Basseterre, St. Kitts, (SKNIS): Allister Williams, Chairperson of the Tourism Awareness Month Committee, said that it is important to inform youth and remind the public in general that there are employment opportunities in the tourism industry.
“We always want to make sure we can impart information about opportunities because then is when you can bring home the whole idea of tourism more forcefully, when one can see how they can benefit from tourism,” Mr. Williams said.
During his appearance on the St. Kitts and Nevis Government Programme Working for You on November 16, Mr. Williams said that many of the events on the Tourism Awareness Month of Activities were geared toward the youth.
“This month we are focusing on our young people, and hopefully from there we can get the word out there because sometimes our young people are the ones who take the word out there so sometimes the older ones can hear of things or learn things from some of the younger ones,” Mr. Williams said. “So we are hoping to use them as the vehicle to get the word out there and at the same time for them to understand that there are careers in tourism and it’s not just the traditional jobs that we often associate with tourism and hospitality but there are so many other areas that one can get into and develop not only themselves but the country as a whole.”
One of the avenues of getting the information to the youth is by ensuring that tourism is on the curriculum of some schools.
“We are back in the schools, at least five of our learning institutions, and the programme is one that is dedicated fully to tourism,” Mr. Williams said, noting that initially tourism formed part of social studies curriculum. “I believe, and I don’t think enough time was there to touch on all of the critical areas. So we wanted to break that cycle somewhat and to focus more on the industry in a holistic way so that the young ones can learn a lot more about tourism and at the same time start developing a propensity for the industry, so that when the time comes for them to choose a career path, that is the path hopefully, we’d want them to go down.”
Mr. Williams also noted that there would also be competitions during the month. Mention was made of the Old but New Pastiche Contest.
“It is geared primarily for our young at heart members of the public,” Mr. Williams said. “It is an opportunity for them to rediscover some of old St. Kitts, whether it’s a site or a building or what-have-you, to bring it to life.”
“Basically, the project calls for them to find an old photograph, go back to the same location where the photo was taken so many years ago, and to take a new picture of the site or the building as the case may be, post it on our (Faces of Tourism) Facebook site and try to get their friends to tag it – give them some “likes” and the one with the most “likes” will win a prize.”
The competition will also springboard into an exhibition.
“Following from the competition there is also an exhibition, so some of the entries that we would have received would be on display, so the whole public can see them,” Mr. Williams said. “During the course of this week, we are also back in the various primary and secondary schools, a number of speakers from our stakeholder partners as well as from the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, we are in schools in what we call the talking schools series, where we can impart more information about tourism and the development that is happening and the opportunities that are available, because we always want to make sure that we can impart information about opportunities.”
November is commemorated annually as Tourism Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Tourism Education: Connectivity for Sustainability.”