St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda – February 8, 2024 – The Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) has collaborated with the Schools Tourism Awareness Programme of the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Investment to continue an enriching program aimed at providing primary school students with firsthand knowledge of the hospitality industry.
Dedicated hospitality professionals, members of the ABHTA, have generously volunteered their time to share their valuable experiences and expertise with students. Leading this initiative is Mrs. Paula C. Joseph, the Community Education & Training Officer, who is delivering crucial information profiling key areas of the industry, illustrating its economic benefits, and emphasizing how everyone can contribute to its success.
Minister Charles “Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation and Investment remarked that “The Schools Tourism Awareness Programme has been in both Government and Private Primary schools for some 25 years. The main reason for visiting the schools is to sensitize our students about their role in the tourism product, since it is our main industry. The students are encouraged to keep their school campus clean, and by extension the country, by not littering. They are doing this first for themselves because they have civic pride, and as a plus our visitors come and enjoy a clean Antigua & Barbuda. They are also encouraged to be polite and friendly to our visitors and to assist with directions when necessary. The program continues to be a welcomed feature each term at all primary schools.”
During a visit to Jennings Secondary School, Rachel Browne, 2nd Vice Chair of the ABHTA, emphasized the association’s commitment to educating the next generation of hospitality professionals. She stated, “There is a myriad of roles available in the hospitality sector, and we are pleased to bring this wide cross-section of roles upfront and personal to the students. In addition to school visits, we are also excited to involve our members in ensuring that primary school students in 5th and 6th grades have an opportunity to visit tourism businesses across the country.”
The Primary School partnership program commenced in the 1st term, with visits already conducted in sixteen (16) schools. The program is set to continue throughout terms 2 and 3, fostering a sustained and impactful engagement with the students. Hospitality Professionals wishing to volunteer their time to host students to a visit of their establishment, can contact Sherry-On Browne Nicholas at the office of the ABHTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 462.0374/4928.