US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Membership: The committee will be hosting an exciting networking event on May 21 at Bolongo Bay from 5 to 7 p.m. Members are invited to come out and enjoy an open bar and food as they socialize and network! In addition, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback about the event. We look forward to seeing you there!
We want to remind members of our recent partnership with iVeew, Inc., a leading provider of mobile solutions to the travel and hospitality industry, led by Tom Griffin, a long-time supporter of the Virgin Islands. Griffin has offered an opportunity for us to be one of the first major island destinations to provide our visitors with the ability to utilize their Smartphones to connect your business.
We were able to negotiate a lower sign up rate from the normal $500/year and $.25 cents per download coupon to $200/year and $.10 cents per download coupon. In addition, we capped the $.10 cents per download to a maximum spend of $200.00 per month.
Current advertisers in the airport booth will have the first opportunity to participate. For more information, please contact Tom Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Shamari Skelton at email@example.com. To speak to someone right away or participate, contact Nicole Friday at the HTA office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here and here for additional information.
We are sad to announce the closing of the Yacht Haven Grande booth. We would like to thank Charlie Irons and the YHG team for their support and assistance. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the University of the Virgin Islands, Interim Director of Hospitality & Tourism Management at UVI Tamara Lang, iveew’s Shamari Kelton, and the UVI students who spent their time sharing valuable information with our visitors.
CMI: The April CMI meeting focused heavily on the upcoming Destination Symposium. The committee agreed on “Experience the ‘I’ in VI” for this year’s theme. Nyka discussed possible steel groups for entertainment. The committee also discussed options for gifts to the wholesalers. As of now, 3 hoteliers and 19 wholesalers have registered from 13 companies. In addition, Lisa will be traveling to the BVI to do a presentation on the symposium. If you are interested in having your business featured in the symposium event booklet, please click here to download the advertising form. The form is due back to the HTA office no later than May 22. The next CMI meeting will be held May 28 at 3:30 in the HTA conference room.
Advocacy: The HTA Board of Directors is partnering with the American Resort Development Association Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC) to host the 31st Legislature at a reception on May 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. A dozen representatives from ARDA ROC, the HTA board and members of the 31st Legislature plan to attend. The purpose of this reception is to both build relationships with new senators as well as strengthen our existing relationship with those senators who were re-elected. ARDA-ROC is a timeshare/fractional ownership association that promotes the growth and development of the timeshare industry. In most Caribbean islands, the hotel and timeshare industries have separate trade organizations representing them and some develop adversarial relationships. Here in the USVI, we believe partnering with the timeshare industry will only make us stronger as we focus on providing the best hospitality to our visitors.
Environmental: Environmental education was a big part of Earth Day this year. We asked all Blue Flag beaches to do a sand critter contest to celebrate the occasion, and all of the beaches were able to join in in different ways. Coral World hosted a clean-up at Water Bay and Coke Point. An estimated 50 bags of trash were collected in less than three hours. Also collected were car parts, tires, a lawn chair, dinghy parts and trailer parts. The most common items founds were plastic bottles, bottle caps, cigarette butts, to-go containers, plastic bags and glass bottles. Click the links (photo 1, photo 2, photo 3) for pictures from the event.
The St. Thomas Yacht Club is interested in joining Blue Flag as the first ever certified mooring field in the program. Several individuals have come together to clean out the water; and STEER is on board to provide education activities. The committee will be finalizing the National Jury members in May to review Blue Flag applications. The Red Cross has agreed to participate.
Valerie Peters will be meeting with Adrian Midwood with Upcycle Gyres Society, an organization based out of Figi which participates in recycling activities. Peters’ goal is to learn about recycling initiatives that may also work in the USVI.
The Environmental Committee will meet again May 12 at 10 a.m.