“TOURISM IS KEY AND IT BEGINS WITH ME” A New Catch Phrase Launched At Tourism Week

By anguillian December 7, 2015 09:47 Updated



Billboards mounted in strategic locations are continuing to create an awareness among the citizenry of Anguilla about the importance of tourism to the general economic life of the island and the need for the support of all and sundry.

The initial rallying phrase, “Tourism is Key”, has now been personalised “Tourism is Key and it begins with me”. The revamped phrase was introduced on Saturday, November 28, at The Valley Street Festival to coincide with the current Tourism Week celebrations in Anguilla with a number of industry partners wearing conspicuous buttons touting the new catch phrase. This is in addition to “Transforming Tourism Through Collaboration and Partnership” – the theme of the week of activities.

Re-elected President of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association (AHTA), Mr. Delroy Lake, Manager of Anacaona Boutique Hotel, was appreciative of a number of persons who turned up wearing the awareness button at last Saturday’s opening of Tourism Week. The event was marked with an expanded Valley Street Fair which not only took up the usual location at the People’s Market, but also, a short distance away, the grounds of the Tourist Board Building and the Department of Agriculture as well as the opposite side of the main road there.
Mr. Lake called on all Anguillians to consider what tourism means to them and what part of their role should be. “We need to partner with businesses, investors, government, employees and employers regarding what tourism means to this island and come up with strategies for moving the island forward,” he stated.

Lake, who chaired the opening ceremony, continued: “Tourism Week is an opportunity for Anguillians to reflect on the impact that tourism has on their lives. As the economic engine on Anguilla, tourism basically has an effect on everyone and everything. Today, the biggest discussion is actually on the banking crisis but little is being discussed about tourism…It is important to pay much attention to tourism as the economic engine in Anguilla. We need to rev-up this engine itget to going… and tourism is everybody’s business.

“Today, the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association is launching a tourism awareness campaign called ‘Tourism is Key and it begins with me’ and a few people are wearing those buttons. It is a campaign to get residents to understand that they have a part to play in the success of Anguilla’s tourism…You can assist by keeping our island clean. If you work in a customer service business, you can certainly give top quality service to your customer. If you are a business, you ought to contribute to the marketing of Anguilla to the world. Many of the businesses on Anguilla are the biggest benefactors of tourism yet they do not contribute one dime to the marketing of this island so that we can have a vibrant industry.”
The AHTA President advised that economic diversification will not happen anytime soon “and so, certainly, tourism is key to the future success of Anguilla. Therefore, it must begin with each person and certainly every business on Anguilla.”

Chairperson of the Anguilla Tourist Board, Mrs. Donna Banks, joined Mr. Lake in stressing that members of the public should consider themselves as a very integral part of the tourist industry. “It is not about the Tourist Board, the Hotel and Tourism Association and others. We are all part of the tourism industry and we have to understand that if we do not work together we can’T have a successful industry,” she told her listeners. “We, the Directors of the Anguilla Tourist Board have a two-year mandate and it is our intention that at the end of those two years we would see a change where there is a real partnership between the public and private sector. We have nothing to sell as a Tourist Board. We only have a destination so therefore we need to work closely with our hotel, restaurant and event partners…to be part of the overall development of the industry.

Mrs. Banks went on: “Real transformation [of the tourist industry] will only take place when we all work in harmony with a shared vision to make Anguilla top of the mind for travellers when we provide visitors with a genuine Anguilla hospitality; when our service is once again exemplary; and when our accommodations are of a high quality. When we selected the theme, we recognised that our tourism industry is in a critical state and transformation means change. It means that we have to take a hard look at what is going on in our industry and make some deliberate changes if we want to see the results that we desire. We cannot achieve transformation of our tourism industry alone. It has to be through collaboration and partnership.”

She added: “We are asking you, our partners, to join us in restoring Anguilla’s image to what it once was. The Anguilla Tourist Board is going to be much more visible. This week we have a series of activities. We are working with the Immigration and Customs Departments, the Anguilla Ports Authority and hotels on a frontline training programme…to ensure that the service we provide to our visitors and residents is above reproach or criticism. We have also extended an invitation to our senior public servants, and our senior persons in the private sector, to attend a one day State of the Industry Seminar.”

A similar seminar was conducted in Anguilla in 2008 and, according to Mrs. Banks, it is a time, – seven years later – for another such seminar to be held.

Mr. Foster Rogers, Permanent Secretary, Tourism and Economic Development, congratulated the Tourism Board the Hotel and Tourism Association for organising Tourism Week and for their joint work to sensitised the Anguillian public that “tourism is the main pillar that drives the island’s economy.”

Mr Rogers declared open Tourism Week 2015 on behalf of Mr. Victor Banks, Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism who is in London attending the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council Meeting.

The Valley Street Festival, which also included the involvement of the Department of Youth and Culture, had a crowded programme. It featured various displays of arts and crafts, local foods and music and dance performances by the Albena Lake-Hodge Steel Orchestra, FWD Dance Troupe, Klassique Dance Troupe, Took & The Boys String Band, North Sound Brass International and the Mayoumba Folkloric Theatre; a tourism jeopardy, a children’s treasure hunt activity; and a fashion show by Runaway Anguilla.

By anguillian December 7, 2015 09:47 Updated


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