Winners of the 2009 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Environmental Poster Competition, Talea Bassett-Philips (second from left) and Charissa Celia Hinds of Alexandra School, pose with their art teachers Kim Jones (left) and Gail Streat-Jules.

A Government Minister has called on all Barbadians, particularly the tourism stakeholders, to ensure they inculcate levels of awareness of the significance of tourism to the country’s development.

This was the key message sent today to Corporate Barbados and the general public when Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, addressed the Awards Ceremony for the island’s top entrants in the 2009 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Children’s Environmental Poster Competition, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Acknowledging that tourism awareness was critical to “our young people when they are most capable of taking it in”, Minister Sealy lauded the efforts of the FCCA, whom he noted had “for sometime been trying to promote environmental awareness in young people of the Caribbean, through its poster and essay competitions.

 “This is an extremely good initiative and we are very glad that it has been able to continue for such a long period of time,” said Mr. Sealy of the FCCA’s work.

He presented cash prizes to 12-year old Talea Bassett-Philips and 14-year old Charissa Celia Hinds, both students of the Alexandra School in St. Peter and winners in the junior and the senior divisions, respectively. 

 While urging the students to continue their interests in competitions, he said, “This type of effort or work does not form part of the formal syllabus in terms of preparing you for your exams, [but] it is just as critical to the whole process of education in creating and preparing you for life, increasing your awareness and helping to build an all-round character.”

Following the presentation, the two students, their parents and teachers were treated to a tour and lunch on board the cruise ship, Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas, an exercise organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Foster and Ince Cruise Services.

Foster and Ince Cruise Services were, themselves, encouraged by the Tourism Minister “to come on board” and help in urging their competitors to work, not only with the Ministry of Tourism, but also with other entities in the public and private sectors for the benefit of the young people.

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