By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- On the morning of Thursday, May 8, 2014, The Ministry of Tourism held its annual Tourism Youth Congress at the Nevis Performing Arts Theatre (NEPAC), located at Pinney’s Industrial Site, Nevis.
The ceremony began with the invocation by Pastor Alfred Forbes. This was followed by the National Anthem.
Chairperson of the event, Mr. John Hanley gave the opening remarks. He told those gathered that he was delighted and pleased, to be in such a magnificent edifice to share such a remarkable day with the participants of the Youth Congress. He also urged the participants, to stay focused and aspire for excellence. Mr. Hanley said he had always endorsed the Youth Congress since he believed it was a significant stepping stone for the young people of Nevis.
General Manager of the Bank of Nevis Ltd, Mr. Everette Martin, also gave some brief remarks. He told those in attendance, that he was proud of the ministry and in particular Ms. Vanessa Webbe, who has always worked closely with the Bank of Nevis. Mr. Martin also stated that the banking institution believed firmly in the Youth Congress, and the advancement of young people on the island. He also noted that this is the third year that the Bank of Nevis was partnering with the Youth Congress and he pledged the Bank’s continued support in the future.
Mr. Martin also claimed that the Tourism Youth Congress is an opportunity for the youth to display their knowledge. He indicated that the Bank was proud to be a part of the initiative. In closing he indicated that Mrs. Bronte Swanston-Hendrickson, Marketing Manager at the Bank of Nevis, was instrumental in the bank’s sponsorship of the event.
Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory, also gave some remarks. He noted that Tourism is the driving force behind economic development on the island and it is very important for persons to grasp its significance. Premier Amory also indicated that the Tourism Industry is an international phenomenon due to the fact that every country around the globe engages in Tourism in one form or another. Mr. Amory told the gathering that unlike so many other countries in the Caribbean, Nevis does not have natural resources such as oil and bauxite. As a result of this, an enormous amount of strain is on the Tourism Sector. In closing, the Premier congratulated all the participants for being a part of the event and wished them luck in their future endeavors.
Assistant Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Mr. Carl Williams, gave some inspiring words. Mr. Williams stated that the exercise was extremely important for both parties and especially the ministry, since it gave them an opportunity to hear some of the suggestions the youth have to offer. He was of the view, that students in the past were always equipped with views and ideas that could enhance the Tourism Industry. Williams indicated that based on research, the Tourism Industry is the fastest growing industry in the world which means new ideas will have to be implemented. He implored the participants to bring forth their ideas as they serves to promote the industry on a whole.
At the end of the event which saw students proposing several ideas to enhance the tourism product in Nevis , Mr. Rol-J Williams of the Gingerland Secondary School emerged Junior Youth Minister with a total of 479 points. Second place was awarded to Paige James, of the Charlestown Secondary School with 477 points and third place was given to Cheslin Maloney, a student at the Charlestown Secondary School with 465 points.