We at the USVI Hotel and Tourism Association are excited about our upcoming 21st Annual Destination Symposium on June 16-20 at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef. This year we are celebrating with the theme “Change Your Latitude” in hopes that our wholesalers will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy our beautiful tropical locale.
Representatives from several of the top travel companies are gathering for the five-day conference to meet with on-island travel partners and to discuss new products, review current products, and more. Not only does the Symposium allow wholesalers to learn more about what we offer, but it also gives local businesses a chance to show off their products and services.
“In an industry [where] relationships are so important, the annual Symposium gives us buyers an opportunity to have quality face time with the suppliers and to see the destination and resorts,” said Pauline Abatemarco of Travel Impressions/Apple Vacations.
Meetings will kick off June 17 with USVI Department of Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty giving a marketing and public relations update followed by business appointment sessions. Per last year’s success, we have adopted a similar schedule, condensing meetings into one day and allowing wholesalers more time on each island.
We are looking forward to this year’s hotel site inspections which include everything from the biggest names in the hospitality industry to charming family-owned properties. We also have a busy schedule planned that includes shopping, days in the sun, afternoons mingling, and evenings learning about our vibrant culture. Some highlights include Carnival Night at Iggie’s Beach Bar and Grill, a trip up the tramway to Paradise Point, a seaplane ride, the Governor’s Welcome Dinner, and noodle networking.
“We would like to thank the USVI Department of Tourism for their continued support in our efforts to boost local businesses and create a unique and fun atmosphere here in the territory,” said USVI HTA President Lisa Hamilton.
“In addition, many other government entities and private industries have assisted in our efforts to make the U.S. Virgin Islands a premiere travel destination. Although each of us hopes to take home our piece of the pie, every company works together to ensure that we are all successful. This is truly a team effort built on the foundation of a strong community,” Hamilton added.
USVI HTA would like to extend our gratitude to those who make this event possible, including the USVI Department of Tourism, the West Indian Company Limited, Seaborne Airlines, Tropic Tours, Bridal Guide, the New York Times, and MyWedding.com, as well as our hosts the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef, Sugar Bay Resort and Spa, Paradise Point Tramway, the Palms at Pelican Cove, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, the Westin St. John Resort and Villas, Caneel Bay Resort, Best Western Emerald Beach Resort, and Windward Passage Hotel.