Cornwall College takes National Tourism Debate trophy

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Cornwall College takes National Tourism Debate trophy

BY MARK CUMMINGS
Editor-at-Large

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James -The Montego Bay based-Cornwall College recently emerged winners of the 2020 renewal of the National Tourism Debate after defeating Jamaica College in the final, which was for the first time conducted using the videoconferencing tool Zoom , due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two schools debated the moot: 'The US issuing a level 3 advisory on travel to Jamaica is an unreasonable stance.'

“The COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order forced a sudden need to improvise on the organisers of the debate, which would normally take place with live audiences in various venues, like hotel...the situation was further complicated by the fact that many of the students that had been preparing for the debate were in their final academic year,” said CEO of 1Luv Communications Michelle Tulloch, the organiser of the debate.

“But inspite of this, the debaters insisted on being able to compete and so 1Luv Communications, the Montego Bay-based outfit known for its innovative ability, quickly committed to using a digital platform and decided to use Zoom's conferencing platform,” added Tulloch.

She said the tech-savvy students took to it immediately and, as it turned out, the event was able to add a substantial number of viewers from overseas to its local audience.

“We were very pleased with the result, as it turns out, this could well be the format we may use going forward,” she stressed.

According to Tulloch, the concept of the debate was developed to enable the tourism and hospitality sectors to encourage young minds to focus on tourism-related issues and concerns.

“It served to help young people who were soon to leave school to get a better fix on career options in the industry and help to make them more conversant with tourism matters,” Tulloch told the Jamaica Observer West.

The competition, which started 10 years ago, attracted 16 high schools from across the island this year, and should have ended in April after starting two months earlier, but due to the pandemic, it concluded at the end of last month.

As the winning school, Cornwall College was presented with a cheque for $100,000, along with a trophy and other sectional prizes, including Chukka Adventure Tours, gift certificates from Margaritaville Caribbean and dinner at Marguerites; prizes from YelloJm, while the coach received a weekend for two at Royalton Negril.

Captain of the Cornwall College team Devin McIntosh told the Observer West that the team members “feel absolutely enthused and ecstatic for the win”.

“As a team, we had entered the competition last year where we dropped out prematurely which left us disheartened and disappointed to say the least. This left us on a just search for redemption which we received with this win, hence, we are deeply appreciative,” he said.

He added that the team also entered several competitions along the way leading up to the final.

“One of which, the JADE E-debates also took place on Zoom, which ultimately provided the best opportunity to learn and grow accustomed to the format of the competition post-COVID-19,” said McIntosh.

Belair High in Mandeville won the debate last year.


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