Over 150 students join Tourism Action Club in MoBay schools
OVER 150 students from Montego Bay High School, Cornwall College and Herbert Morrison Technical High School became newly inducted members of their school’s Tourism Action Club (TAC) on December 7. Held at Montego Bay High School, the students were presented with certificates of membership and badges to signify their commitment to the clubs.
Guest speaker Philip Rose, deputy director of tourism, Americas, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), as inspiration to the students, reflected on his journey in the tourism industry. Starting his first job in tourism at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites at just 15 years old, he learnt from his then manager while working in the restaurant that every person regardless of role, title and level of education plays a crucial role in tourism.
“Visitors to Jamaica and even people overseas who have not yet visited the island, when asked the number one positive thing about Jamaica, they say the people,” he noted. He charged the students to retain their Jamaican creole because it is loved all over the world and to love the colour of their skin. He also encouraged them not to hesitate in occupying roles in tourism because there is so much to gain from the industry that contributes 50 per cent to Jamaica’s foreign exchange earnings.
The induction process, led by Abigail Henry-Hernandez, tourism awareness officer, JTB, informed the new members of the TAC on the importance of their role to the club and their country’s tourism sector.
“New members, you are joining a national organisation that has helped small Jamaicans make a big difference in their lives. As members of the Tourism Action Club, you will benefit from a proven programme of self-development. You will become part of a global network of people committed to the growth and success of tourism in Jamaica,” Henry-Hernandez noted when reciting the induction pledge.
Director of tourism Donovan White believes that students play a vital role in helping to promote Jamaica.
“It is important to have initiatives like these in schools because our students serve as ambassadors in the tourism industry. They are the ones that will provide creative ideas to improve our product offerings and help us to reach a wider audience,” he said. “I am proud of the students who have accepted the calling to join the club because they will receive great opportunities from our beloved industry.”
White added that he looks forward to the new members’ participation in upcoming tourism activities that will help them to gain a greater understanding of the industry’s importance and value.