May 4 through 12 is National Travel and Tourism Week, and the Tourism Department has put the word out that it wants residents to be involved. The department plans to address two areas of critical importance to both residents and visitors: island cleanliness and customer service.
This year’s theme, Let’s Clean Up Our Act!, calls on everyone to put their best foot forward to make the territory a better place to live and to visit.
Tourism Week kicks off with a territorywide cleanup starting at 8:30 a.m. May 4.
Locations on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix will soon be announced as designated meeting stations for teams of volunteers to gather before setting out to clean neighborhoods, commercial zones and roadsides. Volunteers will be provided a T-shirt, gloves and drinking water.
"Cleaning up our islands is an important act that will confirm the strong pride that lives within our community," Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson Doty said in a press release issued Tuesday. "We ask the community to come out and support this initiative to help keep our islands clean for everyone to enjoy."
In keeping with the theme of cleaning up our act, later in Tourism Week the department will focus on customer service. Free customer service workshops will be held May 7 and 8 on St. Croix and May 9 and 10 on St. Thomas.
Conducted by professional service trainer Bryan Williams, the workshops will focus on world class service delivery, including special sessions for managers and supervisors, taxi operators and airport personnel.
"As members of a tourism-based community, providing exceptional customer service is essential to the success of our destination and our future prosperity," Doty said.
"Equally important is the level of service we provide each other as residents of the Virgin Islands, which is why we encourage the public at large to participate in the workshops and help make the Virgin Islands a more hospitable place for all of us."
The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. Localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel. It was established as National Tourism Week when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May.
Other local activities taking place during National Tourism Week include school visits to speak with students about customer service, the importance of tourism and the need to keep our islands clean. Tourism Department representatives will reinforce these messages during interviews planned on local radio programs.
Throughout May, the department will also run a television advertising campaign promoting its customer service pledge, a commitment the territory’s employees and businesses can make to improve the level of service they provide their customers.
To take the pledge, go to www.usviservicepledge.com. For more information about National Tourism Week activities, call 774-8784.