Tourism Department tries ‘New Age’ marketing

Beverly Nicholson-Doty told a meeting of the Territory’s advertising industry it’s time for a change.  A new ‘brand’ for the islands is being developed.  As reported by the Virgin Islands  Daily News, it makes no sense.

The Tourism Commissioner said the former brand, America’s Paradise, has lost its kick.  "The idea just doesn’t work," Doty said, according to the newspaper.  Furthermore, travelers’ impressions of the VIs are not good … "same stores, cheap souvenirs … harassment by vendors and locals," the Daily News explained. (Who’s surprised by this?)

Anyway, Doty said the Territory’s $10 million Tourism spending will focus on a new image and selling platform for the islands. 

Instead of "exotic, yet familiar, which was the kernel of "America’s Paradise," there will be a new positioning concept. The new "working brand truth" is …"independent people seeking the freedom to indulge in an unscripted experience."  While the Commissioner said there’s work to be done refining the statement, this is the path they’re on. 

If you have ANY idea what the heck that means, please comment below.  It’s unintelligible. When I go on vacation, I want "an unscripted experience"?  How unfocused can we get?

Her remarks also indicated the Department hopes to attract more vacationers from Europe (where America is not too popular these days?  So that’s why ‘America’s Paradise’ isn’t working?)

Here’s the Daily News story: http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_home?id=17629385

10 thoughts on “Tourism Department tries ‘New Age’ marketing”

  1. When you’re ’embarrassed'(my words) to be associated with America (like her current slogan, “America’s Paradise”), maybe it’s time to step aside & let someone else champion the freedom & beauty of the Virgin Islands….which are an American territory & all of us here on the mainland are proud of that. We love the USVI!!!!

  2. I’m not sure what island(s) shes speaking of because I’ve NEVER been harrassed by vendors OR locals…I believe shes confusing the USVI to other islands…I agree with beachgirl…step aside, step aside….

  3. What’s wrong with AP? From the prairie, St. John is the place to go to hike and snorkel & vacation in the dead of winter. Kansas finally decided their most recent slogan is lame: “Kansas – as big as you think” No one outside state gov/tourism dept can figure out what it means.

  4. After spending several family vacations and also working at Maho for a month. Here is my take. .
    When my family (3 girls+wife) is with me we rent a villa and hangout there. We try to stay around Coral Bay. My family feels safer and we can enjoy the island from there as well as anywhere. We frequent the resturants in that area. My wife and girls are not really comforable in Cruz Bay. The locals seem to have the attitude that tourists are not welcome only tolerated. When I am by myself, I still stay around Coral Bay, but frequent any of the Cruz establishments. I enjoy the island and appreciate/understand it’s struggles. I also enjoy Woody’s / Larry’s and other bars, but my family doesn’t. It really is hard to please everyone, and especially in such a small area. It doesn’t need to be a fake Disney World!

  5. I agree with all the comments previous…the VI IS America’s Paradise! The new comment sounds too much like an international description of a hedonistic vacation. I have NO recollections of EVER being harassed by vendors. Maybe on St. Thomas that might happen, depending on where you are, but still I don’t remember it. Independent people can have their unscripted experiences somewhere else…imho.

  6. We love Cruz Bay…and feel safe with our young daughter while we’re there…honestly we’re back at our villa no later then 9pm…so…I’m not sure what the town is like late night…but we’ve never had any problems with the locals…

  7. We have been awakened by prowlers and the police and dogs chasing them on our deck. We do not feel St. John is safe anymore. After 15 years, we can’t come back.

  8. My wife and I have been to the St. John several times. The last trip was in early September. We did notice a difference in the locals. It is the end of the season and they seem to have an attitude that they want their island back and be a bit more aressive toward tourists now that it is “off season”. We were hasseled a few times in Cruz Bay but just delt with it. I agree with the comment that the locals, (not all), have the attitude of putting up with tourists and not making them feel welcome. Sad because tourist dollars really help keep the islands’ ecomomy alive. We are returning to St. John in July 2009…can’t wait to go back!

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