A wake up call indeed, I agree with Dr. Solomon Kabuka in his editorial "The Article Should Serve as a Wake up Call" We must bring all the stakeholders to the table to solve our critical problems that were outlined in the article and focus on implementation, but not because the article says so but because we want to do it. The forum should include the private sector and public sector members from the local chamber of commerce, environmental groups, and taxi associations to the governmental department heads. Without action now, are we just loving our islands to death?
Issues addressed should include protecting our environment to planning for development. Our leaders should bring forth a plan for development and conservation, side by side. The selection of the territorial park system members by the administration and the implementation of a real land and water use plan and the density districts should be a focus. Efforts to clean our islands might not have been mentioned in the article but it is a great concern to all of us. We need to solve not only our waste and sewage issues but form a better program that is outlined by the Waste Management Authority.
The Hotel Association and Department of Tourism should continue with the Hospitality Focus Group of the past and continue with the Tommy Star awards for highlighting the stars in our industry. We need more of a carrot approach and less of a stick in training for our tourism industry. Our transportation system of moving folks across the island is in need of real change, including land and water based service. While we continue to repair our historic buildings and parks, we need more local arts and crafts and cultural events for a true Virgin Islands experience for ourselves and our guests. These are but a few issues that I hope to see solved. We can hold a public forum as Dr.Kabuka suggested, but are we willing to step up to the plate?
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