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Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Professor Kenneth Hall, has called for a re-examination of training programmes within the tourism industry, with a view to maximizing benefits from the chain of Spanish hotels in the island.
Addressing residents of Westmoreland, including the Custos of the parish, Justices of the Peace, legal and political representatives, business persons and students, at the Sean Lavery Faith Centre in Savanna-la-Mar, on April 26, the Governor-General called for a more focused approach to the inclusion of the teaching of Spanish in educational institutions.
“For the people of Westmoreland and the other parishes to continue to benefit from the investment of the Spanish chain, and the drive to increase the number of Spanish-speaking visitors to Jamaica, we must re-examine our training programmes for the industry; and we must ensure that we devote more time to the teaching of the Spanish language and culture in our high schools,” he stressed.
Professor Hall cited the Riu hotel chain, which operates two properties in Negril with a total of approximately 750 rooms, and a staff complement of about 1,000 persons. He also noted that plans are already on the drawing board for investments in two other properties, which should create additional opportunities to do business with Europeans, particularly visitors from Spain.
He said that the parish of Westmoreland faced several developmental challenges, but despite the shortfalls, has always maintained a tradition of excellence, highlighting Mannings High School as one of the educational institutions in the parish that has played a significant role in building the parish’s social capital.
The Governor-General issued a challenge for young people to become more involved in nation building, adding that the adults of today have an obligation to engage the young people, who represent the largest segment of the society.
“We must seek to dispel the cynicism that has engulfed them, and to imbue and inspire them to hone their skills and channel their talents into productive endeavours and into service in their communities and the nation,” he emphasized.
Professor Hall called for a unified approach from all sectors of the society towards the development of the parish of Westmoreland and the nation as a whole.