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‘Come forward with statistics!’ – Julian Willock

- said persons linking VINO’s stories & blogs to tourist arrival numbers must back up their claims with statistics
Chairman of Advance Marketing and Professional Services Mr Julian Willock had challenged persons linking Virgin Islands News Online’s reportage to a reduction in tourism numbers to bring forward statistics showing such a correlation. Photo: VINO/File
On December 6, 2015, Mr Willock had told our news room that he had just an hour before arrived home from overseas after a long delayed flight and was trying to catch up on some sleep when he received a call from BVI Tourist Board Officer Ms Lynette L. Harrigan and was asked to hold for a call from the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mr Brodrick Penn. Photo: VINO/File/Provided
On December 6, 2015, Mr Willock had told our news room that he had just an hour before arrived home from overseas after a long delayed flight and was trying to catch up on some sleep when he received a call from BVI Tourist Board Officer Ms Lynette L. Harrigan and was asked to hold for a call from the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mr Brodrick Penn. Photo: VINO/File/Provided
Mr Penn was referring to the accident that occurred earlier that day on December 6, 2015 in Cane Garden Bay, on the main island of Tortola, where two tourists lost their lives and many persons were injured. Photo: VINO
Mr Penn was referring to the accident that occurred earlier that day on December 6, 2015 in Cane Garden Bay, on the main island of Tortola, where two tourists lost their lives and many persons were injured. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Chairman of Advance Marketing and Professional Services Mr Julian Willock has challenged persons linking blogs on news reports of accidents, especially involving tourists, to a reduction in tourism numbers to bring forward statistics showing such a correlation.

Speaking on the International Morning Ride Show on ZROD 103.7 FM yesterday December 16, 2015, Mr Willock debunked a recent association between blogs appearing on this news site, a subsidiary of Advance Marketing and Professional Services, and movement in tourism numbers.

“Come forward with statistics to show that having a story on an accident or having someone blog on it has a direct correlation with the drop in tourist arrivals and there have been no statistics,” Willock pointed out to host of the show Paul ‘Gadiethz’ Peart.

He said he knows people get emotional and do what they think is right at the moment but going forward persons making such claims must produce statistics and not just be emotional.

“But I think that is water under the bridge and my heart goes out to the families of the two persons who lost their lives,” he said.

Call for the removal of blogs

On December 6, 2015, Mr Willock had told our newsroom that he had just an hour before arrived home from overseas after a long delayed flight and was trying to catch up on some sleep when he received a call from BVI Tourist Board Officer Ms Lynette L. Harrigan and was asked to hold for a call from the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Mr Brodrick Penn.

Mr Willock said he was asked by Mr Penn to have “Virgin Islands News Online suspend all blogs on a story about an accident because it’s a sensitive matter and it involves tourists”.

Mr Penn was referring to the accident that occurred earlier that day on December 6, 2015 in Cane Garden Bay, on the main island of Tortola, where two tourists lost their lives and many persons were injured. According to Mr Willock’s phone call to our newsroom, he explained to Mr Penn that while it’s not up to him to remove blogs, he needs a compelling reason to give to the Editor-in-Chief on why blogs should be removed.

Mr Penn told him because it involves tourists and, according to Mr Willock, Penn told him “if you can’t see the importance of suspending the blogs then I do not need to continue with you.”

According to Mr Willock, Mr Penn then put Ms Harrigan, the Niche, Emerging & Events Marketing Manager of the BVI Tourist Board back on the phone, who Mr Willock said was more explicit in saying “because the accident involves tourists visiting the BVI and this information is going out worldwide. It could affect us.”

Mr Willock said he then told Ms Harrigan that it’s indeed a sad and tragic accident but “we need to treat everyone equally.” To this, Ms Harrigan allegedly responded “but these are tourists and this information is seen around the world. These people are important.”

Our newsroom had never received such calls before as tourists visiting the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean destinations sometimes face unfortunate accidents, sometimes resulting in loss of lives.

VINO’s response

A check of other news sites clearly shows that the story, notwithstanding it had been first and accurately reported by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), is also posted on all the other news sites with comments.

Our newsroom continues to be sensitive to loss of all lives, whether local or foreign, as we view all human beings as equal and all lives are precious in God’s sight.

It is also noted that the accident is all over social networks, especially Facebook, which has a greater reach than VINO, along with some graphic photos and comments. It is also posted on local community boards, along with sites in the USVI. It is not clear if both Penn and Harrigan made calls to Facebook Headquarters or other social networks to ask them to remove or suspend the comments.

14 Responses to “‘Come forward with statistics!’ – Julian Willock ”

  • good man (17/12/2015, 08:40) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    Please. OMG. Don`t tell me this really happened. So they trying to keep us in a box and control us. Willock, I am with you on this one. What goes for one, goes for all. They want you to run your News site how they have the court System. I respect your courage.. Good man
    • ddb (17/12/2015, 13:32) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      Bossie wilcox leave them people to them self-let time deal with their foolishness and immature ways
  • reality (17/12/2015, 08:48) Like (15) Dislike (18) Reply
    You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising on a website or the radio but you cant prove that an increase in sales is a direct correlation. By constantly advertising you subtly put into peoples mind that have a particular product. In the same way by constantly having insensitive, venomous, malicious blogs the world can gradually see that we have above average abundance of idiots and may decide to visit somewhere else - it cant be proved either way, but why advertise negative?
  • qc (17/12/2015, 08:57) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    good points JW
  • BuzzBvi (17/12/2015, 09:26) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    I thought Lynette is a VIP you mean she sell out? LOL
  • Duhhhh? (17/12/2015, 12:36) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    Mr. Willock they cannot bring forward what they do not have!
  • Willy Nilly (17/12/2015, 16:05) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Big Pharma, meet big Karma.
  • Xxx (19/12/2015, 10:49) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tourists die all over the world in traffic related accidents. So why thet think we special. I dont see the purpose of the BVI Tourist Board, just a set o jack a$$es.
  • Diamond (19/12/2015, 22:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lynette have no common sense, I take it she doesn't watch news
  • voter (20/12/2015, 14:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I like Mr. Willock and agree with almost everything he says, And I strongly thinks he is VERY electable.
  • farmer brown (21/12/2015, 23:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why allyuh bothering with these dotish ppl and VINO this is a non issue


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