For Immediate Release

Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Contacts:

Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism +1 340 774-8784

ahenneman@usvitourism.vi

Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence +1 201 861-2056

bevan@marketplaceexcellence.com

ELIZABETH HANSEN WATLEY NAMED ACTING DIRECTOR OF NEW DIVISION OF FESTIVALS

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (August 14, 2019) – The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has named Assistant Commissioner of Tourism Elizabeth Hansen Watley as the Acting Director of the new Division of Festivals.

Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte announced that until a director is identified, Assistant Commissioner Hansen Watley will be responsible for leading the charge to manage and promote the new division with her first order of business to launch plans for the upcoming Crucian Christmas Festival – December 4, 2019 to January 4, 2020.

Commissioner Boschulte said with the passage of Legislative Act 8153, the Department continues to work with members of the Virgin Islands Legislature and the Office of Management and Budget to secure full funding to staff the Division of Festivals and the Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage Institute within the Department of Tourism.

“As an established music and cultural ambassador of the Virgin Islands, we believe Assistant Commissioner Hansen Watley is well placed to help launch and execute efforts to establish our islands as a world-class destination for cultural celebrations,” he said.

The Department of Tourism, which has an oversight role for the financial budget for festivals, has begun the recruitment process to fill positions within the division, all of which will be advertised. These include positions such as assistant directors of festivals, an assistant director of marketing, administrative specialists, accounts payable specialists, as well as a permanent director of festivals and a director of the Cultural Heritage Institute.

The position of festival director will be posted this week, with the aim of having a permanent head in place by September 30, 2019.

With her additional responsibilities, Assistant Commissioner Hansen Watley will oversee the running and marketing of all the official events and festivals taking place in the Territory.

The Division of Festivals within the Department of Tourism is expected to plan and implement several activities, ranging from organizing events to rolling out an aggressive marketing campaign.

St. Croix-based Shamari Haynes was recently appointed as a Special Marketing Assistant to help Assistant Commissioner Hansen Watley and her team with festival plans.

The U.S. Virgin Islands celebrates three major events: Crucian Christmas Festival (St. Croix), Virgin Islands Carnival (St. Thomas) and St. John Festival. Each event features beauty pageants, music concerts, sporting events and food fairs, all displaying  the rich history and cultural heritage of the Territory.