In my 27 years on St. Croix, many of which I have spent promoting our wonderful tourism product, I have never run across a more negative message about our island from a person of stature than that quoted as coming from our Tourism Commissioner. No wonder tourism has failed here under her administration; she obviously has no faith in this island, and is indeed in the wrong place to help us. To deride us as the filthiest island in the Caribbean, to mention just one of her denigrating remarks, is not only unjust but speaks volumes about a serious attitude problem. A tourism commissioner is the person in charge of promoting, not demoting, the product.
If the Commissioner had just listened to the many wonderful praises of this island I have heard from visitors – statesiders as well as Europeans, she would not recognize the place she decries as not worthy of receiving tourists. I am glad that despite her many roadblocks for the Danish charters they are already a success, as evidenced by the large number of seats on the flights already sold.
Whatever motivation lies behind Commissioner Richards' remarks, she needs to know that she is not doing the job that taxpayers are supporting. If she has no faith in the St. Croix tourism product, it is time for her to resign. This otherwise intelligent woman can serve the Virgin Islands in many other productive ways. Just don't let her promote a place she disdains!
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