Valuable suggestions to guide this island’s tourism product were offered today when the Ministry of Tourism hosted a youth forum on the Tourism Master Plan 2012-2021, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Acting Project Coordinator, Sherry Waithe, explained that the half-day event, which featured 4th and 5th formers from schools including St. Leonard’s Boys, Springer Memorial, Combermere and Industry High School, sought to encourage frank discussion, which would contribute to the document’s completion.

She explained that based on the suggestions the students offered, the consultant group developing the document will take the information into consideration and feed it into the development of the Tourism Master Plan.?? She added that the youth forum was just one of the stakeholder consultations which would contribute to the Plan’s content.

Noting that the outcome of the already-completed consultations had resulted in the creation of a progress report last November, Ms. Waithe revealed that they were currently "at the draft final stage of the Plan, which we expect to have completed by April. We will go back to our stakeholders for a review at the end of this stage…[and we expect that] the final draft will be completed by June."

The youth forum was designed to educate students about the sector and the master planning process, have them share their views on the industry; and hear their opinions on how the sector could be designed to better cater to young tourists.

The White Paper on the Development of Tourism in Barbados 2012-2021, which was approved last October, serves as a policy document for the industry, while the Master Plan will operate as a national guide for the sustained growth of the sector.

The White Paper is available online in the Media: Downloads section at https://www.gisbarbados.gov.bb/.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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