May 18, 2004 – Representatives from the V.I. Department of Tourism and the Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association attended the 36th Annual Travel Industry Association of America's International Pow Wow, at the end of April in Los Angeles.
"Our participation in this international travel showcase was important for the U.S. Virgin Islands' continued international marketing efforts," Pamela Richards, commissioner of tourism, said. "The positive responses we received from participants will bring a heightened interest in and awareness of the USVI in the international traveling community."
V.I. representatives included Monique Sibilly-Hodge, assistant commissioner; Ludvig Harrigan, manager, Los Angeles regional office of the V.I. tourism department; Olga Mazzoni, Italy office of the department; Beverly Nicholson, president, V. I. Hotel and Tourism Association; Wein Demitros, general manager, Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel; and Bray McNamara, Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort.
According to a press release, the Pow Wow is the travel industry's premier international marketplace. More than 1,500 international delegates from 71 countries and nearly 400 members of the international and domestic press were in attendance at this year's show. Sibilly-Hodge stated that the USVI had a good turnout at the booth and met with delegates representing companies in countries such as Denmark, Germany, England and Italy.
Glenn Tilton, chairman and CEO of United Airlines, was the keynote speaker. Tilton urged attendees to support the industry's recovery by making travel as convenient and comfortable as possible.
Touching on security concerns involved in international travel, Tilton stated, "One critical fact none of us should ever lose sight of: our customers, having experienced the joy of travel, do not want to be denied the opportunity to travel." Another highlight of Pow Wow was the announcement that overall spending by domestic and international travelers is expected to increase by six percent this year.
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