US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Tommy Gala Committee: It’s that time of year again! The USVI Hotel and Tourism Association is excited to announce the date has been set for Nov. 14 for the 14th Annual Tommy Star Awards and Gala! We hope our members will take the opportunity to acknowledge an outstanding employee within the hospitality industry with the highest tourism industry honor in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a Tommy Star Award. Nominees can be submitted for the following categories: Airline Associate of the Year; 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; Taxi Operator of the Year; Hotel Supervisor of the Year; and Hotel Associate of the Year. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 21. Click here to download the nomination form.

While you’re submitting your nominations, don’t forget to sign up to be a sponsor! Levels of sponsorship are as follows:

Tommy Star $5,000

  • Full page color ad in the event booklet
  • Recognition in all event advertising material
  • Recognition from podium
  • Table for ten at the event with priority seating
  • Sponsorship noted on video rotation
  • Signage

Tommy Gold $2,500

  • Half page ad in the event booklet
  • Recognition in all event promotion
  • Recognition from podium
  • Five tickets to the event
  • Sponsorship noted on video rotation

Tommy Silver $1,000

  • 1/4 page ad in the event booklet
  • Two tickets to the event
  • Sponsorship noted on video rotation

Tommy Bronze $500

  • 1/8 page ad in the event booklet (business card size)
  • One ticket to the event
  • Sponsorship noted on video rotation

To become a sponsor of this esteemed event, click here to download the Sponsorship Agreement form and return via fax to 340-774-4993 by Oct. 2. If you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to contact the association’s office at 340-774-6835.

Education and Training Committee: Chair of the Education and Workforce Development Committee Sen. Jean Forde invited USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton to participate in an “Education Think Tank” comprised of public and private sector individuals from the Department of Education, the University of the Virgin Islands, OMNI Systems, White Bay Group, Private Chefs, Sotheby’s, and USVIHTA to discuss standards and conditions in Virgin Islands schools. Forde has visited every school in St. Thomas and St. John as well as many in St. Croix, identifying the following key issues we need to address. With the public and private sector working together, we can make a difference.

  • Food Quality – Preparation is key. Training is needed, and standards need to be set, implemented, and measured.
  • Maintenance of Buildings – Each school has their own maintenance procedures, but they are not functional and should be centralized.
  • Vocational programs are needed for those students who are not college bound. There are several career options available that only require a high school education such as culinary and marine. Centralizing the skills center should be an area of focus.

VI Coupons AdMembership Committee: 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 or Shamari Skelton at To speak to someone right away or participate, contact Nicole Friday at the HTA office at Click here and here for additional information.

Environmental Committee: The Environmental Committee met in July to discuss updates with Blue Flag. There were scheduling conflicts for the National Jury evaluations, so Blue Flag Coordinator Valerie Peters will be conducting them one-on-one as needed. We will review the applicants that have been a part of the program for three years: Green Cay, the Palms at Pelican Cover, Emerald Beach, the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas and Crown Bay. Although the BF season ended June 30 and no flags will be flying, the association encourages participants to continue providing information and services.