If Turks and Caicos Islanders could be more supportive of each other, especially in businesses, the success stories could have been greater, according to do expert concierge and Member of the Golden Key Association, Demond Lightbourne, who was a guest on the FLOW in the Morning Wednesday show ‘Bourne to Lead’ with Leo Lightbourne.
He believes the practice was festered through a culture of competitiveness among neighbours and also the education system.
“We grew up learning to be better than the next person, and so that competitiveness is in you, and so, when you get out there now you are like, ‘I will make it, I don’t know about you’,” he said, supporting the host’s view that the education system also fosters the rat race, and so, people apparently lost the ability as to when to switch it off.
He said also that it is acrimonious for young people to break into certain fields in the tourism sector, since employers are looking for only the experienced.
“If you are under 30, they don’t look at you as being qualified enough. The culture is that you have to be over 30 to be properly recognized as mature hospitality professional. If you are under that age, it is hard for you,” he said.
Lightbourne, the first in the region to have been inducted in the Golden Key Society, pointed out that it appears the culture of disregarding the youth as inexperienced is a global one, because when he went to London to do his training, based on his age, was asked whether he had the knowledge.
He said starting one’s own business could be even more rewarding than working at a resort or restaurant.
“You can create something for yourself within the industry and probably earn more than what that job is paying you. just Know your worth…know your goals and where you want to be,” he encouraged.
He said the pandemic gave him the opportunity to recalibrate and to assess where he was at and whether the job he was in was worth the long hours and time away from family.
“I found myself at Grace Bay Club, I was working 10 to 12 hours a day…that’s time. I have a young family, and that was time away from them. And the pandemic gave me time to relaunch my business, and I said, let me step out and do something that can give me more time,” he explained.
He believes now is a good time to start one’s own business because the economy has been bullish, and tourists are flocking the destination.
He said his interaction with many tourists revealed that they travel here in such great numbers because of the friendliness of the people.
“They say it is more of a relaxed feel. They don’t feel pressured. Turks and Caicos Islanders are not pushy. It is the people that make it one of the best destinations in the world. Other places are sun, sand sea…there is only so far you can go with that. But we just have to be our brother’s keepers,” he said.