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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCHARTER CANCELLATION CONCERNS HOTEL GROUP

CHARTER CANCELLATION CONCERNS HOTEL GROUP

In reaction to a "misleading" headline in the Daily News on Saturday, the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association has issued a press release saying it is very concerned about the cancellation of GoGo's charter flight into the territory and clarifying its position.
The headline read: "Charter flights cancelled; Tourism officials say they aren't worried."
"The only reason we said we weren't concerned is that there were so few people on the flights that were scheduled to come in for the next six weeks, we were able to secure other seats on American Airlines flights for them," Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, told St. Thomas Source.
"Of course we're worried," she said.
One airline, American, dominates the destination and that is of real concern, Nicholson said.
She also said the Hotel Association supports having a territorial airline, as mentioned by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in his State of the Territory address this month.
"We have even written a letter of support to Ralph Blanchard," she said.
Blanchard has been trying for more than a decade to help the Virgin Islands develop its own airline. At a meeting of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce last November, he said it could be done for an investment of $10 million.
The Hotel Association has no interest in being in the airline business, she said.
"We're in the hotel business, not the airline business. We can, however, develop programs that would be mutually supportive if we have some control over the costs of airfare.
"For example, in the summer the hotels run specials — pay for five night and get six and seven free.
"That's worth an average of $300. We might be better off to put those dollars toward a 'companion fly free' type of special on the airfare."
Nicholson said the 1998 Christmas season was "wonderful" — the best since 1995.
In a telephone survey of the hotels for January, she said occupancy was in the mid-60-percent range: "Still the best since 1995, but not great."
February is looking stronger, she said, but March is still "soft."

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In reaction to a "misleading" headline in the Daily News on Saturday, the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association has issued a press release saying it is very concerned about the cancellation of GoGo's charter flight into the territory and clarifying its position.
The headline read: "Charter flights cancelled; Tourism officials say they aren't worried."
"The only reason we said we weren't concerned is that there were so few people on the flights that were scheduled to come in for the next six weeks, we were able to secure other seats on American Airlines flights for them," Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, told St. Thomas Source.
"Of course we're worried," she said.
One airline, American, dominates the destination and that is of real concern, Nicholson said.
She also said the Hotel Association supports having a territorial airline, as mentioned by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in his State of the Territory address this month.
"We have even written a letter of support to Ralph Blanchard," she said.
Blanchard has been trying for more than a decade to help the Virgin Islands develop its own airline. At a meeting of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce last November, he said it could be done for an investment of $10 million.
The Hotel Association has no interest in being in the airline business, she said.
"We're in the hotel business, not the airline business. We can, however, develop programs that would be mutually supportive if we have some control over the costs of airfare.
"For example, in the summer the hotels run specials -- pay for five night and get six and seven free.
"That's worth an average of $300. We might be better off to put those dollars toward a 'companion fly free' type of special on the airfare."
Nicholson said the 1998 Christmas season was "wonderful" -- the best since 1995.
In a telephone survey of the hotels for January, she said occupancy was in the mid-60-percent range: "Still the best since 1995, but not great."
February is looking stronger, she said, but March is still "soft."