CTO's sustainable tourism youth programme attracts new interests

NEW YORK, NY (24 May, 2013) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s sustainable tourism youth programme is attracting the attention of a growing number of Caribbean post-secondary schools.
Two regional tertiary institutions – the College of the Bahamas (COB) and University of the West Indies-Mona Campus are first time participants in the CTO’s Students’ Colloquium which forms part of the programme for Caribbean Week in New York. They, along with five other universities, will seek to dethrone the reigning champions, Monroe College.
The colloquium – now in its third year – is a contest among the students who are challenged to present well-researched, practical and financially viable sustainable tourism projects. Dubbed “A Forum for Rising Stars in Caribbean Tourism,” it attracts students enrolled in tourism and hospitality programmes, as well as other university/college majors, who have a passion for the Caribbean and are desirous of making a contribution to the region’s development in a sustainable way.
A record eight schools will participate in this year’s contest, three more than last year and two higher than the six which took part in the inaugural contest in 2011. The other participating institutions are the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, the Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute; University of New Haven (winners of the inaugural contest), the University of Technology Jamaica and the University of the West Indies Centre for Hotel & Tourism Management in the Bahamas.
“It’s a brand new year, the TCI Community College tourism team is excited, eager and ready for friendly rivalry, camaraderie and prospective future partnerships with our counterparts in this year’s CTO student colloquium. Let the challenge begin!” said Michelle Hosten, lecturer at the TCI Community College.
The competitors will receive words of encouragement from Earlston McPhee, the director of sustainable tourism at Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Mr. McPhee will stress the need for the students, particularly those who intend to work towards the development of Caribbean tourism, to believe in themselves, the Caribbean tourism product and the region’s ability to compete at a high level among the world’s best destinations.
The Students’ Colloquium takes place on Wednesday 4 June from 1:30 P.M to 4:00 P.M. at the New Yorker Hotel, 481 8th Avenue, New York. The winners will receive four iPads from Cititech Solutions, a technology company which provides technological support for small, medium-sized and large businesses. Cititech is a CTO Allied member. The second place gets four Kindle Fires from David Williams Funeral Service, a family -owned funeral home; while the school placing third receives four iPod Touches courtesy Butterfly By Design, a premier experiential event planning and design boutique.
Caribbean Week in New York, a celebration of the sights, sounds and vacation attributes of the Caribbean, takes place from 1 to 8 June with a series of consumer and travel industry events. The television and film star, Tamara Tunie, is partnering with CTO for the Week. Perhaps best known as the “Medical Examiner, Melinda Warner” on NBC’s long-running top-rated series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and more recently in Paramount’s Oscar nominated, Flight, with co-star Denzel Washington, Ms. Tunie will engage the media in America’s most populous city as the official spokesperson for the event.

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