Minister Skerritt to speak to tourism industry stakeholders in the USVI

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt (left) welcomes USVI Commissioner of Tourism, Mrs Beverly Nicholson-Doty (center) and United States Virgin Islands, Lt. Governor, the Hon. Gregory R. Francis (right) during a recent visit to St. Kitts. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 21ST 2012 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt will be among Caribbean tourism leaders in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) next week to discuss the critical importance of regional tourism.

The USVI Department of Tourism announced Sen. Skerritt, who is also Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hugh Riley, CTO’s Secretary General, will visit St. Thomas for high level meetings with USVI Governor the Hon. John P. de Jongh, 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 is also Minister of 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 honoured 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.

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