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Friday, July 12, 2024


This week, representatives from the USVI Department of Tourism will meet with travel agents, media and other members of the travel industry during the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)'s 23rd annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-23). Held September 20-25 in the Dominican Republic, this year's conference will allow Caribbean tourism officials and travel industry professionals from around the world to discuss the future of Caribbean tourism. The conference will consist of a series of meetings with Caribbean tourism officials and include a variety of conference activities designed to increase awareness about Caribbean tourism among travel agents who book warm-weather vacations.
Acting Commissioner of Tourism Michael Bornn and Assistant Commissioner of Tourism Pamela Richards will represent the U.S. Virgin Islands at the conference. During their time in the Dominican Republic, the two Department of Tourism officials and one representative from its public relations firm, Martin Public Relations, will work to spread news about the U.S. Virgin Islands' upcoming winter tourism season. On Thursday, September 23, both officials will meet with national travel-trade journalists to provide new information and answer questions about the U.S. Virgin Islands. Two roundtable press briefings hosted by the Department of Tourism will include journalists from Travel Weekly, Travel Agent Magazine, Leisure Travel News and other publications that frequently report about the territory's tourism industry.
On Friday, September 24, the Department will host a luncheon for approximately 350 travel agents who frequently book the Caribbean. During the luncheon, Bornn will update the agents about the USVI's tourism industry. Representatives from the USVI's tourism private sector who are attending CTC-23 will be included in the luncheon. Information about new air service into the USVI, territorial plans for the millennium and the opening of the territory's first casino at St. Croix's new Divi Carina Bay Resort will be among the information shared with the attending agents. Entertainment during the luncheon will include a slide show highlighting the territory's beauty and live Caribbean music. Stays at USVI accommodations donated by local hoteliers will be raffled off to the travel agents, and USVI promotional items will be distributed.
"I'm looking forward to attending CTC-23 and meeting with the USVI's many travel industry partners," said Acting Commissioner Bornn. "The events we have scheduled during the conference will remind the nation's most influential travel-industry representatives about what a wonderful experience traveling in the USVI can be. Our time in the Dominican Republic is designed to give everyone attending CTC-23 an extremely positive impression of the USVI and get the agents motivated to book their clients' next vacations in America's Paradise."
While in the Dominican Republic, Bornn will also meet with the Caribbean's other tourism officials to discuss the current challenges that face the region. Some of these challenges that affect the entire region include: regional marketing, air service, safety, service levels, and hurricane response plans.
"If the Caribbean doesn't do well, the U.S. Virgin Islands won't do well either," said Acting Commissioner Bornn. "We must partner with our neighbors to project a positive image of the Caribbean to the U.S. and the rest of the world."

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