NEW YORK (May 24, 2012)–The stage is set for the first Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification this weekend, attracting literary giants the likes of celebrities Terry McMillan, Randall Robinson and Sheryl Lee Ralph at the locally owned and run Paradise Cove Resort.

Held with the patronage of McMillan, the distinguished, award-winning author, the Anguilla Lit Fest was conceived of as a means of celebrating Anguilla’s literary heritage–and attracting visitors during the slower months.

Organizers report more than 200 literati visitors from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean will arrive at the British dependency for the four-day event, which opens this Thursday.

Special intimate sessions with authors and fun-filled evening soirees will highlight the festival.

Participants will be afforded the opportunity to create their personal Anguilla experience. However, the hardscrabble life of many authors will definitely not be recreated, as Lit Fest scribes and attendees reconnect with their sense of self as they bask in one of the Caribbean’s unspoiled hideaways.

Speaking of flying away, the invaluable contribution of retiring airline industry veteran Peter Dolara of American Airlines to the development of tourism across the Caribbean region has been officially recognized by both the governor and tourism commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

USVI Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. thanked Dolara, American Airlines’ senior vice president for Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America, for his commitment to the hospitality industry in the USVI for decades, as well as for his personal affection for the island of St. Croix.

During a visit to Miami, the governor and Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty updated the executive on tourism development plans across the territory, as well as efforts to sharpen the skills of industry stakeholders through training and customer service initiatives.

They briefed Dolara on capital development projects to boost the tourism appeal of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, as well as efforts to stimulate future jobs and economic development activity with the closing of the HOVENSA oil refinery.

Nicholson-Doty recalled Dolara’s personal commitment to the territory and the wider Caribbean region. “Mr. Dolara saw the potential of the region, as well as the contributions of territories like the USVI, before many others, and acted on it,” she asserted.

“Fortunately for us, Mr. Dolara is a powerful and charismatic executive who was able to take the lead in laying down the aviation foundations of the Caribbean,” she added. “All of us in the territory and the region owe him a debt of gratitude.”