The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is fully committed to a united approach to marketing the Caribbean region as a preferred tourism destination.
USVI Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty declared her support for consolidated regional approaches this week at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Resort.
Nicholson-Doty voiced her endorsement while hosting a presentation by Sen. Richard "Ricky" Skerritt, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and minister of tourism and international transport for neighboring St. Kitts and Nevis.
"It is so crucial for us as a region to recognize our dependence and inter-dependence on each other to survive," she said.
Banding together, she added, is especially critical on issues such as airlift and cruise calls to the region.
In an address entitled, "There's Never Been a More Crucial Time in Caribbean Tourism,” Skerritt stated it was imperative that stakeholders set aside the differences that divide them.
"We don't have to agree on everything in order to improve our own product standards and contribute to a better island experience for visitors,” said Skerritt. “We don't have to be political supporters of the government to understand that successful destination tourism is achieved only by uniters, not by dividers."
The CTO chairman asserted cooperation was needed between states and with major stakeholders.
"No matter who is in government, tourism success is crucial to our country's future and must therefore be important to all of us,” he said. “And we don't have to be rocket scientists to learn that the public and private sectors need to be partners if we are to advance and sustain our market recovery."
To help deal with the marketplace challenges facing the region's tourism industry, the CTO and its private sector partner Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have injected new life into the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC) to market the Caribbean brand to global audiences, starting with the online marketing platform, www.Caribbeantravel.com.