Virgin Islands Update
Current Press Releases 
for September 30, 1998
Call 1-800-372-USVI 
for more information.


SEPTEMBER 30, 1998, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Representatives from the USVI´s tourism industry returned yesterday from Jamaica where they met with travel agents, media and other members of the travel industry at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)´s 22nd Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference. 

While there, Assistant Commissioner of Tourism Judy Watson, St. Thomas-St. John Hotel Association Executive Director Beverly Nicholson and Martin Public Relations Sr. Account Supervisor Amy Atkinson were able to spread the good news that St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas received very little damage from Hurricane Georges and are open for business.

More than 450 travel agents were briefed about the status of each of the islands on Friday.  Gift bags featuring Cruzan rum and other USVI promotional items were given out, and hotel stays on all three islands were raffled off during the briefing.  The agents also attended a luncheon on Wednesday sponsored by the USVI Department of Tourism.

The travel industry´s top trade journalists were also provided with reports from the islands.  Travel Weekly senior editor Gay Nagle Myers, Travel Agent senior editor Martin Elder and Leisure Travel News senior editor Sue Juliano were among the many journalists who attended a press conference held on Friday by Assistant Commissioner Watson.  Information about USVI hotels, tourist attractions, airlines serving the territory and the island´s infrastructure was provided at the press conference.  Photos of the territory´s hotels and resorts taken after Georges passed the islands were also shown.

Originally, Assistant Commissioner Watson and Commissioner of Tourism Wylie Whisonant were scheduled to travel to the conference on Sunday, September 20, but Hurricane Georges forced them to cancel their plans.  Once the storm passed the islands without leaving any significant damage, Watson  and Nicholson traveled to Jamaica on the first flight out of the territory just in time to relay the good news about St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas to the destination´s key travel partners. 

Attending CTC-22 was essential in the Department´s efforts to get the message out that Hurricane Georges caused only minor landscaping damage in the USVI, and we are open for visitors, said Assistant Commissioner Watson.  “The conference´s timing during the week of the hurricane provided us with the ideal opportunity to deliver our message to our most important travel partners.  This message was extremely well received by the travel agents and the media that we met with at CTC-22.”