Careers & Education

Nadine Valentine gets grant to research wellness tourism

Sunday, July 27, 2014    

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THE Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has awarded Nadine Valentine, an office manager at the University of the West Indies (UWI), a US$2,500 tuition grant to conduct research on wellness tourism in Jamaica.

Valentine is currently pursuing a master's degree in tourism and hospitality management at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM).

Valentine is an active member of the MSBM community, where her entrepreneurship proposal is the establishment of a plant tissue culture laboratory to support agrotourism. Her initiative in this area led to her becoming a semi-finalist in both the 2013 UWI Venture Competition and the 2014 National Business Model Competition.

She also collaborated to produce a paper, 'How Caribbean governments can use tourism to mitigate climate change' which was accepted for the seventh World Conference on Graduate Research in Tourism Hospitality and Leisure held between June 3 and 8 in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was based on those accomplishments that administrators at the university nominated her for the grant, an opportunity Valentine is excited about.

"I am very happy and honoured to be a recipient. The tuition grant is very timely," she said.

She hopes the grant will facilitate her efforts to provide a business model that can support stability in tourism and agriculture -- two of the most significant sectors that she believes can help to stabilise the economy.

"One of my research objectives is to identify the motivators of wellness tourists and to match them with the facilities that are available in Jamaica," she said.

She said she chose her particular master's subjects for new career experiences.

"My work experiences are predominantly in the areas of customer service and operations management, and tourism offers the most dynamic environment in which I could use this experience and apply my skills," Valentine said.

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