Black Meetings and Tourism

JAN/FEB 2012

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GOVERNOR DE JONGH HOSTS DELEGATES PARTICIPATING IN CARIBBEAN MEDIA EXCHANGE CONFERENCE Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. of the United StatesVirgin Islands hosted participants in the CaribbeanMedia Exchange conference which was held on St. Thomas in December. "I welcome to the island of St.Thomas the 55 delegates in atten- dance representing a wide variety of journalists, public rela- tions broadcasting and film production professionals. Let me also thank New York University for partnering with us to make this conference a great success,"de Jongh said in brief remarks at the Government House reception. The governor noted that this conference serves many purposes of great benefit to the professions represented in the delegation, and the people and governments of Caribbean destinations like theVirgin Islands."First of all, it provides us with a chance to introduce all of you-profes- sionals who are deeply rooted in the affairs of this region-to the latest research in sustain- able tourism development. This research provides a con- textual backdrop from which we can discuss topics impor- tant to all of us over the com- ing days:media relations, social media, crisismanagement, air- lift, emerging markets and many others," de Jongh said. The complex relationships between themedia, government and nightspots aremore than just valued guests."They are the lifeblood of our economies and vital to the interests and pros- perity of our people.Those of us in government recognize this, and we work hard to create an environment that caters to the needs of tourists, knowing they chose our island to visit above many other options," de Jongh noted, adding,"But the enthu- siasmto provide a great experience and win the loyalty of our guests must be tempered by the need to preserve and protect these beautiful islands for our people and for future visitors. That means we must work to develop sustainable energy USVI Governor de Jongh speaks during a welcoming reception for participants in Caribbean Media Exchange conference. To the governor's right is Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty and Bevan Springer of Caribbean Media Exchange. and private sector are important to us all. "Each sector pro- foundly affects all the others, and as we all work to maintain our professional obligations and serve our specific interests, we find ourselves frequently crossing paths with each other. Sometimes these diverse groups appear conflicted and at odds, but in many ways that is the inherent brilliance of our system.We all push against each other to stand higher and do a better job," he added. For the Virgin Islands and so many of our neighbors, the tourists that come into our ports and fill our towns, beaches 30 sources, implement sound environmental protection policies, and avoid the kind of over development thatmay create short termrevenue but have a deleterious long termeffect." He said we all strive to create and foster a tourismindustry that positively impacts our islands and enhances the health and wellbeing of the native peoples. "This is a complex task inextricably linked to so many other challenging issues like environmental regulation, education, culture and financial health. This goal we all share will only be achieved through mutual cooperation, and for 10 years the CMEx conference has provided a venue for just that." Black Meetings & Tourism January/February 2012:

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