Tourism and education

I know that plans are well on the way once again for Teachers’ Professional Day which comes up in another few weeks and it is my hope that some of our island’s schools will take this opportunity to focus on tourism and education.

The BHTA started a pilot programme of introducing tourism education into the schools and some private sector agencies have partnered with some of our island’s schools to get this process on the way, but I feel that we can do much more.

I feel that a day like Teachers’ Professional Day can be used to deliver a powerful message from the island’s tourism practitioners to the members of our teaching professionals. I believe that some teachers would be pleasantly surprised at the advancement of some of their students, especially those from the more recent past.

Programmes like Junior Duelling Chefs has brought lots of excitement about cooking into the schools and many of our young people are being inspired to become cooks/chefs. But cooking is not all that there is to our industry and it is my belief that hearing directly from the industry practitioners could also inspire renewed interest is subjects such as Principles of Business, Accounting and Business Studies to name a few.

I believe that an early association with the reason for grasping these subjects will be beneficial to our youth.

Being excited about having the ability to produce quality looking and tasting dishes is great; being able to make the association with the elements of cost, quality control, time management and planning would be an enhancer. During these tough economic times the performance of our tourism industry has maintained the interest of most Barbadians, but are we truly making preparations for better performance?

I believe that everything that we do is connected to our tourism performance. In another few weeks, we are going to be confronted with some extremely busy times as events like the Rihanna concert, the CLOBI Cup and the Food & Wine and Rum festival all turn in around the same time. Are we ready to cope and capitalise on them? Are we ready to apply the yield management techniques and the rules of demand and supply which are widely talked about in economics.

Our youth is our future, I believe that our teachers have an awesome responsibility in preparing them for our future and our industry’s future; and, any opportunity to inspire our teachers should be utilised.

*Tourism is our business, let us play our part.

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