Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 05, 2016 (SKNIS): In keeping with the spirit and vision of CARICOM, to foster regional integration, trade and a ‘Caribbean minded’ approach to solving problems, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), will be hosting its Annual Tourism Youth Congress slated for September in Barbados, which would see participation from a number of participants throughout the Caribbean.
The Tourism Youth Congress is an aspect of CTO’s State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) and is aimed at giving youth a voice on the same issues that the heads of Tourism Authorities address. In this way, they are able to discuss issues of regional importance from a youth point of view, and are encouraged to be a part of the sustainability of their islands.
Novelette Morton, Senior Tourism Project Officer, briefly explained the procedure of the Tourism Youth Congress and said it “is geared towards students between the ages of 14 and 17 years.”
“And basically what is done is that they are given a number of topics on which they have to discuss as junior ministers of tourism,” said Ms. Morton. “They are given a topic where they have to prepare themselves for three minutes and then they deliver their arguments on why a particular thing should be done.”
In addition to the topics, the students are also given a mystery question which is an approach used to test three core areas. These include having the ability to engage in research; expressing themselves well and; thinking on their feet.
“You find that over the years the competition has shown that persons who are able to think quickly on their feet and who can articulate their thoughts very well are the ones who come out the champions,” she said. “But it is a very important competition.”
This year, the students have three topics from which they will select one for the prepared question section. The topics include the customer’s perception of the brand; fostering entrepreneurship; and creating flow experiences.
On May 26, a local Tourism Youth Congress will be held at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The aim of this event is to select the junior minister of tourism who will represent the Federation at the regional Tourism Youth Congress in September, in Barbados.
In 2013, Nevisian student Neila Jones emerged winner of the CTO’s Tourism Youth Congress held in Martinique as part of the SOTIC 2013. Another Nevisian, Rol-J Williams, of the Gingerland Secondary School outshone 10 other competing Junior Ministers/ Commissioners of Tourism from around the Caribbean to emerge victorious during the CTO’s SOTIC 2014, in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
The CTO, with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.
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