The United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is pleased with the quality stakeholder input at a week-long Strategic Visioning Retreat (SVR) in the territory.
The sessions, which attracted a wide cross section of tourism and community stakeholders in St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John as well as local, regional and international experts, will feed into the development of the five-year tourism road map for the territory.
Organizers were buoyed by the solid substance and positive energy to be incorporated into the development of the rolling, actionable plan which will be updated each year.
“The contributions were excellent and we believe that some of the ideas raised can be acted on immediately given the dynamic and changing environment in which we live,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism of the US Virgin Islands.
The Commissioner thanked tourism partners for their commitment – for making the time to participate in the respective sessions which were video-conferenced across the islands and streamed online at www.usvitourismplan.com, allowing Virgin Islanders living on the mainland and further afield to participate.
The visioning sessions focused on Weddings and Honeymoons, Meetings and Incentives; Education and Training; Revitalization and Development of Towns; Medical Tourism; the Film Industry; Retail and Craft Development; Cruise and Airlift Development; Transportation; Gaming; Research and Data Collection; Sports Tourism; Hotel Development; Geotourism (Environment, Culture, History and Agriculture); Dive and Culinary linkages; Technology; and Activities and Attractions.
Partners made several robust contributions to the discourse and suggestions ranged from developing new tours and attractions, embracing entrepreneurial education, beautification, customer service initiatives and improving the business and technological terrain of the territory.
“This plan is for the people of the Virgin Islands – how we develop our tourism plant for years to come,” Nicholson-Doty told attendees. “You have made an investment in our tourism, but the plan without the action steps is futile. We are committed to action,” she vowed.
The final plan, incorporating research and information from the stakeholder sessions and from the Governor’s Conference on Tourism – to be held later in the year – will be presented before year-end.
Summaries of the various sessions will be shared with stakeholders in the weeks and months ahead.