The New York Times devoted its Sunday, Oct. 23 travel section to the Caribbean.
The first page was filled with a lovely photo of St. John's Maho Bay, and then on the inside was a long, friendly story, spread over two pages, about snorkeling in St. John's waters.
The lead dealt with the fact that the late J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atom bomb, had a retreat on St. John. He left it to his daughter, who in turn "willed it to the island."
Then there was a single, full page about the attractions of St. Thomas, complete with two maps and several photos, and much text about where to stay, where to eat, and what to do at night.
The Times mentioned four restaurants on St. Thomas: Craig and Sally's, the Old Stone Farmhouse, Cuzzin's, and Gladys' Café, and three on St. John: Morgan's Mango, Skinny Legs, and Pastory Gardens.
There was no coverage of St. Croix.
On the other hand, St. Croix had better luck than Aruba: The Times article on that island carried the headline: "Disappearance Still Weighs On Aruba's Tourism."
Other features and large photos dealt with The Baths, Virgin Gorda, B.V.I., with the reconstruction of Montserrat, with Vieques ("The Next Caribbean Hot Spot?") and with the Dominican Republic's Carnaval.
The Practical Traveler column discussed getting to the islands. The heading was a cheerful "Flights to the Islands: It's a Buyer's Market." A chart showed sample round trip air fares on five airlines to different Caribbean destinations, including Spirit's flights from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas for $338.70. No other flights to the V.I. were mentioned.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the Washington Post also featured the Virgin Islands in its weekly travel section. The Post gave equal billing to each of the three islands, with stories on the islands starting on the first page and continuing later in the section. There were no articles on any other Caribbean destination.
In the case of the Post's person visiting St. Thomas, he dined at Off the Hook, Duffy's Love Shack, and Delly Deck. On St. Croix the restaurants mentioned were Water's Edge, Kendrick's, and Savant, while on St. John they were more numerous: Island Blues, Miss Lucy's, Shipwreck Landing, Zozo's, Uncle Joe's Barbecue, and Rhumb Lines.
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