Home Commentary Open forum TIME FOR TOURISM-ORIENTED ACTION IS NOW

TIME FOR TOURISM-ORIENTED ACTION IS NOW

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I am a Virgin Islander who lives in the states for five months out of the year. I was just flipping around the TV and saw a really nice "Come to St. Lucia" commercial. On other national networks, I have seen Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Aruba and Bahamas commercials. What I haven't seen in years … is a Virgin Islands commercial.
If V.I. commercials do air – where? I understand the V.I. government is broke, but can't the Tourism Department air commercials in smaller cable markets where it's much cheaper?
Look around the Caribbean; other islands are in the same financial crisis and are starting to compete harder for tourist dollars. Where are the "Tim Duncan spots"? Also, what are the Tourism offices in several cities doing to promote tourism? Are they waiting for someone to call, and then giving info? Or are they actively going out to promote the islands?
The Virgin Islands has a great product going to waste. Look at the other islands nipping on our heels. Yes, we do have a lot of ships coming during "high season." What is the West Indian Company doing to keep them coming during the summer months?
Yes, more airlines are coming to the V.I., and government officials say they have been "negotiating" to get more flights in. I am skeptical about what they consider negotiating. Other islands already have had U.S. carriers flying regularly. If you look around the Caribbean, airlines are moving in everywhere. St. Croix is losing Delta. St. Martin is gaining Delta. Actually, it has American, Continental, US Air, TWA, Air France, ALM, and Lufthansa flying.
The time for talking has come and gone; when is the implementation of all the "plans" going to happen? Several deals have fallen apart because of politicians. We have to stop thinking about yesterday and 2020, and start thinking about right now.

Dee Lappy

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