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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 8, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTHE BEST OF TIMES -- THE WORST OF TIMES

THE BEST OF TIMES — THE WORST OF TIMES

For U.S. Virgin Islands tourism, it is the best of times and the worst of times.
Sound familiar? Sure. And the state of affairs in the Tourism Department IS a tale of two.
Two factions, two islands. The misguided public sector versus the private. St. Croix versus St. Thomas.
In all, the story of tourism is a true story of chameleons. And boy, did it begin to unfold — unravel — the other day. First with the ouster of Cain Magras, then the overnight rise to stardom of Monique Sibilly-Hodge.
Indeed, it is the Best of Times. We have yet another chance and the good fortune to be in a position to reshape tourism. The chance to learn from recent lessons of political favor, self-serving greed, hidden agenda, ineptitude and wallowing in "Hollywood."
It is only the Worst of Times because we are in a desperate period and highly vulnerable to exploitation by masked knights in shining armor.
Rather than take the latter track which is so easy to fall into, we should grasp this opportunity to seriously look at the big picture and strategize well. Acknowledge our shortcomings, swallow pride and roll up the sleeves.
Not fall prey to smooth talking "miracle workers" and hasty decisions. Avoid being easily impressed. Cease the hand-put of political paybacks in plum jobs at something called Tourism which to too many falsely means parties, fancy travel and trips, front row seats at Lion King on Broadway two weeks before Christmas, home-plate box seats at Yankee Stadium, the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont and so on.
These are only perks that come at the END of a very hard day's work.
Rather, why not grab quality professionals with the real know-how, the ones with the least appetite for politics. Meld a team regardless of politics, race, creed and above all — quota by island.
The islands are three main beauties. Our marketability is the very unique, individual nature and character of each island which lie no more than a half-hour from each other. Together they all make up a perfect vacation. (Sounds like ad copy!)
So here we sit again, at the crossroads.
How many times are we going to count our blessings?! We have been given yet another signal. Can they not read?
The question remains: How serious is this government about tourism?
Shouldn't the next commissioner to be:
A marketer?
International business savvy?
A no-nonsense and creative executive or manager?
A driver with a destination in mind?
A strategist?
What is the candidate's stand on:
Changing the handling/organization of Tourism?
The politics-laden organization as it exists?
Empowerment to hire his or her own soldiers, regardless of political and social affiliation?
On external sales (i.e., the infamous do-nothing off-shore offices)?
The tourism traffic light is flashing amber: proceed cautiously.
Editors' note: Steve Bornn, who is well-versed in the travel and leisure industry, heads an events marketing and production firm. He has free-lanced for several publications.

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For U.S. Virgin Islands tourism, it is the best of times and the worst of times.
Sound familiar? Sure. And the state of affairs in the Tourism Department IS a tale of two.
Two factions, two islands. The misguided public sector versus the private. St. Croix versus St. Thomas.
In all, the story of tourism is a true story of chameleons. And boy, did it begin to unfold -- unravel -- the other day. First with the ouster of Cain Magras, then the overnight rise to stardom of Monique Sibilly-Hodge.
Indeed, it is the Best of Times. We have yet another chance and the good fortune to be in a position to reshape tourism. The chance to learn from recent lessons of political favor, self-serving greed, hidden agenda, ineptitude and wallowing in "Hollywood."
It is only the Worst of Times because we are in a desperate period and highly vulnerable to exploitation by masked knights in shining armor.
Rather than take the latter track which is so easy to fall into, we should grasp this opportunity to seriously look at the big picture and strategize well. Acknowledge our shortcomings, swallow pride and roll up the sleeves.
Not fall prey to smooth talking "miracle workers" and hasty decisions. Avoid being easily impressed. Cease the hand-put of political paybacks in plum jobs at something called Tourism which to too many falsely means parties, fancy travel and trips, front row seats at Lion King on Broadway two weeks before Christmas, home-plate box seats at Yankee Stadium, the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont and so on.
These are only perks that come at the END of a very hard day's work.
Rather, why not grab quality professionals with the real know-how, the ones with the least appetite for politics. Meld a team regardless of politics, race, creed and above all -- quota by island.
The islands are three main beauties. Our marketability is the very unique, individual nature and character of each island which lie no more than a half-hour from each other. Together they all make up a perfect vacation. (Sounds like ad copy!)
So here we sit again, at the crossroads.
How many times are we going to count our blessings?! We have been given yet another signal. Can they not read?
The question remains: How serious is this government about tourism?
Shouldn't the next commissioner to be:
A marketer?
International business savvy?
A no-nonsense and creative executive or manager?
A driver with a destination in mind?
A strategist?
What is the candidate's stand on:
Changing the handling/organization of Tourism?
The politics-laden organization as it exists?
Empowerment to hire his or her own soldiers, regardless of political and social affiliation?
On external sales (i.e., the infamous do-nothing off-shore offices)?
The tourism traffic light is flashing amber: proceed cautiously.
Editors' note: Steve Bornn, who is well-versed in the travel and leisure industry, heads an events marketing and production firm. He has free-lanced for several publications.