ROAD TOWN -- Kedrick Malone, the recently appointed director of the
British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, is not letting any sand stay
beneath his feet.
With less than six weeks under his belt as new director, Malone
already is busy formulating plans, updating his staff and setting
The B.V.I., which launched its own Web site last fall at www.bvitouristboard.com, experienced far less of a
downturn in business following Sept. 11 than other destinations,
"The B.V.I. held up better this winter than market circumstances
allowed other destinations," he said.
Malone attributed this to the recognition of the B.V.I. as a
water-oriented destination and as a high-end property locale.
The B.V.I., which already had identified and targeted its 13
core markets before last fall's traffic fallout, "will now move our
marketing to new heights," Malone said.
He noted that the face of travel has changed in the post-Sept.
11 period. "Our job is to make sure that we still reach our target
markets," he said.
To achieve that goal, Malone said he will utilize the tourist
board's organizational structure, marketing and product
He also said he aims to emphasize the B.V.I.'s historical sites,
plantations, history, culture and its small properties. "We also
want to take advantage of the role that technology plays in
effective marketing," he said.
Staff training and service are critical to the success of the
B.V.I. as a vacation destination, according to Malone. "What we
want our visitors to experience is delivery of a quality product in
all its aspects," he said.
Malone stressed the need for the Caribbean region as a whole to
step up to the plate and capitalize on the changing travel
topography in the post-Sept. 11 world.
"As a region, we are safe and close, and this is what most
travelers want right now," he said. "It is up to us in the
Caribbean to follow through on that message."
In the hotel arena, Malone said no new hotels are scheduled for
the islands at this time, although he plans to focus attention and
marketing on many of the destination's existing smaller
"Bookings through June are solid, but there is a pattern of
short-term bookings which makes it difficult to forecast more than
a few weeks out," he said.