEASONAL RATES: (December 1- April 30). All recorded Charter Boats - $2.00 per person per day. All non-recorded Charter Boats - $4.00 per person per day. OUT OF SEASON RATES: (May 1 - November 30). All recorded Charter Boats - $0.75 per person per day. All non-recorded Charter Boats - $4.00 per person day. Dive, day charter and sport fishing boats should contact The British Virgin Islands Customs Department Tel: (284) 494-3475 or (284) 468-3701 ext. 2533 for current cruising permit requirements. 

Medical Centres / Hospitals

1 Public Hospital - Peebles Hospital; various public and private health clinics and medical centres; Medivac (medical airlift) is readily available. An International Vaccination Certificate is not mandatory in The British Virgin Islands. Peebles Hospital has surgical, x-ray and laboratory facilities; there is a private plastic surgery clinic as well several private medical centres.     

Smoking Policy

Smoking in public places has been banned in the BVI as a result of a law passed by the Legislative Council. The law bans smoking in public places including bars, restaurants, nightclubs, airports, offices, and sports facilities. It also bans smoking within 50 feet of any public space.

Electricity

Voltage in the BVI is 110/220v. Visitors can use American appliances without an adaptor.     

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

There are regularly scheduled meetings. For more information, please call:

Tortola: (284) 499-0574 and/or (284) 544-3950.

Virgin Gorda: (284) 540-3133. 

Marine Conservation Permits

The use of National Parks Trust mooring without a permit is illegal. Call the National Parks Trust Office at (284) 494 3904 for information.