Barbados’ youth will get the opportunity to debate one of tourism’s most pertinent issues, when the Ministry of Tourism hosts its Annual Speak-Off Competition as part of this year’s Tourism Week celebrations.??

Participants will present researched responses on how they would advise government to lobby the British administration for a reduction or fairer application of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax for Barbados and neighbouring islands. The controversial APD tax represents a significant increase in costs for passengers travelling to the Caribbean, which, in turn has serious implications for tourism throughout the region.

The competition will see students between the ages of 14 and 17 participating in a simulated Caribbean Tourism Organisation Board Meeting.?? It will be chaired by 2008 Junior Minister of Tourism, Jason Yearwood.?? The title goes to the winner of the event, who then participates in a tourism-related internship and other activities during a year of service.

The contest was created in an effort to enlighten students about the relevance of the industry. It will also see participants compete in an impromptu presentation in response to a ???Mystery Tourism Topic’.

The names of two students who are interested in participating in the event, must be submitted by Wednesday, November 24. ??The competition will be held Monday, December 6.?? For further information on the Speak-Off Competition, contact Marsha Armstrong or Sharon Trotman at the Ministry of Tourism at 430-7500.??

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