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Bartlett stresses need for casino-savvy workers

PAT ROXBOROUGH-WRIGHT

Sunday, May 09, 2010

MONTEGO BAY, St James Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has mooted the need to fast-track the establishment of a school of hospitality to meet the impending introduction of full-scale casino operations in Jamaica.
"The school of hospitality which is overdue which we had to put on hold due to the new economic realities facing us, has to come on stream next year because it is going to play a critical part in preparing the cadre of professionals for this industry," he told patrons of his ministry's second annual national tourism service excellence awards yesterday.
The awards ceremony, a lavish black-tie affair, was staged at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa.
Noting that his ministry was aware of the need to develop social models to deal with some of the downsides that would attend legalised gambling, Bartlett said the need to prepare was critical.
"If we are going to have casino activities in the next six or 12 months, we have to begin to work overtime to produce the quality of entertainers and workers that the industry will require," he said.
Meanwhile, Dean Moriah, director of the newly-formed SuperClubs Foundation and Beaches Boscobel, took top individual and organisational honours in the national Tourism Service Excellence awards, as the programme climaxed.
It was the second win for Beaches Boscobel, whose Fiona Hartley took top honours in the individual category at the inaugural staging of the awards last year.
Taking the positions of third and second runners-up for the organisational category were Ocho Rios' Mystic Mountain and the Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa respectively, while Mark Cole, a chef at the Hedonism III resort in Ocho Rios and Chukka Caribbean Adventures' Jamaal Morrison took the positions of third and second runners-up respectively.