THOMAS, United States Virgin Islands - The Caribbean's tourism leaders will assemble in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) next week to discuss the critical importance of regional tourism.
The USVI Department of Tourism announced Senator Richard "Ricky" Skerritt, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hugh Riley, CTO's Secretary General, will visit St. Thomas for high level meetings with Governor John P. deJongh, Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty and local hotelier Richard Doumeng, President-elect of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
On Monday, March 26, the Department of Tourism will host a breakfast presentation for industry stakeholders and the general public, featuring Senator Skerritt who doubles as St. Kitts and Nevis' Minister of Tourism and International Transport.
Senator Skerritt, a former manager of the West Indies cricket team, will address the theme "There's Never Been a More Crucial Time in Caribbean Tourism" at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Resort from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
"We in the USVI are honored to host such respected leaders of Caribbean tourism," said Commissioner Nicholson-Doty.
She encouraged USVI stakeholders to broaden their vision of promoting tourism to the Caribbean region. "A rising tide floats all boats and it is important that we are all on board with our regional partners," she said.
Promoting the importance of cooperation in the Caribbean's most important industry, she contended true competition comes from "outside the region, not within."
The high-level talks come on the heels of the Department's Strategic Visioning Retreat this week, one of the steps in developing a rolling five-year tourism development plan.
"There will be a hive of intellectual activity throughout the territory over the next two weeks," said Commissioner Nicholson-Doty. She expects this will be generated in part by the regional and international tourism experts - from cruise line to romance market experts - currently in the territory for the retreat.