FORT DE FRANCE, Martinique (21 Oct, 2013)- Nevisian student Neila Jones has emerged winner of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO)’s Tourism Youth Congress held in Martinique as part of the 2013 State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC2013).
Ms. Jones, a student of the Gingerland Secondary School, was out front from the beginning of the debate in which 14 youngsters from CTO member countries addressed one of two topic – “Multigenerational Travel of Grand Tripping” and “Agro Tourism: There’s More To It Than Visiting the Farms.” The students also had to show they were quick thinkers after they were given a mystery topic – “Share One Thing You Would Like To Achieve As Junior Minister of Tourism and State Why Achieving or Experiencing This Would be Important to You”, They had one minute to formulate their answers.
Ms. Jones, 16, presented some fascinating recommendations, including a plan to facilitate the establishment of farm-bungalow lodgings, complemented by activities like farm tours, donkey cart rides and folk stories around camp fires.
“I have no words to express how I feel. I’m so overwhelmed and full of excitement,” she said the news of her victory sank in.
“Agro-tourism is very important because it helps the island and benefits both the visitors and the people who live on the island,” Ms. Jones added.
Ms. Jones said she would work closely with her peers in order to encourage them to get involved in tourism, but she has no immediate plans to become minister of tourism in her native Nevis, although she said she’d welcome the opportunity if it came her way.
In second position was Renita Shirnauth of St. Joseph Convent in St. Lucia while Annick Bedford of St. Kitts took the third spot. The first prize winner’s award, a mini iPad, was sponsored by Opusseven. The second prize was a kindle fire and third place took home a nook.
The students, aged between14-17 shared some innovative ideas, from a model farm in St. Lucia where honeymooners would have their vows written in shredded farm vegetables to rum shop tourism in Barbados where there are more than 1500 rum shops.
The team from Nevis was led by Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Education Officer and Coordinator of the local Bank of Nevis Ltd. Tourism Youth Congress and was also supported by Deborah Lellouch, Tourism Specialist Teacher attached to the Ministry of Tourism.
This year’s Youth Congress was chaired by last year’s winner, O’Brian Lewis of Jamaica.
Martinique is magical, a rich and vibrant tapestry of French chic and authentic Creole spice woven across an absolutely fascinating tropical setting nestled in the heart of the Lesser Antilles. An overseas region of France, Martinique stirs wanderlust and passions with the Caribbean’s most delectable culinary delights, awe-inspiring natural beauty, a rich cultural history, warm smiles and so much more. Its various nicknames — The Caribbean island with French flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World — hint at the uniquely special experiences that await visitors here, as do such celebrated awards as “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” (Caribbean Travel + Life: 2009), “Best Caribbean Destination” (About.com: 2010), and induction of The bay of Fort-de-France in The Most Beautiful Bays of the World (2011). Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised here. Majestic Mt. Pelée and The Pompeii of the Caribbean, St. Pierre, is found here. The finest French products and the wonders of Caribbean authenticity are readily available here. A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique! For photographs visit:
About the Caribbean Tourism Organization
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.
Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, research and information technology.
In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.
The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected].
The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected];
The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected];
For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org.
Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism .
Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.