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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTOURISM OFFICIALS: $7 MILLION TO ADVERTISE V.I.

TOURISM OFFICIALS: $7 MILLION TO ADVERTISE V.I.

The V.I. Department of Tourism is set to air radio advertisements in major U.S. markets and is also producing a TV campaign.
The only downside to the much-anticipated and much-needed marketing effort, members of the St. Croix Accommodations Council learned Tuesday, is that the ads will be for March and the summer season respectively. That will place the ads in the consciousness of potential visitors months after the height of the season and as spring calls on the mainland.
The soon-to-be-aired radio ads will be heard in 12 northeastern states at about 58 spots per week, said acting Tourism Commissioner Monique Sibilly Hodge. Production for the TV ads will start in mid-March.
"They will mention St. Croix specifically," she said, adding that past marketing has tended to overlook the Big Island. "I can’t say that enough."
Members of the Accommodations Council grilled Hodge and Assistant Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards on how much their department actually has available for marketing the Virgin Islands for the current year. Hodge was slow to give an actual amount until Richards joined the discussion.
"I would feel very confident that they (Gov. Charles Turnbull’s administration) are committed to $7 million," Richards said.
Hodge said the $7 million would be used specifically for advertising the Virgin Islands. She said Turnbull has promised an extra $1.5 million for the summer season if the hoteliers match the government’s amount.
Hodge also said the department has been paying bills owed to former vendors – some from past administrations – to the tune of $5 million.
"We’ve had to pay them," Hodge said. "We mean that this year we had to pay them."
After some back-and-forth with members, it was explained that the $5 million in vendor payments wasn’t taken from the $7 million for advertising. The $5 million, however, didn’t come from a recent $300 million government bond issue either, part of which was to be used for paying vendors.
Meanwhile, Hodge said efforts to have the basketball star Tim Duncan, a Cruzan, film promotional spots as part of a contract with the government have begun. She said the department has been in contact with Duncan’s lawyers, but he is in the middle of the NBA season.
"It’s very difficult to get him off the court and get a basketball out of his hands," she said.

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The V.I. Department of Tourism is set to air radio advertisements in major U.S. markets and is also producing a TV campaign.
The only downside to the much-anticipated and much-needed marketing effort, members of the St. Croix Accommodations Council learned Tuesday, is that the ads will be for March and the summer season respectively. That will place the ads in the consciousness of potential visitors months after the height of the season and as spring calls on the mainland.
The soon-to-be-aired radio ads will be heard in 12 northeastern states at about 58 spots per week, said acting Tourism Commissioner Monique Sibilly Hodge. Production for the TV ads will start in mid-March.
"They will mention St. Croix specifically," she said, adding that past marketing has tended to overlook the Big Island. "I can’t say that enough."
Members of the Accommodations Council grilled Hodge and Assistant Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards on how much their department actually has available for marketing the Virgin Islands for the current year. Hodge was slow to give an actual amount until Richards joined the discussion.
"I would feel very confident that they (Gov. Charles Turnbull’s administration) are committed to $7 million," Richards said.
Hodge said the $7 million would be used specifically for advertising the Virgin Islands. She said Turnbull has promised an extra $1.5 million for the summer season if the hoteliers match the government’s amount.
Hodge also said the department has been paying bills owed to former vendors – some from past administrations – to the tune of $5 million.
"We’ve had to pay them," Hodge said. "We mean that this year we had to pay them."
After some back-and-forth with members, it was explained that the $5 million in vendor payments wasn’t taken from the $7 million for advertising. The $5 million, however, didn’t come from a recent $300 million government bond issue either, part of which was to be used for paying vendors.
Meanwhile, Hodge said efforts to have the basketball star Tim Duncan, a Cruzan, film promotional spots as part of a contract with the government have begun. She said the department has been in contact with Duncan’s lawyers, but he is in the middle of the NBA season.
"It’s very difficult to get him off the court and get a basketball out of his hands," she said.