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BVI Confirms Ward as Tourism Director

Monday, August 9– At the July 28 meeting of Cabinet, the decision was taken to confirm Acting Director of Tourism Ms. Hadassah Ward as Director of Tourism. Ms. Ward, previously the Deputy Director of Tourism, has been the Acting Director for two years.

Cabinet’s decision was made on Ms. Ward’s record in difficult times. A few of her achievements include a global restructuring of the organisation; bringing the true picture of the Board’s financial situation to light, and in recent weeks, working with the Board’s attorney Farara Kerins to spearhead the overturning of the ruling in the Zimmerman suit against the BVI Tourist Board in which the Board was successful.

Preliminary figures from the Development Planning Unit also show a more than ten percent increase in year-to-date visitor arrivals to the Territory. Key to the increase in visitors for the first six months in 2010 was a return to focusing on niche marketing and building relationships with international and local partners.

The move to decrease the Territory’s dependence on international agencies and relying on Tourist Board’s staff expertise to execute marketing projects also lead to notable savings. Ms. Ward is also credited with leading the Tourist Board’s development of new international creative to be launched in autumn 2010.

“Much of what Ms. Ward was tasked with was the unglamorous work that had to be done to bring the Board into a position from where we can move forward, there is much more to be done but Ms. Ward and her team are on the right track and we have every confidence that they will continue to do good work on behalf of the people of this Territory,” said Premier and Minister of Tourism Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE.

The restructuring included the implementation of a senior management team which works closely to oversee operations and promotional activities. The team comprises Chief Financial Officer Mrs. Lucia Lettsome; Human Resources Manager Ms. Jennifer David; Manager, Administrative Affairs, Mrs. Malcia Smith-Hamilton; Manager for Promotional Activities Ms. Lynette Harrigan; Manager for North American Operations Ms. Perla George and Manager for European Operations, Ms. Gabi Romberg.

The BVI Tourist Board serves to promote, foster and encourage tourist investment within the Virgin Islands by measurements deemed fit by the Board. The Board also serves to develop amenities to enhance the Virgin Islands as a holiday, pleasure or health resort.

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