Juergen T. Steinmetz, Chairman of the ICTP, said: “We are proud to welcome Richmond, Virginia, as our third US destination member, after our two initial US members, Saipan and Hawaii. ICTP is an ideal platform to network within a global community. Being based in the US, we are thrilled that more US destinations are joining our organization. Our current international destination members include Seychelles, Komodo, La Reunion, Johannesburg, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Oman, Komodo and Grenada.”
Jack Berry, President and CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (RMCVB) said: “It is an honor for the Richmond region to serve as the first destination in the (continental) US to join the International Council of Tourism Partners. Tourism is vital to the US economy – this is evident every day in the Richmond region where tourism is a US$1.75 billion industry that employs nearly 20,000 people. We look forward to a continuous exchange of resources, ideas, and best practices with our global partners as we work together to invite visitors to experience all corners of the world.”
Kitty J. Pope, who was recently appointed Director of Membership Development for North America of ICTP, said that it is the International Council of Tourism Partners which is honored that Mr. Berry made the decision to have Richmond join the alliance. “In a recent visit to the city, I learned what a dynamic tourism leader he is and how much he has contributed to the development of tourism initiatives in Virginia’s capital city and even beyond,” she said.
The tourism figures that Berry quoted provided US$52 million in taxes in 2010 and represents a 7.9 percent increase compared with 2009. Within the capital region, all the localities saw increased tourism revenues compared with their 2009 totals according to the bureau.
“I learned that these tourism number increases in the last couple of years are due in part to Berry’s tourism approaches,” said Pope, who is also the Director of the International Association of Black Travel Writers and Publications Editor for AfricanDiasporaTourism.com. “Richmond brings a lot to the table, and its partnership as an alliance member with ICTP will certainly make an impact on tourism’s world stage,” Pope concluded.