June 10, 2003 – It was Caribbean Week in New York City June 1-7, and the Virgin Islands was there, according to a release from Martin Public Relations, the territory's mainland publicity agency.
The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization, which used to have its headquarters in New York, sponsors the annual week of island events and attractions. The event brings together tourism officials from the region, travel agents and travel media people.
V.I. representatives used the opportunity to distribute information "to national journalists, travel agents and the public, making a huge push for travel to our islands," Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards said.
Enticements included Caribbean music, dance, mocko jumbies, food, drink, art and fashions. On the serious side were seminars, marketing meetings, networking sessions and media events. All were aimed at encouraging increased visitor traffic to the Caribbean through a collaborative effort by all CTO member states. At CTO meetings, Richards said, regional marketing initiatives and cooperative tourism projects were discussed.
The first-ever Caribbean Week Fair, held in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street on June 2, attracted thousands of visitors, according to the release. To kick off the event, mocko jumbie Willard John and steelpan player Francis Callwood appeared on the Fox TV program "Good Day New York," performing periodically from 6:30 to 9 a.m. V.I. representatives at the fair gave out information about vacations to more than 3,000 attendees.
A major event on this year's CTO calendar is the 26th annual Caribbean Tourism Conference, set for Oct. 13-19. It is to be held on St. Thomas.
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