The British Virgin Islands (abbreviated BVI), officially Mary Islands, are a British Overseas Territory within the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico and therefore the U.S. Virgin Islands and north-west of Anguilla. The islands are geographically a part of a part of Mary Islands archipelago and are located within the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles and part of the West Indies. British Virgin Islands contains the most islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, alongside over 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 16 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the most important island, which is about 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands had a population of 28,054 at the 2010 Census, of whom 23,491 lived on Tortola; current estimates put the population at 35,802 (July 2018).
The twin pillars of the economy are financial services (60%) and tourism (roughly 40-45% of GDP). Politically, tourism is the more important of the 2, because it employs a greater number of individuals within the territory, and a bigger proportion of the companies within the tourist industry are locally owned, as are a variety of the highly tourism-dependent sole traders (for example, taxi drivers and street vendors). Economically however, financial services related to the territory’s status as an offshore center are far and away the more important. 51.8% of the Government’s revenue comes directly from license fees for offshore companies, and considerable further sums are raised directly or indirectly from payroll taxes concerning salaries paid within the trust industry sector Tourism accounts for about 45% of value. The islands are a well-liked destination for US citizens. Tourists frequent the various white sand beaches, visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda, snorkel the coral reefs near Anegada, or experience the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke. The BVI is understood together of the world’s greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats are a really popular thanks to visit less accessible islands. Established in 1972, the BVI hosts the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. A substantial number of the tourists who visit the BVI are cruise liner passengers, and although they produce far lower revenue per head than charter boat tourists and hotel based tourists, they’re nonetheless important to the substantial – and politically important – taxi driving community. Only Virgin Islanders are permitted to figure as taxi drivers.