The Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) is once again reaching out to schools across Barbados in its search for the next Junior Minister of Tourism.

This quest will take the form of the BTPA???s annual speech competition, to be held on Monday, March 14, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Students between the ages of 14 and 17 will be asked to speak on Voluntourism, a combination of volunteering and travel, and Attracting the Youth Traveller. There will also be a mystery topic for contestants to address.

Participants will make presentations during a simulated Board of Directors meeting, which will be chaired by last year???s Junior Tourism Minister and the current Caribbean Junior Minister of Tourism, Chlo?? Walker.

The winning student will defend the island???s regional title during the upcoming Caribbean Youth Tourism Congress, to be held in September at the Caribbean Tourism Organization???s (CTO???s) State of the Industry Conference in Barbados.

The new Junior Tourism Minister will also receive a number of prizes, including an internship within the industry, a tablet, a clothing allowance, cash and a staycation. He or she will also participate in a number of tourism-related activities organised by the BTPA and its stakeholders. Runners-up will receive cash, books and tourism product experiences.

The event is being organised by the National Tourism Host Programme at the BTPA as a tourism awareness initiative for the students and to provide a platform for the grooming of future leaders in the tourist industry.

Programme Officer with that department, Marsha Armstrong, explained that this year???s competition would be ???extra special???, as the winner would be representing Barbados at the CTO???s Caribbean Youth Tourism Congress, which will be held here during Barbados??? 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations.

???The competition continues to achieve high levels of participation from secondary schools across the island, and it is our sincere hope that these young people will one day take up leadership positions or entrepreneurial opportunities within the industry, not only in Barbados, but regionally and across the world,??? she added.

To become the Junior Minister of Tourism, students must be nominated by their respective schools and their names submitted to the BTPA no later than Friday, February 26. Application forms, competition rules and permission slips may be downloaded by clicking here.

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