Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO) Launches Tourism Essay Competition

Kingston Jamaica  – In a bid to stimulate discussion around issues affecting the tourism industry the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) will stage its Tourism Essay Competition 2014.  Among the objectives of the competition are to increase awareness of the importance of the industry to national development, encourage participation in the discussion of the issues affecting the industry; enhance the academic component of the school curriculum through collaboration with the Ministry of Education, improve the attitudes of the target group to our domestic and international visitors while developing a service culture and to promote the all-inclusiveness of the industry.

The competition is now open to Jamaican nationals and there are two categories.  A junior category for students between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17); and a category for seniors between the ages of eighteen (18) to twenty-five (25).

According to Executive Director of the TPDCo Dennis Hickey, “this competition is expected to stimulate youngsters not only in the resort areas but across Jamaica to think about the value of the industry, the importance of ensuring that our visitors have a great experience, see what value they can add to the industry and encourage families to discover Jamaica while vacationing at home, in order to sample our product and retain well needed foreign exchange.”  He added that “I must extend heartfelt thanks to the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which has provided funding for this venture and to our partners from the industry which have provided the prizes.”

Industry players have been very generous in providing exciting prizes which will give winners a chance to see some of what Jamaica has to offer as a vacation destination and to be a tourist in their own country.  The prizes include family weekends from Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, Sunset Beach Resort Spa and Water Park, Beaches Resort, Iberostar Hotel, Jewel Runaway Bay, as well as a weekend for two at RIU Ocho Rios, a day pass for a family of four at Grand Bahia Principe and a day spent shadowing the General Manager of that property.

Prizes have also been provided by some of our most exciting attractions across Jamaica. Namely Chukka Adventures; Dolphin Cove; Mystic Mountain Adventure Tours; Black River Safari; YS Falls; Prospect Outback Adventures; Green Grotto Caves and Dunn’s River Falls.

The Gleaner Company and ZIP 103FM have also thrown their support behind the competition. There will also be individual cash prizes, winning plaques and a cash prize of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) for the winning school’s hospitality programme.

The questions selected focus on important tourism related issues, as follows:

For the Juniors:Staycations allow us to explore the diversity of Jamaica’s natural and cultural heritage.  Why is it important for Jamaicans to experience the Jamaican tourism product?”  For the Seniors:  “Sometimes visitors feel harassed when interacting with providers of goods and services – How can we ensure that visitors have great experiences while conducting business?”

Persons wishing to enter the competition must fill out an entry form; send it along with proof of age and their essay to tpdcoessay@tpdco.org or contact 979-7987-8 or 968-3441, 968-8894 for further information. Entry forms are available online at www.tpdco.org or at any of our offices in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Mandeville.  Essays will be judged on organization and grammar, creativity, content, research, facts and analysis and must be submitted by latest November 21.  The competition is endorsed by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The Tourism Product Development Company is the central agency of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment which is mandated to facilitate the diversification, development and improvement of Jamaica’s tourism product.

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