NEW ORLEANS, United States, Monday August 21, 2017 – The United States Virgin Islands was promoted to travel agents and journalists as a prime destination for travelers to spend their hard-earned vacations and participate in meetings and conventions.
The USVI Department of Tourism outlined the Territory’s many attractions for a broad variety of activities to the participants at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention, which attracted more than 3,300 delegates.
The USVI tourism offerings enjoyed high visibility with journalists and communication specialists attending the 2017 NABJ Convention through its hosting of the convention’s popular Founders Reception for the seventh consecutive year.
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty highlighted the importance of cultivating strong relationships with African-American media professionals, including those who work with Black-owned media houses and those who are reporting on the national stage. She also enjoyed an informal discussion with former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, who is now the president and CEO of the National Urban League, which has 88 affiliates serving 300 communities, in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.
She was pleased to report on how the strong relationship with NABJ had positively impacted the coverage of the USVI in the multicultural and mainstream media served by NABJ members: “Our partnership with NABJ has truly changed the complexion of the stories emanating from the U.S. Virgin Islands as writers focus on our history, our culture and our people. This coverage is encouraging for our residents and enriching for our visitors.”
During the reception, guests were entertained by gifted Virgin Islands steel pan player Stan Brown, as well as mocko jumbie Alison Foy, who was accompanied by carnival dancers. A cocktail recipe featuring Cruzan rum was served at the reception at which NABJ Founder Paul Brock was honored for his tireless work in support of the 42-year-old organization. Founder Brock began his journalism career in St. Thomas.
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty participated in a NABJ panel about film and television where the Department’s new Real Nice ad campaign was unveiled and which encouraged aspiring and seasoned filmmakers to consider the U.S. Virgin Islands as a convenient location for shooting their upcoming projects.
Continuing its policy of encouraging youth to look more closely at the importance of tourism to the Territory’s economy, the Department of Tourism hosted two recent communications graduates of the University of the Virgin Islands, Kevon Browne and Augustus Laurencin, whose participation in the NABJ convention gave them rich networking opportunities, as well as continuing education.
As part of its marketing push in New Orleans, the Department of Tourism hosted a lunch for travel agents and meeting planners. A presentation by the Commissioner, and a vibrant cultural showcase, gave attendees deeper insight into what’s new in the USVI and travel sellers were reminded of the Territory’s rich offerings.
“The interest in the USVI was strong. A few already had upcoming bookings in the cards, while others – inspired by destination updates as well as a vibrant cultural presentation – are now keen to introduce their clients to the prospect of a Virgin Islands getaway,” the Commissioner noted.
U.S. Virgin Islands Senate President Senator Myron D. Jackson and Senator Marvin A. Blyden also attended the conference. Supporting the Department’s events in New Orleans with prize giveaways were Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort and The Buccaneer.