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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTOURISM'S A LAUGHING MATTER TO LUCINDA JURGENS

TOURISM'S A LAUGHING MATTER TO LUCINDA JURGENS

On a sunny day in Cruz Bay, the door to the little cottage in the park swings open and closed to the sounds of laughter. Inside, St. John's new Tourism Department representative, Lucinda Jurgens, is busy at work.
In a bright floor-length dress and duster, her blond-and-brown braids dressed at the back of her neck, Jurgens gets ready for the cruise ship crowd that will start trooping through town soon after the early morning taxi tours. A local retiree stops by to fuss over a brochure display he arranged in the office earlier, and one of Jurgens' friends is trying to tweak a limping tape player.
The new senior information officer for the Tourism Department on St. John is known to many as a singer with popular local instrumental groups — Cool Sessions Brass, the Carlye Powell Trio and the Ah We Band, to name a few. Jurgens says if she can coax the tape player into action, she will play some steelpan tunes in the office to welcome guests.
A visitor sitting in the sunny window of the Cruz Bay Tourism Bureau office watches tourists enter the cottage surrounded by flowers and shaded by a lignum vitae tree. Jurgens greets them and in a few smooth seconds manages to pop an island map in their hands, remind those who have vehicles to drive on the left, and coax most of them to sign her guest book.
Jurgens says one of the first things she did upon starting the job on March 13 was to tack an "Open" sign on the front door. Since then, she said, the bureau has been bustling. By noontime on many days, "I could meet with a good 80 visitors," she says.
Her guests' questions span the range of interests that people on vacation have: where to find the best snorkeling spots, the most serene beach; whether it's cheaper to catch the sights from a taxi, rental car or public bus; how to get a map of the trails in the V.I. National Park.
Jurgens points those asking for the trails map toward the new National Park Visitor Center ("It's the pink building outside the window") and those with other nature needs to the public restrooms ("across the street").
Assistant Tourism Commissioner Monique Sibilly-Hodge notes that the St. John bureau position went unfilled for more than a year. She says Jurgens impressed her at her application interview. "She's good with the public," Sibilly-Hodge says. "She's an entertainer, and she loves people."
The assistant commissioner has some ideas for Tourism outreach on St. John and is looking to Jurgens to help her introduce them. One is to set up an information booth near the Cruz Bay docks. The Port Authority has given its go-ahead, Sibilly-Hodge says, and Jurgens has helped to look for volunteers to hand out brochures and answer visitors' questions.
The Tourism bureau is a popular spot for locals as well as visitors, Jurgens points out, especially on Wednesdays, when taxi drivers come in to scoop up maps for passengers taking the island tour. And while tourists take their pick of the V.I. travel posters available in the cottage, she says, they aren't the only ones: Locals walk with them, too, to brighten their home or office — or perhaps the dormitory rooms of children far away from home at school.

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On a sunny day in Cruz Bay, the door to the little cottage in the park swings open and closed to the sounds of laughter. Inside, St. John's new Tourism Department representative, Lucinda Jurgens, is busy at work.
In a bright floor-length dress and duster, her blond-and-brown braids dressed at the back of her neck, Jurgens gets ready for the cruise ship crowd that will start trooping through town soon after the early morning taxi tours. A local retiree stops by to fuss over a brochure display he arranged in the office earlier, and one of Jurgens' friends is trying to tweak a limping tape player.
The new senior information officer for the Tourism Department on St. John is known to many as a singer with popular local instrumental groups -- Cool Sessions Brass, the Carlye Powell Trio and the Ah We Band, to name a few. Jurgens says if she can coax the tape player into action, she will play some steelpan tunes in the office to welcome guests.
A visitor sitting in the sunny window of the Cruz Bay Tourism Bureau office watches tourists enter the cottage surrounded by flowers and shaded by a lignum vitae tree. Jurgens greets them and in a few smooth seconds manages to pop an island map in their hands, remind those who have vehicles to drive on the left, and coax most of them to sign her guest book.
Jurgens says one of the first things she did upon starting the job on March 13 was to tack an "Open" sign on the front door. Since then, she said, the bureau has been bustling. By noontime on many days, "I could meet with a good 80 visitors," she says.
Her guests' questions span the range of interests that people on vacation have: where to find the best snorkeling spots, the most serene beach; whether it's cheaper to catch the sights from a taxi, rental car or public bus; how to get a map of the trails in the V.I. National Park.
Jurgens points those asking for the trails map toward the new National Park Visitor Center ("It's the pink building outside the window") and those with other nature needs to the public restrooms ("across the street").
Assistant Tourism Commissioner Monique Sibilly-Hodge notes that the St. John bureau position went unfilled for more than a year. She says Jurgens impressed her at her application interview. "She's good with the public," Sibilly-Hodge says. "She's an entertainer, and she loves people."
The assistant commissioner has some ideas for Tourism outreach on St. John and is looking to Jurgens to help her introduce them. One is to set up an information booth near the Cruz Bay docks. The Port Authority has given its go-ahead, Sibilly-Hodge says, and Jurgens has helped to look for volunteers to hand out brochures and answer visitors' questions.
The Tourism bureau is a popular spot for locals as well as visitors, Jurgens points out, especially on Wednesdays, when taxi drivers come in to scoop up maps for passengers taking the island tour. And while tourists take their pick of the V.I. travel posters available in the cottage, she says, they aren't the only ones: Locals walk with them, too, to brighten their home or office -- or perhaps the dormitory rooms of children far away from home at school.