A British Virgin Islands Tourism Research Competition, intended to ensure greater understanding of the importance of the tourism industry among residents of the Territory, has been officially launched. There are three objectives: foster research and dialogue on the significance of the tourism dollar to the BVI economy; explore strategies for coping with the current global economic downturn as it relates to the effects on tourism; bring balance and a diversity of viewpoints to the tourism sector.

Acting Director of the BVI Tourist Board Ms. Hadassah Ward stated that the competition is open to all residents of the Virgin Islands who are 18 years and older. The actual submission of research papers must be done electronically by May 1, 2010. The judging criteria include areas such as organization and clarity of content, significance and quality of the submission and writing skills.

The top four finalists will be notified by July 15, with presentations of their work scheduled for September this year. The overall winner of the competition will be given an expense-paid trip to the International Tourism Exhibition (ITB) in Berlin, Germany in 2011. The winner will accompany representatives from the BVI Tourist Board to that event to gain firsthand experience of how the Territory’s tourism product is marketed globally.

For more information, contact the BVI Tourist Board. This is an important initiative of partnership between government and resients with a common goal.