The Turks and Caicos Islands, represented by the Clement Howell High School placed second in the regionally staged National Tourism Debate held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 3.
The team of Antwan Butler, Esther Joseph and Kiajé Williams was only bested by eventual Champions St. Lucia.
Schools from three different nations used the Zoom platform to compete in a series of debates leading up to the final. Defending champions, The Bahamas, did not participate in this year’s event. Wolmers High School for Girls from Jamaica and Leon Hess from St. Lucia both sent representatives.
The finals saw the Turks and Caicos Islands team, coached by Ms. Keisha Carter, proposing the motion “This house believes that intra-regional trade offers very little support to tourism”. But although the Turks and Caicos team made a ‘fiery’ presentation, St Lucia claimed first place, by opposing the motion - “This house believes that visa-free travel should be allowed to all countries within the commonwealth”.
St. Lucia won with 660 points, just ahead of Turks and Caicos Islands (606), demonstrating the intensity of the competition and a slim margin of victory. Sandals Resort, the event's sponsor, provided each team's coaches with a free weekend stay at any of their properties in the Caribbean.
Minister of Education Hon. Rachel Taylor, reacting to the commanding performance by the national champions, stated: “We understand the importance of steering young creative minds into the tourism and hospitality industry and the expansion of such youth programs affords this opportunity.
“As organizers of this event, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, we are achieving the expected synergy and stirring the critical conversation among the youth. Congratulations to Team TCI.”
Conveying her congratulatory remarks, Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism stated declared: “Such collaborative efforts foster capacity building and increase awareness of the interrelationships that exist because of tourism. Our youth are truly a part of the process and events such as these will only attract them to the industry.”
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Tourism will continue to support this initiative and congratulates all participants including, students, teachers, coaches and officials of both Ministries.