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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesA Genuine Welcome Could Help Tourism

A Genuine Welcome Could Help Tourism

Dear Source:

I note a continuing dialog re the alleged lack of customer-service in our Territory, and some correspondents' reactions that this is not confined to the VI. I also observe a continuing number of print ads in publications in the Territory that declares we are all part of making tourism succeed. In my experience, the critics are correct; in St Thomas one seldom encounters service providers who are enthusiastic and really want to please customers.
This does not have to be. My wife and I recently visited Belize, a small country on the Caribbean side of Central America. From our first encounter with a Belizian to the last, the friendliness and interest in meeting and serving visitors never stopped. If you want to encounter nation-wide interest and enthusiasm about visitors, visit Belize! There, residents initiate greetings, and passers-by stop to ask whether you are enjoying Belize. Definitely not a common VI experience. Upon my return, in my first encounter with a service provider, I was waiting in line to pick up a prescription on Christmas Eve. When the clerk saw my cash card, she growled "The machine don't work." End of conversation. Were it not for the difficulty of changing the prescription servicer I can tell you that my business would be going elsewhere.
We can all do a lot better. I like our greeting each other, but it should be more than superficial. Until we genuinely welcome visiting and local clients alike we risk losing the whole tourism apple.

Adrian Bishop
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.

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Dear Source:

I note a continuing dialog re the alleged lack of customer-service in our Territory, and some correspondents' reactions that this is not confined to the VI. I also observe a continuing number of print ads in publications in the Territory that declares we are all part of making tourism succeed. In my experience, the critics are correct; in St Thomas one seldom encounters service providers who are enthusiastic and really want to please customers.
This does not have to be. My wife and I recently visited Belize, a small country on the Caribbean side of Central America. From our first encounter with a Belizian to the last, the friendliness and interest in meeting and serving visitors never stopped. If you want to encounter nation-wide interest and enthusiasm about visitors, visit Belize! There, residents initiate greetings, and passers-by stop to ask whether you are enjoying Belize. Definitely not a common VI experience. Upon my return, in my first encounter with a service provider, I was waiting in line to pick up a prescription on Christmas Eve. When the clerk saw my cash card, she growled "The machine don't work." End of conversation. Were it not for the difficulty of changing the prescription servicer I can tell you that my business would be going elsewhere.
We can all do a lot better. I like our greeting each other, but it should be more than superficial. Until we genuinely welcome visiting and local clients alike we risk losing the whole tourism apple.

Adrian Bishop
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.