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Mon Apr 8, 2019, 03:20 PM

6 Virgin Island Senators Head to Seatrade, a Costly, Taxpayer-Funded Trip to Miami

Six senators are headed to Seatrade this week, the multi-day annual Cruise Global Conference being held in Miami, Florida this year, Senate President Kenneth Gittens has confirmed to The Consortium. Seatrade is the world’s largest gathering of who’s who in the cruise industry, and brings together cruise line executives, media, speakers, port representatives, ship builders and vendors to discuss most aspects of cruising.

At least three senators headed the conference this year have attended in the past with little to show for it. Senators Kurt Vialet and Myron Jackson, along with Mr. Gittens, have all made the annual, costly trip in prior years. None of the senators provided press releases to notify of the public of their attendance; Mr. Gittens told The Consortium he intended to issue a release after his arrival in Miami and after getting a sense of possible inroads he and other lawmakers intend to make.

“We have to continue to grow the industry so we wanted to make sure we are at the table with the opportunity to meet the [cruise line] executives one-on-one,” Mr. Gittens told The Consortium. Mr. Gittens recalled learning at Seatrade in 2016 that cruise lines would not send additional ships to St. Croix that year. He then made a plea at the conference requesting that cruise ships that were diverted from their original port of call for reasons such as bad whether, be sent to St. Croix. “We had several of them that year and even into 2017 before the hurricanes,” the senator said. “We’re also looking at trends… those are my reasons for wanting us to go and be at the table.”

The six senators attending are Mr. Gittens, Mr. Vialet, Mr. Jackson, Athneil Thomas, Oakland Benta and Steven Payne.

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/news-2/6-senators-head-to-seatrade-a-costly-taxpayer-funded-trip-to-miami/

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