DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM HOSTS 3rd ANNUAL SMALL HOTELS CONFERENCE
By Cathy O'Gara on 11th September, 2012
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, September 11, 2012 – As part of the Department of Tourism’s ongoing commitment to the destination’s small hotels, the Department will host the 3rd Annual Small Hotels Conference to provide marketing and technical support to hotels in the Territory with 50 rooms or less. The two-day conference will take place on September 27 at the Sugar Bay Resort & Spa on St. Thomas and on September 28 at The Buccaneer hotel on St. Croix from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The conference will offer four panel discussions, a lunch presentation, and one customer service session each day, providing small hotels with important marketing techniques and operational information to help enhance their businesses.
The first workshop, Marketing Your Small Hotel, will focus on how hoteliers can utilize public relations, and social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to increase awareness and build customer loyalty. The next presentation, Energy Efficiency for Small Hotels, brings together representatives from WAPA, the VI Energy Office and local solar supply companies who will provide energy- and money- saving tips and tools to conference participants. The hospitality research experts at Smith’s Travel Research will report on the industry’s current trends and forecasts in theIndustry Overview presentation. The VI Police Department as well as private sector security experts will offer tips on safety and security measures which small hotels can implement in the Safety & Security for Small Hotels panel. The session on Enhancing & Updating Your Hotel Property will address the importance of property enhancements and beautification, and interior designers and landscaping experts will discuss creative ideas while financial experts will speak about loan and investment opportunities available for small hoteliers. Concluding each day will be a “train the trainer” seminar, which will be led by Dr. Bryan Williams of BW Enterprises, and will focus on helping hotel owners to motivate their team members to deliver exceptional customer service and in turn improve the guest experience.
“Supporting our destination’s small hotels with marketing and training is an important part of our strategy to enhance our tourism product and assist local businesses,” said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson Doty. “We are pleased to continue our support of our Territory’s small hotels as part of our dedicated marketing plan for this segment.”
In 2009 the Department of Tourism launched a comprehensive marketing plan to promote the small hotel segment which included the development of the evergreen Inntimate Treasures package, a dedicated ad campaign, a small hotels section on the DOT’s bimonthly newsletter, separate identification for the small hotel segment on the DOT web site visitusvi.com, and a small hotels brochure featuring photos and descriptions of all of the small hotels in the territory.
To participate in the free conference, advanced registration is required. Small hotels interested in registering should contact the Department of Tourism. Hoteliers in the St. Croix district should contact Carlotta Luis at 340-772-0357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hoteliers in the St. Thomas/St. John district should contact Keezi Pinney at 340-774-8784 or email email@example.com.
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Contact: Allegra Kean-Moorehea
USVI Department of Tourism
Director of Communications
(340) 774-8784 ext. 2234