The 5 Types of Tourists You Will Inevitably Meet in BVI

My first post about the kinds of tourists you can run into in Turks and Caicos was quite a hit, and the feedback I got inspired me to continue the series. However, to spice it up a little, I’ve decided to base this post on the tourists in the British Virgin Islands.


spring bay
Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda, July 2016. Photo by me.


One thing to note is that I have never lived in the BVIs. I, myself, constitute as a tourist there. I think I can still write this post though because my family now lives there and I have visited often enough to suss out the atmosphere. Also, while each Caribbean island has its own culture and vibe, we share many similarities, and that includes the kinds of tourists who visit. So, while my lists mention specific countries, these tourists can often generalize to any island.

Enough rambling. Here:

1. The Cheap Sailor

This tourist arrives in a small sailboat, complete with a Zodiac tender. They rent a mooring and live on the boat, venturing on island only for food and booze. While often fun, sometimes these people are… stingy.

“Why should I tip a bartender, bro? I’m spending my money on my lived experiences.”

Their vacation is more important than service workers paying their bills, apparently. These people are also known to always smell like sweat, salt water and mechanical grease because all they do is work on their boat.

2. The Multimillionaire Business Mogul

Chances are you’ve heard of Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; Larry Page, co-founder of Google; or maybe Horace Hagedorn, an initial investor in Miracle Gro fertilizer. These guys are some of the wealthiest people alive, and where else would they choose to vacation but in the British Virgin Islands?

These people are either chilling out on their private island, lounging on the half mountainside they own or perhaps kiteboarding with a naked woman (or three) hanging off their back.

3. The Cruise Ship Passenger

Good luck to you if you happen to be in the vicinity of a cruise ship port when a ship arrives. The passengers descend upon the island like a swarm of locust, covering every inch of the beaches, taking up every chair in nearby restaurants and generally making life extremely difficult for locals. This tourist will typically be sporting a wristband from their ship, signifying the cheap meal plan they bought which allows them to only order a burger and fries from a certain restaurant. Usually also includes 4 pain killers — a tasty BVI signature cocktail which will always numb your pain.

4. The European on the Verge of Skin Cancer

This person has pasty white skin, glowing like a bright white light, and they are usually from the UK, Ireland, or Scandinavia. About an hour later, they’re glowing like Rudolph’s nose. Despite their 80 SPF sunscreen and giant hat, this poor tourist will always get burnt worse than the turkey your aunt forgot in the oven on Thanksgiving when she was wine-drunk. Get this crispy chap some aloe (and maybe a pain killer cocktail too?) ASAP!

5. The Drunk Yacht Crew

Yacht crews go through a lot. Demanding guests, scrubbing every inch of a gargantuan ship daily, having to work when they’re in beautiful locales instead of vacationing… So, it’s only natural that these people go hard when they get time off. They’ve got cool stories, and maybe they’ll let you come aboard the luxury yacht you’ve been eyeing in the bay. Usually the drunk yacht crew is a whole bundle of fun. However, sometimes they can be snobbish and condescending — this is when it’s totally appropriate to remind them that they are meager workers on the yacht, not the owners.


baths panorama
The Baths, Virgin Gorda, July 2016. Photo by me.


Did I forget to mention your favorite tourist? Do you have a funny story to add about a tourist fitting one of these stereotypes? Please share in the comments or send me a message!



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