Black Meetings and Tourism

September / October 2016

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B M & T ••• September/October 2016 ••• 36 AREA GUIDES THE SMALL TO MEDIIUM MEETINGS CHOICE FOR GROWING NUMBERS OF PLANNERS BY SOLOMON HERBERT II The U.S. Virgin Islands is located in the eastern Caribbean, just 1,100 miles southeast of Miami. These Islands are one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. The white sand beaches with clear blue waters consistently rank among the top anywhere. The islands also boast one of the most favorable climates with an average temperature of 77 degrees F in the winter and 82 degrees F in the sum- mer. Steady trade winds keep the islands comfortably cool year round. Because of its beautiful beaches and the hospitable locals these islands serve meeting planners dearly for they provide a FUN yet productive environment for their clients. As an award-winning Caribbean resort, the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott in St. Thomas provides guests with an unmatched experience rich in romantic lore. This island paradise is an ideal setting for everything from large- scale annual meetings to corporate retreats. The hotel comes complete with facilities to hold a large meeting or confer- ence. The Grand Harbour Ballroom's 14,112 sq. ft. hosts up to 1,200 guests for a variety of events. In addition to holding medium to small meetings, the U.S.V.I. serves newlyweds looking for creative to take that next step of commitment. If your clients are seeking a romantic island getaway that intensifies their feelings of love and captivates their adventurous spirit, the U.S. Virgin Islands is the ideal spot for that storybook wed- ding. Tying the knot in the U.S. Virgin Islands is as stress-free as it is breathtaking with their sim- ple marriage laws, and there's no passport required for U.S. citizens. Once your clients arrive on the islands, experi- enced wedding planners and specialists commit to every last detail of their wedding, reception and honeymoon so that they can fully bask in the beauty of their special day. Coordinators will take care of the entire production, includ- ing menu selection, custom floral arrange- ments, photographers, musicians, and the incorporation of unique family traditions and themes into the ceremony. It's not just made beautiful; it's made easy. V.I. Carnival in St. Thomas is the first Carnival of the year, usually celebrated from mid-April to the beginning of May. Carnival has been a time to reconnect with family and friends and enjoy the cap- tivating music, vivacious dance, savory cuisine and spirited pageantry that make V.I. Carnival the second most popular cel- ebration in the Caribbean. Carnival in St. John combines the excitement of carnival with the spirit of emancipation. July 3, 1848, marks the date slaves were eman- cipated in the USVI. In honor of the USVI's independence, the St. John Festival takes place in late June and tradi- tionally culminates on July 4th. Last but not least, you can experience the rich her- itage and culture St. Croix has to offer during the Crucian Christmas Festival, celebrated from December through New Year's. Beverly Nicholson-Doty serves as Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S.V.I., a cabinet-level position. She oversees the Department of Tourism's advertising and marketing strategy, its national and i n t e r n a t i o n a l t o u r i s m - r e l a t e d efforts and product development. Passports are not required for U.S. citizens visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are daily non-stop flights from New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Atlanta and Miami as well as seasonal flights from Boston. Connecting service from Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and other major cities is also available. • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Carambola Beach Resort 151 Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort 166 Best Western Emerald Beach Resort 90 Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort 478 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort Total Exhibit Space 60,000 sq. ft Meeting Rooms 31 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? U.S. Virgin Islands (800)372-USVI U S V I Just one of the many beach's the USVI have to offer B E V E R LY N I C H O L S O N - D O T Y

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