Dot & Eda To Host Conference On St. Croix To Prepare The Destination For The Return Of Cruise Ships

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – July 11, 2008 – In preparation for the return of cruise ship calls to the island of St. Croix, the Department of Tourism in conjunction with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) will host a conference covering topics from customer service to tour operations. Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. will deliver his welcome remarks to kick off the conference, followed by remarks from EDA CEO Percival Clouden. Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty will then revel the new branding for St. Croix and provide updates on cruise ship calls for the 2009/2010 season. Following these presentations, there will be a series of speakers, workshops and panel discussions meant to enable individuals and businesses to maximize the impact of cruise tourism in the St. Croix community.

The keynote address will be delivered by Tom Thomson of the Disney Institute who will share the Walt Disney “Success Formula” for providing great guest service. Special guest speaker Michelle Paige, Executive Director of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), will discuss successful port operations and offer valuable information regarding today’s cruise passengers: their wants, needs and habits. FCCA representatives will also conduct a series of workshops including “Hands-on Customer Service Training” and the “Caribbean Taxi Pride Program”. Panel discussions will cover “The

ABCs of Successful Tours”, “Promoting our Native Arts and Crafts” and the “The Business of Sustainable Tourism”.

“We all must do our part to make St. Croix a world-class destination.” said Commissioner Nicholson-Doty. “This conference is a great opportunity to prepare ourselves and the destination for the upcoming season.”

Preparing the Path Conference will take place on August 1, 2008 at Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort. Registration begins at 7:30 am and the conference concludes at 5:00 pm. The conference is free, but space is limited. For more information and to reserve a space contact Yolanda Bryan at 773-1404 ext. 4801 or e-mail ybryan@usvitourism.vi.