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British Virgin Islands

“Executive authority in British Virgin Islands is vested in The Queen and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands. The Governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. Defence and Foreign Affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom.”

“As an offshore financial centre,[14] the British Virgin Islands enjoys one of the more prosperous economies of the Caribbean region, with a per capita average income of around $38,500 (2004 est.)[15]

The"twin pillars" of the economy are tourism and financial services.Politically, tourism is the more important of the two, as it employs a greater number of people within the Territory, and a larger proportion of the businesses in the tourist industry are locally owned, as are a number of the highly tourism-dependent sole traders (for example, taxi drivers and street vendors). Economically however, financial services associated with the territory's status as an offshore financial centre are by far the more important. 51.8% of the Government's revenue comes directly from licence fees for offshore companies, and considerable further sums are raised directly or indirectly from payroll taxes relating to salaries paid within the trust industry sector (which tend to be higher on average than those paid in the tourism sector).

Tourism accounts for approximately 45% of national income. The islands are a popular destination for US citizens. In 2006 a total of 825,603 people visited the islands (of whom 443,987 were cruise ship passengers). Tourists frequent the numerous white sand beaches, visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda, snorkel the coral reefs nearAnegada, or experience the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke. The BVI are known as one of the world's greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats area very popular way to visit less accessible islands. Every year since 1972 the BVI has hosted the Spring Regatta, which is a seven-day collection of sailingraces throughout the islands. A substantial number of the tourists who visitthe BVI are cruise ship passengers,although they produce far lower revenue per head than charter boat tourists and hotel based tourists. They are nonetheless important to the substantial (and politically important) taxi driving community.”

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