US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

richard-headshotTommy Gala Committee: The most exciting red carpet event of 2016 is this weekend! The 15th Annual Tommy Star Awards and Gala will be held Nov. 5 at the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. The event highlights those individuals in the tourism and hospitality industry who go above and beyond to make guest experiences exceptional. The dedication, talent and creativity of these employees is essential to the success of the local tourism industry, and we are honored to recognize their hard work. Nominees have been submitted for the following categories, and we cannot wait to see who comes out on top: Attraction/Activity Associate of the Year; Hospitality Support Service Associate of the Year; Public Service Representative of the Year (Government); Restaurant Associate of the Year; Retail Associate of the Year; Transportation Associate of the Year; Hotel Supervisor of the Year; and Hotel Associate of the Year.

We will also present an exclusive Tommy Star Award of Excellence to a Virgin Islander who has made a significant contribution to the success of our tourism industry. This year’s honoree is Richard J. Doumeng.

Doumeng has almost 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry in the USVI and New York City. Currently, Doumeng is the managing director of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, which includes the catamaran Heavenly Days, the Lobster Grille and Iggies Beach Bar & Grill. He also currently serves as chairman on the board of directors and past president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, and member of the board of directors and five-time past president of the USVI Hotel and Tourism Association, as well as with several other notable organizations.

We hope you will join us Nov. 5 in supporting Doumeng, your coworkers, employees and fellow industry stakeholders. To purchase tickets, please call the association office at 340-774-6835.

vi-hoteltourism-association-networkingMembership Committee: Thank you to those members who joined us on Oct. 27 at St. Peter Greathouse and Blue Orchid Restaurant for our Membership Mixer. It is our pleasure to host these events where our members can share industry news and network with news business connections. About 50 members mingled, discussing updates and collecting donations for breast cancer awareness month. Donations will go toward a mammogram for a woman who cannot afford one.

Environmental Committee: The Environmental Committee met in Oct. to discuss many initiatives. We are excited to begin another Blur Flag season on Dec. 1 with flag raising ceremonies. This will be the fifth year for Crown Bay and Green Cay Marina, and we are excited to honor both locations with plaques. Crown Bay plans to hold an evening flag raising ceremony and will invite community organizations to have displays. We will start water testing on Nov. 21.

We plan to attend the upcoming Blue Flag National Operator Meeting in Puerto Rico. Fifty countries will be represented. Items on the agenda include safety and communication with color blind patrons, and certification for sustainable boat programs with dive and game fishing operations being the main target.  This will be added to our website for those who are interested in pursuing.

As part of the Clean Island Campaign, WMA, DOE, WTJX and USVIHTA are partnering to hold a contest around the first of year for the best ideas on how to keep the territory clean. WTJX will provide air time and production time for public service announcements with Tommy Star and the WMA mascot. The winner will have a table at the STEAM fair in May 2017.

The Environmental Committee will meet again Nov. 22 at 10 a.m.