Bahamas Tourism executive calls for more courses focusing on hospitality industry

FREEPORT – Director of Business Development and Public Relations for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in Grand Bahama, Mr. Terrance Roberts, called on educators to adjust their curriculum some to focus more on touristic related subjects.

Mr. Roberts comments came as he addressed the more than 300 educators from the Grand Bahama District attending a two day Teachers Professional Day Seminar, held last week at the Our Lucaya Resort. He pointed out that in the Islands of The Bahamas, everyone is impacted economically by tourism and that tourism expenditures in The Bahamas comprise some 50% of our gross domestic product.

It was Mr. Roberts’ opinion that a significant number of Bahamian children who have attended high school are approaching the world of work without the skills necessary to sustain themselves economically.

He told teachers that the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Bahamas Hotel Association have been working very closely to address the school and the workplace connection.

“Our representatives have increased the frequency of planning sessions to partner on these important nation-building issues,” he stated.

Continuing, Mr. Roberts advised that one major effort was the Tourism Task Force on Education, and the resulting decision to develop an industry recommendation as to how best to shape an education and training system to meet our needs.

“We look forward to the time when our students in grades seven (7) through twelve (12) will be exposed to an infusion of hospitality and tourism applications in core academics, whereby areas in mathematics, science and language arts are identified, where modifications can be made to instructional materials to make the learning experience more relevant to the Bahamian economy,” he stated.

He pointed out that twenty-seven years ago, the Ministry of Tourism established the industry-training unit, and implemented the now popular Bahama-host Program.

“Today, there are over 23,000 graduates of that program who are among the ranks of many front-line tourism industry associates.

“Over the years, in order to prepare our people, we have developed TEAM, or Tourism Education Awareness Modules, for students in grades 7-9; SMART, a Sales, Marketing and Royal Treatment program, and an information database called THINK, or Tourism and Hospitality Information Network, at,” he informed.

He went on to tell educators that as they begin the new school year “with a mind to transform Bahamian Education for the 21st Century, perhaps as summarized in a workforce plan for the Bahamas Hospitality Industry, the time has come to initiate a three or four year course of study with the core academic curriculum, that would prepare high school students to either enter the industry upon graduation with a high degree of awareness and preparation; or pursue an industry related certification or degreed program at the Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute, the College of The Bahamas or some other post secondary institution.”

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