BASSETERRE (23rd September, 2016): St. Kitts Junior Minister of Tourism, Dahneira Hodge, placed fourth at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Tourism Youth Congress, which was recently held in Barbados.
The 2016 Tourism Youth Congress comprised of Tourism Junior Ministers representing fifteen Caribbean nations, debating on various facets of the tourism sector, to share their visions for the future direction of regional tourism.
Dahneira, who is a student of the Washington Archibald High School, was given high praises for her speech which incorporated the use of social media, to provide visitors with virtual tours of the destination.
“Through Augmented Reality, a new age of social media as highlighted by CTO Secretary-General Hugh Riley, visitors, can from the comfort of their homes transport themselves virtually to our destination,” Dahneira said in her speech. “While in St. Kitts, visitors can relive historical events by pointing their phones in designated locations and see a 3-dimensional model pop up on their screens.”
“We must compliment Dahneira on her innovative thinking, because her presentation is an excellent idea of enriching the experience of our guests through social media and virtual reality.” Minister Grant said. “At the Ministry of Tourism we recognize that our Youth are critical to a sustainable, vibrant and dynamic tourism industry. That is why I will always encourage and support a pro-people approach to tourism sector development, which is intended to translate into youth inclusion and capacity building, entrepreneurship and employment.”
The Tourism Youth Congress is a facet of CTO’s State of the Industry conference and is aimed at giving youths a voice on the same issues that the heads of their Tourism Authorities address. In this way they are able to discuss issues of regional importance from a youth point of view, and are encouraged to be a part of the sustainability of their islands.
The State of the Tourism Industry Conference, which had as its 2016 theme, Honouring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future, is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which operates from Barbados, New York and London, is the region’s tourism development agency, with 28 member countries and territories and a myriad of private sector allied members.