US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Tommy Gala Committee: The USVI Hotel and Tourism Association is excited to invite you to join us on Nov. 14 for the 14th Annual Tommy Star Awards and Gala! Each year, an exclusive Tommy Star Award of Excellence is presented to a Virgin Islander who has made a significant contribution to the success of our tourism industry. We wish to congratulate Dr. David Hall, president of the University of the Virgin Islands, and recipient of the Tommy Star Award of Excellence. Dr. Hall has taken tremendous strides for higher education and has been an integral part of UVI’s Hospitality Degree Program. His work has allowed the association and its members to become involved in educating the future leaders of tourism through internships and lectures.

“I was motivated to help create the program because it was clearly something that needed to be done to fulfill a great need,” Hall said. “Students from the Virgin Islands should be trained effectively so that they can become the future leaders of this industry. Without this type of intervention then Virgin Islanders will not feel as if they are fully engaged in an industry that is so essential to the economy of the Virgin Islands.”

Hall was born in Savannah, Ga and attended public segregated schools until he graduated. He was awarded a full athletic scholarship at Kansas State University where he majored in political science and eventually received a law degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Law. Hall practiced law with the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago before becoming a law professor. He taught law at the University of Mississippi, the University of Oklahoma and Northeastern University. He then served as Dean of the Law School and Provost of Northeastern University. Hall is currently in his seventh year as President of the University of the Virgin Islands.

Nine additional awards will be given to hospitality and tourism employees who demonstrate an unwavering dedication to tourism and strive to make each guest experience unique and memorable. Winners will be announced at the gala in 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.

Who else do you want to see at the Tommy Star Awards and Gala? Learn about former winners and see what it takes to be a Tommy Star with our Tommy Star Spotlights!

This is your last chance to sign up to be a Tommy 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.

As a partner in developing and recognizing hospitality excellence, your contribution is important to the success of this event. We hope that you will purchase a booklet advertisement space and secure your tickets for this event today. Available advertisement space includes:

Program Size: 8 ½ x 11

  • Color Full Page (10” high x 7 ½ “ wide): $600
  • Black/White Full Page (10” high x 7 ½ “ wide): $350
  • Black/White Half Page (4 7/8 “high x 7 ½ “ wide): $250
  • Black/White Quarter Page (4 7/8”high x 3 5/8 “ wide): $150
  • Black/White Business Card or 1/8 Page (2 5/16” high x 3 5/8” wide): $75

Click here for the advertisement form, also due Oct. 2. If you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to contact the association’s office at 340-774-6835.

Advocacy Committee: The Advocacy Committee met in Sept. to discuss the association’s position on the Hotel Tax increase. The committee issued a position paper on the increase, noting that they surveyed our competition in the Caribbean and concluded there was room for a slight increase as long as all the funds collected went into the Tourism Revolving Fund to market the destination. The position paper explains the importance of supporting the Tourism Revolving Fund and marketing in order to drive visitors to the territory, and that the association will support the Bill if funds from the tax increase are allocated toward that purpose. In addition, USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton testified in front of the Economic Development Committee on the impact of Cuba re-opening to American tourism and the resulting impact on Virgin Islands tourism. Hamilton referenced the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s recently released white paper entitled “Cuba: The Great Disruption for the Good of the Caribbean.” The paper stresses that the anticipated increase of U.S. visitors to Cuba should prompt the region’s public and private sector leaders to take positive steps to improve their global competitiveness or face negative economic and social consequences. USVIHTA concurs with CHTA’s view and urged our public leaders to cooperate with the private sector to ensure that we are prepared for increased tourism to Cuba.

CMI: The CMI Committee met in Sept. to discuss plans and upcoming events. The HCP Ads will run Oct. 11 through Dec. 6 in several major cities in the southeast. The committee also discussed the social media update. We are up 252 percent in sessions from 2014 to 2015, and 228 percent in page views from 2014 to 2015. We have nearly 20,000 Facebook fans and 1,270 Twitter followers. Additionally, we have 3,607 clicks to partner sites and 876 clicks to hotel booking engines. We are pleased with the traffic being directed to our member sites. Committee members also planned for upcoming tradeshows and began brainstorming dates for the 2016 Destination Symposium. The committee will meet again in Oct.

VI Coupons AdMembership Committee: The Membership Committee hosted a General Membership Networking Reception on Aug. 19 at Coral World Ocean Park. About 40 members and potential members joined us for wine, courtesy of Bellows International, networking and fun prizes! Members mingled and discussed their experiences with the association, enjoying a relaxing opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions about USVIHTA. Thank you to those members who joined us!

We also want to remind members of our 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.