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Building awareness of the Tourism industry

Building awareness of the Tourism industry

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The Ministry of Tourism and Industry celebrated Tourism Week 2011 from November 20 to 26, under the theme: ‘Preserving and Promoting Our Culture through Tourism’.{{more}}

The objective of the week was to continue efforts towards national tourism sensitisation, build awareness about the importance of the tourism industry in SVG and to focus national attention on this critical industry.

The week of activities began with a Church Service on Sunday 20 at the Glen Baptist Church, where Pastor Sylvester King spoke on the topic: “Having a culture of neighbourliness”. The church service was attended by Ministry officials, SVG Tourism Authority staff, stakeholders, students from the Division of Technical and Vocational Education, and church members.

The Mein Schiff cruise ship made its inaugural visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday, November 20, with 1950 passengers on board. The ship was welcomed with a plaque handing over ceremony by Ministry of Tourism and Industry officials and staff from the SVG Port Authority. The Mein Schiff is expected to make 10 calls this cruise ship season, and they expressed interest in returning for the next cruise season.

The week of activities moved to the island of Bequia on Monday, November 21, where passengers from the Silver Spirit cruise ship were serenaded by the local string band ‘Farine’ and served with fruit juice and rum punch as they came ashore.

Meanwhile, on the afternoon of November 21, Minister of Tourism and Industry Saboto Caesar cut the ceremonial ribbon at the official relocation ceremony of the Botanical Gardens main entrance.

On Tuesday, November 22, the Ministry held the 3rd Annual Tourism Youth Panel Competition. The Bishop’s College Kingstown, the St. Vincent Girls’ High School, the Dr. J.P Eustace and the George Stephens Secondary School made presentations on the research topic: ‘’Tourism is not merely an Economic and Commercial Activity, it also provides a link for Cultural and Human Interaction.”

The four students also made presentations on impromptu topics given to them in the 2nd round of the competition. The Bishop’s College Kingstown copped the 1st place trophy, Best Written Speech trophy and the Challenge trophy. The 2nd place trophy went to the Girls’ High School and the 3rd place trophy and the Impromptu trophy went to the Dr J.P Eustace Secondary School. In a close 4th place was the George Stephens Secondary School.

Major Sponsors in the Youth Panel Competition 2011 were: the First Caribbean International Bank which sponsored the Challenge Trophy, The Palm Island Resort, which sponsored the first, second and third place trophies, Super J IGA which sponsored the Best Written Speech trophy, and Hotel Alexandrina which sponsored the Impromptu trophy. All participating schools also received gift vouchers from Bickles Restaurant.

The objectives of the Tourism Youth Panel Competition were to challenge students’ knowledge of the importance of the Tourism Industry, to help students recognize their role in effecting change in attitudes towards tourism, and to encourage students to share their ideas on the tourism industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Simultaneously on the island of Bequia, three primary schools competed in the first annual primary schools tourism debate. Students from the Bequia Anglican Primary School, Paget Farm Government School and the Paradise Primary School debated the topic – ‘Preserving and Promoting Our Culture through Tourism’, with the Paget Farm Government School capturing the Karib Cable Tourism Week Challenge Trophy.

On the afternoon of the November 22, the Ministry held a tourism awards ceremony to honor several Vincentians who made significant contributions to the Tourism/Hospitality Industry.

Persons honored in the ceremony were Arlene Connell – Hotelier, Flora Gunn – Hotelier, Kelvin Harry – Taxi Driver, Crispin Charles – Airport Taxi Driver, Colville Lewis – Immigration Officer and the Barrouallie Tourism and Heritage Association.

On Thursday, November 24, tertiary level students from the Division of Nursing, Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies, Division of Technical and Vocational Education and the Police training school attended the 1st Annual Tourism Symposium.

Presentations were made by Dr. Rudy Matthias – IADC, Cleo Huggins – Invest SVG, Rodica Tannis – National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority, and Yasa Belmar – Ministry of the Health and the Environment. Following the presentations, the students were given a chance to ask questions to the four presenters, give their views on the symposium, and to make suggestions to some of the issues raised.

The week of activities culminated with a Tourism Sensitisation Day, where tourism officials displayed material and took questions from the public. Local food was also on sale, outside the Singer Building on Halifax Street.

Throughout the week, the public had an opportunity to win prizes on the daily tourism quiz segment on WE FM and Star FM.

The Ministry thanks the major sponsors for Tourism Week 2011: First Caribbean International Bank, Palm Island Resort, Super J I.G.A, Karib Cable, Doris Fresh Food, Hotel Alexandrina, WE FM, Star FM and Bickles restaurant.

Special thanks are extended to the students and schools which participated in the Tourism Youth Panel Competition and the Tertiary Level Tourism Symposium. The Ministry is grateful for the help and support from the judges, moderators, industry speakers, tourism stakeholders and the staff of the SVG Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism and Industry.

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