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Tourism Educators Discuss the Way Forward

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - A number of stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry from the region are meeting here for a three day Tourism Educators’ Forum, which is being held at the Bay Gardens Hotel.

The three day forum is expected to update participants on the current global and regional trends and issues related to the tourism sector. The programme is also expected to discuss challenges facing tourism education today, as well as recommend some concrete strategies and provide a forum for exploring recent trends in tourism education and training. The participants will also weigh its possible impact on the delivery of tourism and hospitality programmes in the region.

Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Jean Holder directed the participants’ focus on how they can contribute to the fundamental process of change by suggesting that they focus on the role that they, as change agents, can play in Caribbean Tourism.

Mr. Holder suggested that to be on the cutting edge, tourism practitioners must upgrade their skills in a world that has become fiercely competitive. The CTO Secretary General emphasized the need to target schools, universities and other tertiary institutions. According to him, unless tourism educators understand their role, their achievements will be minimal.

Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Philip J. Pierre suggested that while it may not be possible to influence a number of factors in the tourism industry, what can be done is for stakeholders to work towards improving their productivity and work ethics.

Educators, he noted, must ensure that productivity, standards and knowledge are the watch words of all training modules. He warned against mediocrity and emphasized that our competition is the world.

“It is my view that the days of romanticizing the tourism industry are over. We have to educate our people to the fact that bad behaviour, harassment and environmental degradation are simply not acceptable and there must be zero tolerance,” the minister ended.


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