Tourist Bureau to host youth tourism panel discussion, winner goes to CTO

The St.  Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) is in full preparation to host its Junior Minister of Tourism Panel Discussion/Competition 2017, which will deliver St. Maarten’s representative for the Youth Tourism Congress hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The event is structured to mirror a CTO Board of Directors’ Meeting whereby students must come prepared to share their knowledge and views on salient tourism issues. The students will be asked to choose one (1) of three (3) tourism related topics to research and present their findings to a panel of judges and an audience comprising fellow students, teachers and parents who can attend. There will also be a Mystery topic provided on the day which none of the students will know of beforehand.  This will test the student’s ability to be spontaneous.

The event will be held on Friday May 19, 2017 from 9am to 12pm at the Belair Community Center or the Philipsburg Cultural Center.

Participating schools are Milton Peters College (4 sections), Sundial, MAC High, St. Dominic High, St. Maarten Academy and Charlotte Brookson. The winner of this panel discussion will be awarded the title of Junior Minister of Tourism for one year during which time they will represent the island at local and regional functions together with the Tourist office.

Additionally, he or she will go on to represent St. Maarten at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Youth Tourism Congress slated to take place in Grenada this year during the month of October. In Grenada they will go up against eight to ten other countries/islands for the regional title of Junior Minister of Tourism.

Head of the STB Rolando Brison extended thanks to the participating schools and congratulated the students in advance who have opted to participate. He said the students have chosen to participate in an event that can stimulate careers and change lives.

“The first time I was ever exposed to tourism was over 16 years ago when I was given the honor to represent my school in the youth tourism debates, which lead to me representing my island and then the Caribbean as the first chairman of the CTO Youth Congress,” Brison said.

“I’m a firsthand witness to the power of youth tourism awareness initiatives like these in preparing future leaders of our tourism industry. This is a project very dear to my heart, and I’m very pleased with our product development team at STB for doing such a great job putting this together, and we’re excited that such a large number of schools and students have chosen to participate,” he added.

Brison will meet with all student teams participating in the panel discussion soon.