Montserrat Tourism Authority Formed

Montserrat

The Office of the Montserrat Premier announced the formation of the Montserrat Tourism Authority and the appointment of a seven-member Board of Directors, following the enactment of the Tourism Authority Act.

This newly established Montserrat Tourism Authority entity is tasked with promoting and enhancing tourism in Montserrat through effective policy execution and overall administration. The Montserrat Tourism Authority replaces the Montserrat Tourism Division.

Montserrat is one of 14 UK Overseas Territories, governed by a locally elected Premier and Parliament. The UK Government works with Montserrat’s Government to strengthen the island’s economic planning, emergency management, and security. The UK Government appoints a governor who lives on the island, and functions as an advisor on these matters.

With a population of 5,000 residents on the island means everyone knows everyone here. The camaraderie is such that all who were born here have a nickname. Included among Montserratians – or “‘Stratians” (pronounced “Strashans”) as we call ourselves – are immigrants from Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, who came to help rebuild the island after the first volcanic eruption. It is therefore not unusual to hear radio advertisements in Spanish and Haitian Creole. In addition, about 100 snowbirds own second homes here, where they spend three to six months of the year.

Montserratians who live off the island, primarily reside in the UK, US and the Caribbean. Montserratians are British nationals but have their own passport and National Song.

The Montserrat Tourism Authority’s mandate includes boosting tourism, promoting sustainable practices, and delivering high-quality tourism experiences to drive economic growth on the island. This will be achieved by highlighting Montserrat’s unique attractions, events, and renowned hospitality.

The Authority welcomes seven (7) distinguished Board of Directors, comprising of industry leaders and experts who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide the authority’s strategic direction.  They are: 

Mr. Walter P. Christopher named as the Chairman of the Authority, is a Montserrat citizen who has a wealth of knowledge in both the public and private sector.  He is currently the Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Investment in Antigua and Barbuda and collaborates on the crafting and implementation of tourism policies.    He is also serving as a Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and has played a major role in the infrastructural expansion of the cruise tourism facilities in Antigua.  Mr. Christopher also has a vast knowledge in Real Estate Management and in agricultural systems and policies in areas such as Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Engineering.  He previously worked in the Ministry of Agriculture here in Montserrat.

Mrs. Roselyn Cassell Sealy has been intimate with the tourism sector for more than 20 years.  She is the leading tour operator on Montserrat who has successfully secured contracts with 10 cruise ships and has developed unique tour experiences for over 5,000 cruise ship passengers thus far.  She has been instrumental in developing tour guiding skills for approximately 20 tour guides and has served on the Board of Directors of the Montserrat Tourist Board several years ago and as a member of the Montserrat Stakeholders’ Advisory Council.  She is presently the President of the Montserrat Tour and Taxi Association.

Mr. Michael Osborne has over 20 years’ experience in business operations and hospitality management.  His love for the industry started when he worked at the Vue Pointe Hotel many years ago.  Throughout his career he has worked in various branches of the tourism and hospitality industry including Marriott International, Four Seasons hotels as well as with various destination management companies throughout the USA, Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.  He was the two-time recipient of Marriott International’s Spirit of Service Award for consistently exceeding company goals and customer service expectations.  In 2008 he founded The Island Services Inc., a corporate meeting and event planning/consulting firm. 

Ms. Rhonda Boatswain has many years’ experience in the tourism industry having worked as a travel consultant for both Travel World International and Carib World Travel.  She is currently the owner of RTT Travel & Tours, which she started in 2009.  As a tour operator, she organizes and sells tours and adventures to clients which has brought her much satisfaction.  She has also served in other capacities in the Tourism industry on a personal and professional basis here in Montserrat.

Mr. Tony Seaman has over 30 years’ experience in travel, tourism and leisure in both corporate and entrepreneurial capacities.  He previously owned Attraction World, one of the largest tours and business excursions in the UK, providing him with extraordinary knowledge of global attractions requirements from a customer’s perspective.  He has served as Chairman for the Institute of Travel and Tourism and as Marketing Director of MacDonald Hotels.  He is currently Chairman and shareholder of ‘Not in the guide books’, which is a sustainable, responsible tours and excursion business.

Mr. Jayesh Sadhwani is a creative marketing professional with experience in working with sales teams, international clients, and agencies on creative and editorial at strategic, and tactical levels.  He has a track record of delivering unique and compelling content and in planning and executing marketing campaigns.  He recently served as the Marketing Communications Coordinator at the Montserrat Arts Council and is the founder and head of Marketing and Logistics for Chess Empire which he started in 2019.  The company takes events from conceptualization to execution and has hosted several popular events including ‘Boozey Brunch’, ‘TIDC’, and Calasplash.  He also serves as a Director at Ashok’s Enterprises Ltd.

Ms. Cherolyn B. Galloway is a Montserratian with over 30 years’ diverse hospitality experience spanning across New York, London, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.  She has worked in various managerial roles within the hospitality sector, including positions at reputable establishments such as Yeshiva University, where she is the assistant Food and Beverage Director and at FLIK/Compass U.S.A, where she was the assistant Catering Manager and the Dining Room Manager at Elior UK.   She was also employed in managerial positions at Four Seasons Hotel both in New York and Nevis and the Montserrat Springs Hotel here in Montserrat.  Over the years she has honed her skills in management, operations, staff training, and customer service.   

The Board of Directors will serve for a period of three years, but will be eligible for reappointment. 

The newly appointed board will continue to focus on key initiatives that will help to propel Montserrat into the spotlight by focusing on Marketing and Promotion, Product Development, Standards improvements, Sustainability programs, and Community Engagement.

Premier, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell commented: “Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in our tourism sector with the establishment of our new tourism authority and its dynamic board of directors. This strategic move underscores our dedication to elevating our tourism offerings and ensuring that our destination maintains competitiveness on the global stage.”

Chairman of the newly formed Authority, Mr. Walter P. Christopher added: “We are excited to embark on this journey to elevate Montserrat as a leading tourism destination.”  

“The board is committed to fostering an inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous tourism sector that will create lasting benefits for our communities and unforgettable experiences for our visitors,” he concluded.

The Montserrat Tourism Authority is the official tourism organization, dedicated to promoting and enhancing the tourism industry. Through strategic initiatives, marketing efforts, and community collaboration, the authority aims to position Montserrat as a premier eco-friendly destination while ensuring the sustainability of the island’s tourism industry.  Through responsible tourism practices and community engagement, the Authority strives to create a vibrant and prosperous future for Montserrat.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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