Junior tourism minister weeks away from regional contest
(From left) Kade-Jah Baker, Aleesha Beadle and Kadion Beeput, all from Montego Bay High School for Girls, in dialogue with Junior Minister of Tourism Deja Bremmer. (Photo: Anthony Lewis)

ROSE HALL, St James — With only a few weeks to go before she competes in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Youth Congress in Turks & Caicos, Jamaica's Junior Minister of Tourism Deja Bremmer is looking forward to going up against her peers from the region.

"I've been doing a lot of practice for public speaking, a lot of training sessions. I've been revisiting my speech, educating myself, speaking with persons who are important or essential in this sector, and they have been really imparting knowledge on me," said the 15-year old student of Manning's School in Westmoreland.

She was one of several speakers who addressed the Tourism Awareness Week 2023 Youth Forum on Wednesday — World Tourism Day.

"I'm looking forward to it. I want to travel. I guess the culture would be somewhat similar to Jamaica's, but I'm interested to learn about the differences as well as the similarities," Bremmer added.

The Turks and Caicos event is her only activity outside of Jamaica during her one-year reign, which comes to an end next year.

"That's the only overseas one, but locally I'm the youth ambassador; I'm the representative for young voices and I'm there to encourage and educate persons," she stated.

The fifth-former was named Jamaica's junior tourism minister in late August after winning the islandwide high school competition.

She was encouraged to enter the competition by a teacher of hers who is also the advisor for the Tourism Action Club — a high school extracurricular activity.

"He spoke with me about the competition, registered me, and went to the first round where we were presented with three topics," stated Bremmer.

"We were supposed to select one and do a three-minute speech. I chose 'Building a resilient and sustainable tourism workforce'. That was my topic. I spoke on it and answered a mystery question for one minute and I was crowned the junior tourism minister above the competitors," she added.

Though she has relatives working in the sector, a career in tourism was not on her radar, initially. She wanted to become a lawyer who specialises in corporate law, media law or entertainment law. Now she is having second thoughts.

"Tourism is on the cards. It is just that it was not my career path before the competition and now that I am in the competition, it looks like it will change," Bremmer said.

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

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