Kya Knight captured the essence of Barbados, and future of this island’s tourism product, in a page-and-a-half, to win the 2018 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s (FCCA) Essay Competition.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds, made this announcement recently, during a brief ceremony at the Deighton Griffith Secondary School.
Showering the 13-year-old with praise, Minister Symmonds said: “Kya captured in a clear succinct manner all that I have been trying to get across to the people of Barbados.
“All of us in the Caribbean have sea, all of us have sun, and all of us have sand. We must now look as a country to identify those things that we do differently, what makes us special, what makes Barbados stand apart from everywhere else in the Caribbean.”
In her essay, Kya urged visitors to go beyond the sea, sand and sun into Barbadian cane fields and villages to play a game of dominoes, drink coconut water or soursop punch, to ‘lime’ with the people, enjoy local fruits and experience the culture of Barbados.
The Tourism Minister declared that Kya’s essay should be “a compulsory read for the business community and young people in Barbados” as it represents where the island’s tourism product needed to be.
“She understands what I can’t get big business in Barbados to understand… that is that the tourism package and the tourism attractions of Barbados must go beyond a shopping experience. It goes beyond a ride in a taxi or large coach. It is about experiencing Barbados and all that we do as Barbadians. It is about meeting with our people, eating, drinking with our people…,” he insisted.
After speaking, the Tourism Minister invited Kya to read her essay to fellow students, teachers and her parents, Kelly Ann and Dwayne Knight, who were also in attendance. She received a resounding applause.
Kya won a trip for two on Carnival Cruise Line, US $3000.00 and various industry prizes. US $3000.00 was also awarded to the Deighton Griffith Secondary School.
The competition was facilitated by the Barbados Tourism Product Authority, under the sponsorship of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association.