By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- The Ministry of Tourism, Nevis Island Administration hosted its annual Tourism Youth Congress on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at the Occasions Building, located at Pinney’s Industrial Site Nevis.
The ceremony began with the invocation by Mr. John Hanley. This was followed by the National Anthem.
Chairperson of the event, Ms. Clayticia Daniel, gave the opening remarks. She told those gathered that she was delighted to share such a remarkable day with the participants of the Youth Congress. She urged the participants to remain focused and to aspire for excellence. Ms. Daniel, who was a former Youth Junior Minister, concluded by saying that she was confident that whoever emerged as the winner of the competition, will go on to make Nevis proud in the final competition that is scheduled to be held in Curacao.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Carl Williams, also gave some remarks. Mr. Williams stated that the exercise was extremely important for both the students and the Ministry. He indicated that it was widely accepted, that Tourism is the engine which drives many economies worldwide. He noted that it was imperative that we continue to seek different avenues, to ensure that the industry keeps growing; and if that is to be possible, the young creative minds of our island must be engaged. He also highlighted the well known cliché that the youth are the men and women of tomorrow, as well as the movers and shakers of every nation. In closing, Williams wished all of the participants all the best in their presentations.
Chief Operating Officer at the Bank of Nevis Ltd, Mrs. Lisa Herbert, also gave some remarks. She stated to those in attendance, that the institution was this year celebrating 30 years of sterling service, to persons at home and throughout the Diaspora. Mrs. Herbert noted that the bank was committed to fulfilling its role as a responsible corporate entity, by its ongoing contributions to initiatives and causes in various areas. She indicated that it was extremely rewarding, to once again partner with the Ministry of Tourism in order to host the Youth Congress. She noted that this year marked the fourth consecutive year of this partnership. Mrs. Herbert said the bank was pleased with the accomplishments of past winners of the event, Neila Jones and Rol-J Williams for being victorious at the regional level. She concluded by expressing optimism that Nevis will again come out on top for the third time in succession.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Wakely Daniel, also spoke at the ceremony. He stated that he was grateful for the invitation extended to him, to be a part of such an occasion. Mr. Daniel also congratulated Neila Jones and Rol-J Williams, for their successes at the regional level of the event. He indicated that they have inspired an entire island and its people. Daniel indicated that the exercise was one that had always sought to harness the ideas and concerns of young people regarding our Tourism Industry, how it stands at present, and its progress in the future. In conclusion, he told the students that they have the responsibility to increase the awareness of the people of Nevis and the Caribbean about the importance of the Tourism Industry.
Subsequently following the ceremony, the students made their presentations that were adjudicated by a panel of judges. The topics presented were, ‘Green Tourism’ and ‘Filmed Induced Tourism’.
At the end of the event, which saw students proposing several ideas to enhance the tourism product in Nevis, Tarana Kacker of the Nevis International Secondary School emerged Junior Youth Minister with a total of 377 points. Second place was awarded to K-Jell Smithen of the Charlestown Secondary School with a total of 361 points; and third place was given to Kayla Sandiford a student at the Nevis International Secondary School with 351 points.