Hello from Rochester, NY:
I have visited your idyllic paradise twice now, having returned recently from our second wonderful and relaxing visit.
I have a background in public relations, special events and promotion, media relations and publicity and radio. I wish to share some thoughts regarding the cruise ship dilemma and status of tourism on St. Croix.
If you create something that is enticing, attractive and convenient for cruise ship passengers, the operators of these ships would recognize it and arrange a return.
Offer several "Passports to Paradise" or "Paradise Packages" from which ship passengers may choose and their operators would arrange for them.
Perhaps a special fleet of taxi vans would be employed just for these tours, and operators could only sign-on if they complied with your requirements. All of the vans should look similar and bear a similar logo.
If drivers are reluctant to chat up island history (and it is hard to understand the accent if you're not used to it), it might be possible to create a CD or cassette tape the driver would play so passengers could learn some history and get a taste of island music, including quelbe. (You could accept advertising from local businesses to cover costs of creating these CD's or tapes, which could be updated every month).
– Package #1: Visits Cruzan Rum Factory, another cultural stop and one beach.
– Package #2: Visits one beach, shopping in Fredericksted and one cultural stop.
– Package #3: Shopping in Christiansted, one beach and one cultural stop
– Package #4: Visits Buck Island for Snorkeling, lunch, etc
The combinations are endless, and can be changed according to what seems most popular. One package could be more family oriented so kids don't get board, another might be more oriented to senior citizens. Some folks want to shop, others want the beach experience, others don't want either and like the museums, plantations, etc.
The open stands set up near the St. Thomas dock seem very popular, and I will never forget the singing jewelry vendor during my 2003 visit. She really knew how to sell to the tourists, and I sure fell for it, no regrets at all. It would be wonderful to have a similar "Vendor Village" dockside where the ships come in and out for last minute and inexpensive purchases from local folks who could use the visitor dollars.
I see so much potential for the island. I think about it all the time, and we keep dreaming about a move there someday.
If I can be of any help to generate ideas or come up with clever headlines, slogans, ad copy, etc., it would be my pleasure to assist. I would be happy to do voiceovers for any recorded material, narration, etc. at no charge if ever needed.
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