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High-level committee established to develop new Jamaica tourism institute

High-level committee established to develop new Jamaica tourism institute


Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has established a high-level committee to spearhead the development of a new tourism institute to aid in the Ministry’s push to strengthen the island’s human capital.

“The members of this high-level committee have been tasked with developing strategies and finalizing plans for the establishment of the institution by 2018. We intend to have this committee morph into the board of management for the soon to be established Jamaica Centre for Tourism and Innovation,” said Minister Bartlett.

The committee, which met for the first time yesterday, includes Minister of Labor and Social Security Hon. Shahine Robinson; Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator, Hon. Ruel Reid, and Donald Hawkins, Professor Emeritus of Management and Tourism Studies, George Washington University, who is also leading a team that is in the process of producing a business plan that will serve as the official guide for the initiative.

Other members include former Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Prof. Alvin Wint; Senior Program Officer and Senior Lecturer at the UWI, Dr. Carolyn Hayle; Dr. Phillip Brown, Principal of the Sandals Corporate University; Head of the Department of Government at the UWI, Dr. Lloyd Waller; Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, Mr. Danny Roberts; President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Mr. Omar Robinson;  Executive Director of the JHTA, Mrs. Camille Needham and Coordinator of the Hotel School and Artisan Villages, Ms. Carol Rose Brown.

The institute will offer a practical curriculum and will complement the current hospitality programs at the country’s tertiary institutions. This is primarily because the institution will operate as both a functional hotel and world-class training institution. It is intended to support development in area such as Culinary Management, Spa Management and Hospitality Management.

“This center is novel to the region. It is entirely new and will go beyond merely academics. While academics will be an important component we will be focusing primarily on training and boosting competence to increase the capacity of persons to deliver at a high level in the industry so that supervisory staff who do not have academic qualification can transition through the center and be fully equipped to occupy high level positions in the sector,” Minister Bartlett explained.

He added that “graduates from tertiary institutions across the region would also be able to transition through the center to attain global certification. In essence, it will operate like the Norman Manley Law School which provides the requisite accreditation for lawyers across the region, as the center will provide TedQual certification.”

TedQual is the accreditation of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and is carried out by the UNWTO. TedQual Themis Foundation. According to the UNWTO TedQual is a certification of a voluntary nature which seeks to facilitate the continual improvement of tourism education, training and research programs through the definition of a set of minimum standards of quality for tourism education.

Minister Bartlett underscored that great emphasis will be placed on innovation at the institution.

He outlined that “the main goal of the center will be to accelerate the transformation of tourism enterprises by engaging institutions and people everywhere to stimulate new ideas and by harnessing science and technology to transfer knowledge into practice within the sector.”

PHOTO: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (center) gesticulates as he explains the concept of the Ministry’s tourism institute which is being developed to aid in the Ministry’s push to strengthen the island’s human capital. The Minister was addressing the inaugural meeting of a high-level committee which has been established to spearhead the initiative. Listening keenly are committee members Minister of Labor and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (right), and Prof. Donald Hawkins, Professor Emeritus of Management and Tourism Studies, George Washington University. The members of this high-level committee have been tasked with developing strategies and finalizing plans for the establishment of the institution by 2018.

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