[private] Everyone is asking what is this Utila Chamber of Tourism and how will it benefit Utila?
It is a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) of business people on Utila working together to create an economic vision for a prosperous Utila.
Last year we saw that doing things the same old way was not working for Utila, and with the challenge of political change for the entire country, we needed a reality check to change our economic future for 2010 and capture our share of the tourism market for Utila to improve our economy. This is the new year of 2010 with new opportunities to positively influence our community and add value to the people on Utila. Our Utila Chamber of Tourism has a visionary at the helm, Mr. Troy Bodden. With his business insight and leadership, we will focus on new opportunities to promote Utila to the world, attracting tourists to benefit ALL of our local businesses on Utila.
We meet regularly to stay focused on our goals, reviewing accomplishments to-date, remaining on task and always exploring new ideas to help the economy of Utila. We are also looking at new ways for our tourists to have an enjoyable experience while visiting Utila. We have many challenges ahead of us and we must have an open mind to meet new challenges with a positive attitude, honesty and integrity on behalf of everyone on Utila. The Utila Chamber of Tourism is not a politically based organization. This was made clear at the very first meeting, and all political agendas are left outside, or we would not be able to function properly for Utila.
We are promoting Utila as a whole with the understanding the Keys are a part of the Utila promotion. We are looking to identify products unique to Utila. An excellent promotion package is very important to bring the tourists to Utila. We need to let them know who we are and what we are able to offer them during their visit to bring them back, or to have them tell their friends about Utila. Word-of-mouth advertisement is the best form of advertisement for any business. Out tourists come from all over the world and we must cater to their needs to bring them back.
After several TEAM meetings, we developed a plan to attract tourists to Utila and presented it to the Honduras Institute of Tourism (IHT). We invited their board members to Utila to see our beautiful island, took them on tours by water and land for them to see what Utila had to offer our future tourists. They were impressed with our vision of a unique identity for Utila and offered a few ideas on how we should begin to achieve our goals. We experienced the first impact of their efforts and suggestions to us during the New Years week. The IHT promoted Utila in the newspaper, television, and the international publications they are associated with. Through their efforts and network of associations, we ALL benefited economically. It was a collective effort by everyone preparing packages of services offered by our businesses for our tourists to enjoy. TEAM work.
We are off to a good start for 2010, with Utila being promoted as the number one vacation destination spot in Honduras for the Central American Region by the Honduras Institute of Tourism. The IHT has made it clear to everyone we are to remain separate from other branches of government if we are to be successful. We are to govern ourselves. The IHT has demonstrated to us they are willing to support our efforts, in turn we are to remain positive promoting our Chamber to ALL our local businesses. We are always looking for new members, yes you, as we continue to gain support from the IHT.
Why is it important to have the IHT supporting us? This is an honest and fair question. With the vision and experience of the IHT we have the right formula for success. One is not able to place a price on their vast experience. As a collective group, we are in a better position to work along with a team of professionals from the IHT. In today’s world of virtual advertisement, the IHT is able to reach out to tourists all around the world and bringing them to Utila. Our price tag for this service is straight forward. When a business joins the Chamber, a portion of the membership fee goes to the IHT, affording their team of professionals to advertise and network throughout the world on our behalf.
We encourage you to share your thoughts with the members of the Utila Chamber of Tourism. Become a member, yes, you reading this article, and become a person of influence helping Utila on our journey to economic recovery. Have you had the opportunity to look at a publication called Come to Honduras? Take a look inside and you will see how the Honduras Institute of Tourism is helping to promote Honduras to the world. Would you like to become a part of this journey? One person with courage, you, can make the difference. Courage is making things right, not just smoothing them over. We need your courage to make the difference in Utila. [/private]