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Friday, March 8, 2013

Grand Bahama’s New Jr. Minister Reigns from the West


 Vashti Charlton of Eight Mile Rock High School wowed judges in the recently held Jr. Minister of Tourism Speech Competition and became the new Jr. Minister of Tourism for Grand Bahama. She will represent Grand Bahama in New Providence to compete for the national title of Jr. Minister of Tourism.

On Thursday, February 28th, Seven participants expressed in their own words and voices why they were ‘the voice of tourism’ in The Bahamas. Ms. Charlton not only expressed her enthusiasm for tourism in speech, but in song as well (side note: she’s the voice behind a current “Keep Grand Bahama Clean” jingle). The overall score for the title, also included a preliminary interview which accounted for 40%.

The next step for Ms. Charlton will be travelling to New Providence to compete in the Speech Competition Finals, which will be held April 11th, presenting on the topic, “Tourism is Constantly Changing…Are We in Stride?”

The Ministry of Tourism launched the Junior Minister of Tourism Program in 2002, in an effort to promote awareness among high school students. The long-range goal of this enhancement program is to generate a talent pool of young professionals to service our Tourism Industry, in particular, and our economy, in general. In 2003, the Junior Minister of Tourism Program became popular with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and was replicated throughout the Caribbean.  As a result of the Program, CTO’s youth initiatives included a Youth Congress when Caribbean countries were invited to send a representative to participate in a forum similar to the Youth in Parliament.

In addition to holding the title of Jr. Minister of Tourism for the entire Bahamas, the national winner will also receive other benefits including:
Recipient of the Patrick S. Bain Scholarship tenable at the College of The Bahamas
Cash award and school floating trophy
Courtesy Call and Shadow Day with the Minister of Tourism
Courtesy Call with the President of The Bahamas Hotel Association
Minister of Tourism Day at school
Represent The Bahamas at the Caribbean Youth Congress and debate with other Junior Ministers/Commissioners of Tourism on tourism-related issues
Voice of Tourism to the Youth of the Nation – making recommendations regarding the improvement of all tourism initiatives specific to the Youth.
Participate in on/off-shore promotions and campaigns, when applicably organized by the Ministry of Tourism
Participate in career fairs and other events organized by the Ministry of Tourism’s Schools Unit to bring tourism awareness to youths and students.

For more information, please contact Karenda Swain (kswain@bahamas.com) or Karen Beneby (kbeneby@bahamas.com) via e-mail or call (242) 350-8600.