Tourism is our business; let’s play our part. This was the reminder to students from Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner at today’s 2014 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Children’s Essay Competition Awards Ceremony.
“This slogan is still very relevant today,” Sandiford-Garner told awardees. “Your participation in the competition is truly a way of your playing your part, as you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of tourism and its benefits to our island. But your part does not stop there.
“You can continue to play your part in this industry we call tourism, and I cannot emphasize enough how important this sector is for Barbados. It is a sector whose income has greatly assisted us in enjoying our high standard of living. It is an industry also that provides jobs –– which is professionally and financially rewarding for Barbadians. It is the lifeline of the Barbados economy.
“I encourage you youth to consider careers in tourism. The possibilities are limitless,” said the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism.
Sandiford Garner further reminded the students of the importance of the tourism sector to the island, and pointed out the need to be educated about it.
“It is extremely important for us as a nation, with tourism as its main economic driver, to educate our people about the importance of our environment and to encourage them to actively play their part in its protection and issues that pertain to survival,” she advised.
Sandiford-Garner said she was pleased with the entries in the competition by Barbadian students and hoped to see it continue.
“I am extremely proud that our island Barbados has stood out again from among the 19 countries that participated in this competition . . . . The Government through the Ministry [of Tourism] is pleased with the response from the schools across Barbados and is delighted at the continued interest displayed in the industry . . . . Each year, the competitions are wholeheartedly supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation,” she said.
She also thanked parents, guardians and teachers for spurring students to enter the competition and for helping them.
“I encourage you to continue to nurture these young leaders and engage them in discussion on national issues, so that they are well versed in what is happening in their country. It is the experiences they have in their childhood years that open their mind to a world of possibilities.
“To you, the youth of our nation, go forward and continue to play your part in the tourism sector, and develop into industrious citizens of this island,” she told them.
This year they were 33 competitors from Barbados –– 12 juniors and 21 seniors. They wrote or designed posters under the theme Why It Is Important That Cruise Ships Come To My Destination.
Karlton Holligan’s essay, based on a conversation with his father on cruise tourism and its benefit to the island, earned a cash prize of US$1,000 for himself and his school at the regional leg of the essay competition. The St Luke’s-Brighton Primary School placed third.
At the local level, Cherish Samuel of Springer Memorial placed second, while Chémar Burnham of Queen’s College placed third in the juniors. In the senior division, James Inniss of Chirst Church Foundation placed first, followed by Cannigia Arthur of Harrison College, and Candice Harold of The Lodge School placed third.