Utila Chamber of Tourism

March 1st, 2010
by Patrick Flynn

[private] v8-3-Utila PerspectiveIt is said it does not matter how many times one gets knocked down but rather how many times one gets up that determines the character of a person. Utila has been knocked down many times in many ways but we have always found a way to get back up. This past year many of our businesses have had to either close their doors to business or do some serious reorganization just to make ends meet. We are about to show the world just what Utila is all about this year.

Many of our hotels are showing advance bookings for the Semana Santa week. This is a strong indication of what is to come this year. Personally I would like to see most of the hotels and resort booked for this time frame. I also feel with Utila forming the new Chamber of Tourism we are showing just how strong we are and will not lay down and take whatever is thrown our way. We know Utila has always been the best in many ways but we have lacked the proper tool to promote us properly. We have been the sleepy tiger of the Bay Islands. The fight has always been there but it has been easier to remain dormant until now. We have been pushed back into the corner politically and it has hurt us financially. The pocket book has always been a good reason to get the fight back and the businesses of Utila are ready to take on the world by opening their doors to a new tourist base.

We are not reinventing the wheel with the Chamber of Tourism but rather using it as a tool to bring the businesses of Utila together. When the bottom line is money people have a way of always pulling together. The Chamber of Tourism is also doing some serious brainstorming to find events to attract tourists to Utila monthly. Presently we have three big weeks which pull the tourists to Utila, Semana Santa, Carnival, and Sun Jam. Our calendar is but one quarter full which leaves us with many open months to use for future attractions. We can copy many of the celebrations around the world or create our own.

The Chamber of Tourism will be holding raffles along with other events to raise money to get the needed equipment to set up an office so the tourist will have someplace with a face to help them in whatever way needed. Presently they are creating a package to attract all businesses on Utila to join. Keep in mind this is a first for Utila. We had tried to form a Chamber of Commerce but we lack the population required to do so. We could be a satellite under Roatan but we needed something separate to identify Utila apart from Roatan. Everything the Chamber of Utila does will be for Utila only. Every promotion will be for Utila and not just as part of the Bay Islands. Product recognition with Utila being the product we are promoting.

We need creative minds to help find ways to develop the tourism in Utila. We know we do not want to become a small Roatan but rather a unique island with its own unique tourist base. We have many challenges ahead of us in order to make Utila the best it can be. Presentation is the key to everything and the new Chamber of Tourism of Utila is working to develop this key. Creative minds with forward thinking abilities will be needed to make the Chamber what it can be in the future. We are in the infancy stage and will soon be crawling. Now how long it will take for us to walk then run will be up to us. I have always loved challenges and I and proud to be a part of the challenges which face Utila now and in the future. [/private]

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