THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS' new marketing thrust,
unveiled at its 11th annual Destination Symposium for more than 100
industry partners last weekend in St. Thomas, positions the three
islands as culturally diverse but comfortably familiar. The new
strategy incorporates an ad campaign with TV spots, scheduled to
begin airing this month, that are set to a quelbe (a
Caribbean-style music and dance that originated in the U.S.V.I.)
version of Woody Guthrie's song "This Land is Your Land." Other
campaign components include travel agent promotions, a new coop
marketing program for small and large hoteliers in the U.S.V.I. and
the rollout of a hotel Web site [www.virginislandshotels.com] this spring for
consumers. Supporting the cohesive yet diverse theme of the
destination and its three islands is the new U.S. Virgin Islands
Hotel and Tourism Association, made up of the recently combined St.
Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association and the St. Croix
Hotel and Tourism Association. "Our new association will enable us
to more efficiently market and promote the territory as a whole,"
said Beverly Nicholsen, association president. Nicholsen served as
executive director of the former St. Thomas-St. John group.
WITH BASEBALL SEASON officially under way comes
word that the Montreal Expos will return for the second year in a
row to Puerto Rico to play 22 "home" games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
in San Juan. Opponents during this year's series include the New
York Mets, April 9 to 11; the Florida Marlins, April 13 to 15; the
Milwaukee Brewers, May 18 to 20; the San Francisco Giants, May 21
to 23; the Toronto Blue Jays, July 2 to 4; the Atlanta Braves, July
5 to 7; and the Pittsburgh Pirates, July 8 to 11. Tickets range
from $10 to $85 per game and are available online at www.ticketpop.com.
The price does not include the cost of Puerto Rican hotdogs.
BY AIR AND SEA, visitors to Belize this winter
increased tourism stats to the island. Air arrivals increased 9%
and 17% in January and February, respectively. Meanwhile, cruise
visitors jumped 67% in January and 82% in February, compared with
the same periods a year ago, according to the Belize Tourism
• Cayman Airways will offer twice-weekly nonstop service from
Orlando to Grand Cayman June 25 to Aug. 9. The service will operate
Mondays and Fridays.
• Delta Airlines will launch twice-daily services between New York
(Kennedy) and San Juan April 4 and between Kennedy and Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 1.
• The new minister of tourism for Antigua and Barbuda is attorney
Harold Lovell, whose United Progressive Party swept the Antigua
Labour Party -- and prime minister Lester Bird -- out of power
March 23. Lovell, whose responsibilities also include foreign
affairs and international transport and trade, replaced Molwyn
Joseph in the tourism post.
• Atlantis, Paradise Island named Alexander Kim vice president and
general manager of conference services and banquet operations.
• Brian Harry, president of Tidco, the tourism and promotional
development company for Trinidad and Tobago, resigned March 29.
Harry was appointed to the post in 2002 by Tidco's chairman Aleem
Mohammed and its board of directors. No replacement has been
PENCIL IT IN
• 16th annual St. Croix Triathlon, May 2, St. Croix. For info,
• 2nd annual Turks and Caicos Conference (TaCC), June 21 to 23,
Providenciales. For details, contact (800) 241-0824.