(St. John’s Antigua; March 18, 2017), The thrust continues by the Ministry of Tourism to inculcate the tenets of the industry which is the lifeblood of the Antiguan and Barbudan economy into the minds of the nation’s youth.
Yesterday (FRI) some 130 students were initiated into the 2017 cohort of the Tourism Cadet Program, established to inspire budding youth in the field of tourism studies and tourism careers.
During the Launch ceremony held at La Casa Palmadita in Fitches Creek, Tourism Consultant Ms. Shirlene Nibbs in delivering the welcome remarks, stated that “Antigua and Barbuda’s ability to stay at the forefront of this business in the various source markets is our ability to keep a competitive advantage” and it is through nurturing young and innovative minds at the earliest stages that this would be achievable.
She continued that, “the tourism cadet corps has the greatest potential to assist the country strategically in maintaining any outstanding performance as a tourism destination”.
His Excellency Sir James Carlisle acting in the capacity of Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda also addressed the new cadets. He encouraged them to immerse themselves in the cultural attributes of the twin island state as this presents the uniqueness of the destination to the enquiring minds of visitors.
“Cultural, Heritage Tourism generates revenues, creates new jobs and provides opportunities for small businesses. It has been shown that these types of tourists stay longer at their destinations, and spend more. In addition, they have a greater respect for the places they visit”, remarked His Excellency Sir James Carlisle.
With over 250 applications received, Manager of Tourism Education, Training and Awareness, Mrs. Petley Knight is highly enthusiastic about the enormous growth of the program. In its second year under her stewardship Mrs. Knight notes that, “We are continuing to work to change the mindset of those who see tourism as a last resort. There are so many opportunities in this industry but in order for us to fully maximize this; we must retain the skills sets of the brightest and best minds.”
The Tourism Cadet Corps program aids in identifying, nurturing and changing perceptions ensuring a safer and more sustainable future in tourism.
The program will run for a period of 8 months.