Photo Courtesy Ministry of Tourism: (L-R) Dahneria Hodge of the Washington Archibald High School, Sari Hutchinson of Cayon High School, Davincia Brandy of the Saddlers Secondary School and Dianja Mills of the Charles E. Mills Secondary School.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 26, 2016 (SKNIS): The 2016 Tourism Youth Congress local competition challenged students to put their best foot forward in discussing tourism issues to become this year’s Junior Minister of Tourism. Dahneria Hodge of the Washington Archibald High School was victorious in this endeavour.
Her competitors included Sari Hutchinson of Cayon High, Dianja Mills of the Charles E. Mills Secondary and Davincia Brandy of the Saddlers Secondary School who ranked second, third and fourth respectively.
The topics, which included “Consumers’ Perception of the Brand” and “Fostering Entrepreneurship”, were presented using audio-video aids. The students were required to discuss issues of local importance and through this avenue create tourism awareness amongst young people who would be encouraged to be a part of the sustainability efforts of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The new Junior Minister will participate in the regional tourism youth congress which is said to play a vital role in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Youth Awareness Programme. The competition will take place during this year’s State of Industry Conference, which will be held in Barbados from September 14 to 16.
Dahneria will let her voice be heard in the discussion of similar tourism issues as the heads of government from a youth perspective.
Carlene Henry-Morton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, stated that the tourism industry “is arguably the single most critical engine of growth in the economy.” She challenged the students, both participants and students in the audience to reflect on ways that would propel the tourism industry forward not only for the further development of the country but to develop themselves to thrive in the industry.
“As good stewards of the growing industry, you must engage in this kind of introspection as you prepare yourself to meet the demands of a fast growing and competitive tourism industry,” said Mrs. Henry-Morton.
The Permanent Secretary said that the partnership with the Ministry of Education to host a mock tourism youth congress, provides an avenue for the students to share with and learn from each other the importance of tourism to the socioeconomic development of the federation and its people.
She encouraged the students to be proactive, anticipate, envision and plan so that they can create opportunities and make use of them as they materialise.
“If there is one thing I want you to understand and believe is that individually and collectively, you have the power to translate our slogan ‘Tourism is Everybody’s Business’ into a philosophy and a way of life,” encouraged the Permanent Secretary. “Your out of the box ideas and creative energies are indispensable to the success and longevity of this very critical market. I employ you then, to make deliberate and serious efforts to understand and appreciate the relevance and impact of tourism on your present, on your future and on our economy.”