JIS News

KINGSTON — The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is inviting students to enter its Tourism Essay Competition 2011, which is part of a continued thrust to heighten awareness about the tourism product.

In an interview with JIS News, Tourism Awareness Officer at the JTB, Shauna Housen, explained that the competition leads up to the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment conference to be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, May 10 to 12.

She noted that the essay competition allows students to become aware of the conference, be actively involved in the proceedings and to learn the importance of tourism by researching and writing on the topic, ‘Tourism is Key: The Importance of Tourism to Jamaica’.

The competition is divided into two categories-junior, for students 12 years and under and senior, for 13 to 17 year olds.

Essays and completed entry forms must be submitted to the JTB office in Kingston, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Montego Bay, 18 Queens Drive or Ocho Rios, Shop #3, Ocean Village Shopping Centre, by April 19.

Ms. Housen said that first, second and third place, in both categories, will be rewarded. First place winners will receive a weekend for four at the Grand Palladium in Hanover, while second place will receive day passes for four to the Riu, Montego Bay and third place will receive dinner for four at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.

“We consider tourism to be a future industry, as there are so many things happening in tourism right now and so much to happen that, certainly, we do not want to leave the students out,” she said.

She stated that there is a need for the winners of the competition to attend the conference, read their essays there and learn more about the tourism offering and product.

She noted that the competition and, by extension, the conference will allow persons to understand the business of tourism, and the important role each individual plays in making tourism happen.

“We must realize that tourism cannot happen without everybody’s input…we are actually a part of the product; the Jamaican people create the experience for our visitors and so we must create and heighten awareness about its importance,” Ms. Housen stressed.

Persons may visit the JTB’s website, at www.jtbonline.org,to get more information on the competition, and to download the entry form.