The U.S. Virgin Islands government has heralded the importance of overseas-based Virgin Islanders, Caribbean nationals and the intra-regional Caribbean market to the development of its tourism product and experience. During the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Caribbean Week in New York, held earlier this month, Kay Milliner-Kitchens, Director of Sales of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, presented the natural beauty, history and allure of their islands to Caribbean-Americans during a special CTO meeting that focused on the importance of the Caribbean Diaspora. "We in the U.S. Virgin Islands have been blessed by the goodwill and support we have received throughout the years by our nationals and our Caribbean neighbors," said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who indicated that her Department has embarked on a strategic campaign to encourage Caribbean nationals to promote and visit the islands.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (right) accepts a model of an AirTran Airways aircraft, presented by Roger Morenc, Director of Revenue Management for AirTran Airways (left), in recognition of the airline’s first flight to Jamaica. On February 11, 2010 AirTran Airways launched nonstop flights from three U.S. gateways: Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando. Upon arrival in Montego Bay, the airline’s official inaugural flight from Atlanta was welcomed with a ceremonial water arch, and as passengers entered the terminal they were greeted with a mento band, welcome beads and a special reception with Minister Bartlett.
One of the world's largest hotel franchisors sees the Caribbean as a huge opportunity while some hotel companies, twisting and turning in the global business downturn, shy away from the region. Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive officer of Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), is bullish about the Caribbean and believes a large number of independent hotels could benefit from what Choice Hotels has to offer. Presenting options for success during sluggish economies, he pointed to the extensive mid-range offerings of Choice Hotels and, at the higher end, its popular Ascend Collection membership program.
One of the popular hotels in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean is getting a major upgrade from its new owner.Canadian businessman Dale Papke said he would spend about US$2.5 million to renovate the recently re-licensed Comfort Suites Ports of Call Resort in Providenciales, which his real estate company recently acquired."I am excited. The island itself is starting to get on the radar, our renovations have begun, and we look forward to re-positioning the resort as the premier value-priced resort in the Turks & Caicos Islands," said Papke.
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