The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), in collaboration with Travel + Leisure magazine, is pleased to announce that it will host the third Tourism Youth Congress scheduled to take place during the 26th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC-26) at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Hotel in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from October 16-18, 2003.
This year, 20 young persons between the ages of 14 and 17 from across the Caribbean will participate in the Youth Congress and represent their country as “Junior Ministers of Tourism.” They were chosen after participating in national debates on tourism issues. This new concept will help to strengthen the programme’s reach and impact, and also to help build a cadre of bright young people at the national and regional level, heightening their awareness of the challenges and opportunities involved in this dynamic tourism sector.
CTO’s member countries have benefited significantly by participating in the Youth Congress, as stated by Judith Hall-Bean, Director of Tourism at the Bermuda Department of Tourism.
“We see this as an ideal means of exposing our young people to the cultures of our Caribbean neighbours and to give them an opportunity to network at the youth level to share common interests and to discuss our varied backgrounds and lifestyles,” she said.
Ms. Hall-Bean also had this to say about the Bermudian representative at the 2002 Youth Congress who emerged the overall winner. “Since attending the conference in 2002, Ms. Zahra Muhammad has graduated from Cedar Bridge Academy having served as Head Girl during her last year. Enrolled in the Bermuda College for fall 2003, Zahra continues to represent Bermuda in international debating competitions, and has contributed articles for our Tourism industry newsletter. She has also been invited to return to the CTO conference in October as Honorary Chair of the Youth Congress.”
Ellen Asmodeo, VP/Publisher of Travel + Leisure magazine, says, “Travel + Leisure is the source for consumers who make travel their quest in life. We are committed to the future of travel and are proud to support and endorse programmes that contribute to growth in the travel industry around the world. Programmes such as the Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress, now in its third year, continue to be an example of the strong and committed partnership between Travel + Leisure and the CTO.”
The Youth Congress takes place on October 18th when the students get the opportunity to showcase their knowledge of tourism by participating in a simulated meeting fashioned after a CTO Board of Directors’ meeting.
At the Congress, the students will discuss topical tourism issues and make specific recommendations which will be shared with an audience of Ministers of Tourism and other senior tourism practitioners from the private and public sectors who will be in attendance at the event.
While in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the students will also participate in other conference sessions, share information about their countries as tourism destinations, discuss careers in tourism and get to experience some of the tourism sites and attractions.
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