A continued greater effort is needed to get the local population more involved and interested in the island`s main economic pillar, tourism, Economic Affairs and Tourism Commissioner Theo Heyliger said last week.
While growing cooperation between public and private sector partners has promoted awareness and involvement of the local population, more effort is needed in this area, he stated.
Heyliger said the two must pledge to work closer together to “make our local population, particularly our youths, interested in the tourism industry. The employment opportunities available in this field are worth highlighting also.”
It is a little known fact that a cruise ship engineer holds one of the better paying positions in the world, the commissioner stated.
For the businesses he stated, “We have to encourage our shop owners to think like tourists and not only on the bottom line. Consumer satisfaction leads to higher sales.”
Encouraging the youth to participate in more local and regional tourism competitions is advocated. Heyliger urges other youths to follow in the footsteps of Rolando Tobias, who placed second in the Caribbean Tourism Conference debate last year, and Natasha Mercelli, the winner of a tourism-based essay competition recently.
Local schools and teachers are being called upon to foster interest in the tourism sector in their pupils.