Initially barred from attending the Caribbean Tourism Organizations Caribbean Week events in New York this week by U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Charles Turnbull, Pamela Richards, CTOs chairwoman as well as U.S.V.I. commissioner of tourism, Richards arrived in New York late on June 14 in time to preside over critical meetings June 15 with CTO leaders and more than 33 tourism ministers and directors.

Turnbull had originally denied Richards request to attend the CTO event at the last minute, forcing Richards to notify CTO officials late last week of her impending absence at the annual event.

Meanwhile, CTO officials in New York worked behind the scenes in an attempt to diplomatically resolve the issue, a spokesman said.

The U.S. Virgin Islands hosted CTOs annual Caribbean Tourism Conference twice in the past three years. At the 2005 conference, Turnbull addressed delegates, stressing the important role played by CTO in the development of tourism in the region, and touting the U.S.V.I.s tourism strengths. 

Following the top-level official meetings and a press conference, Caribbean Week wraps up with the annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria June 16.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to[email protected].

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