Yesterday’s Speak-Off Competition yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre was one of the most important activities observed during Tourism Week.

This sentiment was shared by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he delivered remarks at the event, which saw eight competitors offering solutions to mitigate. ??The negative impact of the airline passenger duty (APD) tax, which was introduced by the United Kingdom last year.??

The Minister said that youth participation was crucial for the sector, and assured the public that the competition was just one example of the endeavours that can be used to encourage young persons to get involved in tourism related initiatives.

Mr. Sealy stated the importance of tourism goes went beyond financial gain.?? "The whole idea of pushing tourism and what it means, not only from an economic point of view, but also socially and culturally, is a mammoth task and one that we’re willing to do and one that will take engagement at the level of our school children," Mr. Sealy explained.

?????????????????? The Tourism Minister contended that tourism involvement should also become a staple in the lives of young people, and agreed with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s suggestion that tourism should be a part of the school curriculum.

??"I think it would be a wonderful occurrence for the region, [as] we are the most tourism dependent region in the world. Whether or not you’re going to make your career in tourism, I think having an understanding; having an appreciation for nuances and mores and peculiarities of this creature we call tourism, can only serve you well as you

move on," he opined.

?????????????????? Minister Sealy also stated that the Ministry, along with its strategic partners, will be taking a holistic approach to tourism industry awareness as a way to reach all Barbadians.

"There is a glaring need now for a fresh tourism awareness campaign.?? We’ve had some very successful ones in the past, we all know Tourism is our business, Let’s play our part. We had the Tubby de Guard series and so on, but we definitely ??need one now and … we are looking at a broader and deeper and meaningful tourism

campaign that will involve all of our partners in the extremely near future," the Tourism Minister observed.????

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