THTI Students in New York at CTO’s Student Colloquium
History was made for THTI and Tobago this past June, with four of our students qualifying as finalists in the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Students’ Colloquium hosted in New York, USA. This event is part of the CTO’s Caribbean Week Celebration and was held on June 3-7, 2019 at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel.
The Caribbean Students Colloquium is a program designed to engage future leaders of the Caribbean in tourism-related activities, through a competition in which teams of students studying at the tertiary level vie for the Championship. This annual symposium is aimed at generating solutions to tourism-related issues. The program was created in 2010 by CTO-USA to challenge interns to create a project for Caribbean Week that would engage youth, which would then lead them to being enrolled at tertiary institutions in the Caribbean and the United States.
Since 2011, the Caribbean Student Colloquium has been welcoming students from colleges and universities across the Caribbean and the United States who are interested in sustainable initiatives and have a desire to be involved in their development and implementation.
The Colloquium challenges these students to research and present, free-style, a practical sustainable tourism project for the Caribbean that, upon implementation, will provide a viable source of income.
The four finalists in the 2019 colloquium were:
- Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute
- University College of the Cayman Island
- University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
- Monroe College, New York.
THTI students, Rianne Agard, Renne Guy, Jennings Jones, and Aaliyah Kennedy, were accompanied by Stephen Sheppard, CEO and Joanna Moses-Wothke, Dean Academic Services. They presented a research paper on “Sustainable Tourism Development Plan for Caribbean Festivals using the Tobago Heritage Festival as a model”. The students purposefully selected the iconic Tobago Heritage Festival, conducted an audit, and prepared a sustainable development plan for enhancing the festival across economic, environmental and social dimensions. Even though they did not win the championship, the students made an unforgettable contribution at the Colloquium and are determined to use the experience to bring the trophy home in 2020!
A heartfelt thank you to all supporters who made the students’ participation possible:
Chief Secretary of the THA, Ms Tinielle Des Vignes of the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited, RBC Royal Bank, Republic Bank Ltd, Dr Eastlyn McKenzie, Mr. George Leacock, Mr. Gilbert ‘Brother Happy’ O’Connor, Ms. Aleah Holder (Miss Windward 2019 Afro Queen), Mr. Imo Jordan & Mr David Jacobs of the THA Department of Information.