Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 06, 2017 (SKNIS): Fifty-five students from the Dr. William Connor Primary School benefited from the Ministry of Tourism's Education and Awareness Programme, which is designed to sensitize students on the various careers within tourism, highlight the importance of tourism to national development, as well as introduce students to ethical standards as it relates to the tourism sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.
A week of activities was held from June 26-29 to conclude the first phase of the programme at the Dr. William Connor Primary School. Students were introduced to a number of events such as various careers in tourism presentations and etiquette training that ended with an etiquette banquet, which saw a number of students receiving participation certificates.
Novelette Morton, Senior Projects Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, said it was important to recognize the participants as they have done well throughout the three terms the programme was taught, covering topics such as what is tourism, the tourism product, the economic impact of tourism, what is sustainable tourism, tourism and culture, and careers in tourism. She gave a brief overview of the programme.
"Focusing on these topics enabled them to highlight the importance of tourism to national development and to emphasize the role that each individual, no matter how small, can play in building a cleaner and more attractive environment and a stronger tourism industry," said the senior projects officer. "The students were also enrolled in a tourism club and were able to experience the tourism product. They explored the four A's, which form part of the tourism product – attractions, accommodation, accessibility and amenities. Through lectures, the students were exposed to a variety of careers in the tourism industry and to cultural elements, as well as etiquette training, all of which were aimed at enhancing their knowledge of the industry, their self-image and social skills."
Permanent Secretary, Carlene Henry-Morton, addressed the Etiquette Banquet on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, who expressed delight in seeing that the programme is fruitful.
"I am very heartened to see our young people enjoying and benefiting from this course [Tourism Education and Awareness Programme]. Now in the pilot stages, this programme has the potential when taken eventually to all of our schools to transform the local tourism and hospitality landscape in the medium to long term," said the permanent secretary. "Its aim is to equip our youth to cherish and promote our rich culture. The course also aims to teach you about our rich history. It aims to enlighten you about our natural assets, our beaches, rich fertile soil, mountains, hiking trails, our iconic attractions and all of the other God given blessings we possess as a nation."
The permanent secretary also conveyed thanks on behalf of the minister to the management staff and students of the Dr. William Connor Primary School for "the willingness and enthusiasm with which they are partnering with the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate the delivery of the Tourism Education and Awareness Programme" at the school.
"At the Ministry of Tourism we are very strategic and deliberate in our outreach efforts which are aimed at ensuring that our young people in particular, understand what tourism is about, how revenues generated by tourism contribute to the sustainable development of the sector, to the social and economic welfare of this nation and to the high standards of living we want to continue to enjoy as a proud people," she said.
Both the permanent secretary and the senior projects officer highly commended Shaline Welcome, Community Tourism Officer, who delivered the programme at the Dr. William Connor Primary School, and who, over the past year, has "nurtured a meaningful and rewarding relationship with the staff and students".
The programme was also rolled out at the Sandy Point Primary School, the Basseterre High School, and the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC).