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MARTIN P.R. SENDS NEW USVI UPDATES

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, MAY 17, 1999 – The St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Associations announce the new "Picture Yourself in Paradise" promotion which features value-added incentives for visitors staying a minimum of five nights at participating hotels. Effective June 15 through December 15, 1999, this first-ever destination-wide promotion will offer savings for vacationers.
Visitors on St. Croix will enjoy discounted transportation and numerous savings allowing them to explore the many offerings of the territory's largest island. Value-added incentives include a free car rental for two days (a $120 value) and a free discount coupon book, featuring up to $300 in savings at local retail stores, restaurants, dive shops, watersports activities and more.
Vacationers staying at participating St. John and St. Thomas hotels and resorts will receive a complimentary pass book for visiting popular tourist attractions, as well as a free shopping shuttle certificate to encourage visitors to take advantage of the USVI's duty-free shopping. The pass book includes free entry into Coral World, Estate St. Peter Greathouse, Paradise Point Tramway and a free banana daiquiri at world-famous MountainTop. The shopping shuttle certificate is redeemable for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more at select retailers. Participating stores include: A.H. Riise, Amsterdam Sauer, Blue Carib Gems, Cardow, Columbian Emeralds, Dazzlers, Diamonds In Paradise, Diamonds International, Island Galleria, Jeweler's Warehouse, Little Switzerland and Pusser & Company Stores. When redeeming the certificate, visitors may also fill out the reverse side for a chance to win a seven-day/six-night vacation to St. Thomas or St. John.
All visitors participating in the "Picture Yourself in Paradise" promotion will receive a free Fuji single-use camera upon hotel check in to capture their unforgettable vacation experiences on film. Visitors can submit their best photos from each island in a photo contest to win a free return
vacation to America's paradise. A winner will be selected for each island, and Delta Vacations will provide two round trip airline tickets for each winner.
USVI hotels participating in the "Picture Yourself in Paradise" promotion Hotel, Chenay Bay Beach Resort, Danish Manor Hotel, Hibiscus Beach Hotel, Hilty House Inn, Kings's Alley Hotel, King Christian Hotel, Sugar Beach Condominiums and Sunterra Carambola Beach Resort; on St. John — The Westin Resort, St. John; and on St. Thomas — Bluebeard's Beach Club & Villas, Bluebeard's Castle, Bolongo Bay Beach Club & Villas, Best Western Carib Beach Resort, Best Western Emerald Beach Resort, Elysian Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel, Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort, Point Pleasant Resort, Renaissance Grand Beach Resort, Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina and Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort.
For more information, call the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association at (340) 774-6835 or the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association at (800) 524-2026 or (340) 773-7117. For more information about St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, call the Visitor's Center at
(800) 372-USVI.
MAY 17, 1999, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The U.S. Virgin Islands was well represented during the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Caribbean Tourism Week, May 10-14, in New York City. Officials from the USVI Department ofTourism met with other ministers of tourism and tourism industry leaders to discuss issues of critical importance to the regional marketing of the
Caribbean.
Assistant Commissioner of Tourism Pamela Richards of St. Croix attended meetings throughout the week to represent the concerns of the U.S. Virgin Islands at this conference. Topics of discussion during the week included: human resources training, improving tourism infrastructure, regional advertising and global competition. Representatives from more than 30 Caribbean governments engaged in dialogue and social camaraderie seeking a more unified front for promoting the Caribbean tourism industry.
Richards attended the conference in lieu of Acting Tourism Commissioner Clement "Cain" Magras, who was busy supervising activities in preparation for the upcoming Sinbad Soul Music Festival. She said, "This event provided a unique opportunity to communicate with other Caribbean travel officials about the common goal of bolstering tourism within our region. As global competition increases in the tourism industry, regional gatherings like this are necessary for cohesive strategic planning and maintaining the Caribbean's footings within the worldwide tourism economy."
During the week of activities, the USVI Department of Tourism hosted a VIP reception sponsored by Bride's Magazine on Thursday, May 13. Richards provided an update on the territory's tourism industry to more than 40 leading journalists, travel agents, wholesalers and influential travel industry partners from New York and surrounding areas. The following
national travel trade, bridal, consumer travel and news media outlets were among the many media outlets represented at the reception: Bride's Magazine, Caribbean Travel & Life, Conde Nast Traveler, For the Bride, JAX FAX Travel Marketing, Leisure Travel News, Outdoor Explorer, Recommend, Travel Weekly, Travel Agent and Woman's World.
During the reception, Richards announced the USVI's first-ever territory-wide summer promotion, as well as the continuation of the V.I. Callings program, which travels across each region of the U.S. to educate travel agents about the destination's offerings.
The Honorable Dr. Donna Christian-Christensen, the territory's delegate to Congress and a member of the Travel and Tourism Caucus' steering committee, provided brief remarks about the territory's viability and renewed enthusiasm about the future of the tourism industry.
"While we are currently going through a difficult period, we are seeing our problems as challenges and turning them into opportunities,"Christian-Christensen said.
"We, therefore, are at an exciting time where we can use these opportunities to improve our overall situation, strengthen our economy and enhance our tourism product, and we invite you to be a part of this experience,"the Congresswoman also said.
Other USVI representatives who were on-hand to talk one-on-one with those in attendance included: Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St.Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association; John Murphy, general manager of the Renaissance Grand Beach Resort; Amy Tashjian, national sales manager, northeast leisure sales of The Westin Resort, St. John; Helen
Newton, acting manager of the New York regional tourism office; Amy A. Atkinson, senior account supervisor at the territory's national marketing firm, Martin Public Relations; and Chad Thompson, account executive at Martin Public Relations.
Richards also addressed the CTO chapter presidents on Friday morning. She encouraged them to participate in the next CTO Chapter President's Meeting, which will be held on St. Croix, December 2-5, 1999. As the host country, the territory will welcome the 41 chapter presidents and four representatives from the CTO parent organization to learn about the
destination's offerings for vacationers and business travelers.
"We look forward to welcoming members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization to our islands. As always, we warmly accept this invitation to showcase our hospitality and unique tourism product to influential travel partners within the industry,"Richards said.
For more information about St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, call the U.S. Virgin Islands Visitor's Center at (800) 372-USVI.

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