An experienced marketing and hospitality industry professional believes this year’s World Tourism Day theme “Rethinking Tourism” is a clarion call for the private sector to focus on “dynamism and unbridled creativity” to ensure a strong, sustainable future for tourism.

“We have a rare opportunity to use our skills to ensure the rebuilding and reimagining of the tourism sector from the devastation of COVID-19 places people, their communities and their environment firmly top of mind,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CEO of Figment Design, a leading Miami-based marketing and advertising agency.

The veteran tourism executive, who served as Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) for 12 years, and also held the post of CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, said that to achieve such a goal, “The private sector must partner with governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations around a shared vision for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector.”

“Building a productive future tourism sector will depend largely on how we shape and disseminate our messages today,” said Nicholson-Doty, who warned that there isn’t much time to think because international tourism is already demonstrating a robust return. “The time is now and we must be intentional on this issue,” she stated.

“The lifting of travel restrictions, alongside the rebuilding of consumer confidence, will be important drivers for the sector’s recovery. So we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help restore millions of frontline industry jobs around the world, while reducing poverty, enriching history, promoting culture and protecting the environment,” said Nicholson-Doty.

She reasoned that creativity, boldness and, most of all, commitment, are needed to ensure tourism rebounds fully: “We can fuel optimism by giving our all to create and offer solutions that go beyond what the sector currently imagines is possible.”

The marketing executive, whose achievements include creating a strategic plan for positioning the USVI and St. Lucia as preferred Caribbean destinations through the implementation of robust marketing initiatives, is a former Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

She also served as the chief executive for the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association for more than a decade. As Commissioner of Tourism, she presided over the destination’s remarkable recovery after being slammed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Figment is a full-service advertising and marketing agency of designers, website developers, and digital marketers.