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Tourism language training kicks off

Saturday, August 18, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — The Ministry of Tourism, through a collaboration with the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) and the Spanish Embassy, began a series of Spanish language training sessions aimed at building the capacity of tourism workers.

A release from the tourism ministry outlined that through this partnership, the Embassy of Spain invited the experts in Spanish language training from Spain, Cervantes Institute of Spain, to deliver a special 3-hour introduction to Spanish for the staff at the RIU hotels in Montego Bay from August 16-17, 2018.

Portfolio minister Edmund Bartlett highlighted the importance of language training in the sector, in an address to a cohort of the participants at the RIU Palace hotel yesterday.

He emphasised that “To build the capacity of our people to grow and expand beyond their professional activities in Jamaica calls for us to know other languages but more so Spanish in our experiences.”

He added that most of the tourism partners and brands we have in Jamaica all have establishments in the Spanish speaking countries around us.

“It is critical for us to be able to hone our skills at communicating with our neighbours especially as we seek to build Multi Destination tourism arrangements with Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.”

Bartlett further stated that with Jamaica's geographical location and importance of Spanish companies in the tourism sector, Spanish as a second language has become a necessity, adding that the island is around Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Haiti which speaks creole and French.

“This programme with the Cervantes Institute is part of a wider programme of collaboration we are seeking in building human capital which will also include language training in French, Chinese and German as these are the big markets that we have to respond to.

“We also want to change the entire labour market arrangements for our workers who we are committed to training and certifying so they can be at the highest levels of their profession to demand the highest returns for their labour,” the minister continued.

Spanish Ambassador, Josep Maria Bosch, who was also present at the training session applauded the effort of Bartlett and thanked the team for the seamless collaboration.

The internationally recognised Cervantes Institute of Spain, flagship institution in the diffusion of the Spanish language, is on an Academic Mission from August 15-22, 2018. Outside of the introductory Spanish training sessions, the team has started a 4-day intensive training course for teachers of Spanish as a Foreign Language to over 100 participants at the Shortwood Teachers' College in Kingston which will end on August 21.

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