Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2017 (SKNIS): As part of the pilot programme, Tourism Education, students from the Basseterre High School (BHS) made their way today (March 10) to Caribelle Batik, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park and the St. Kitts Eco-Park, to understand and experience the tourism product, which they are currently being taught.
Senior Tourism Projects Officer, Novellette Morton, said that the pilot programme was introduced in October 2016 and is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education.
“It’s been some years in the making, but we are very pleased that we were able to roll out the programme last year,” she said.
Currently, there are three schools involved, including the BHS, the Sandy Point Primary School, the Dr. William Connor Primary School and the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC).
Mrs. Morton said that it is important to combine the theoretical aspect with the practical aspect of the lessons.
“That is why we are here today at Caribelle Batik and then we move on to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park and the St. Kitts Eco-Park so that the students can get a real life picture of what the tourism product is like.”
Mrs. Morton said that the students have been quite receptive of the programme so far.
“At first the students didn’t seem to know much about the product, but we have been showing them things like sustainable development and what the tourism product means,” she said. “We talk about things such as accessibility and when we talk about accessibility we talk about the transportation, air, land and sea; we talk about accommodation; we talk about amenities, attractions, that is why we are here today because we have been dealing with attractions so that they have an opportunity to actually see some of our main attractions on St. Kitts.”
Mrs. Morton said that the entire reason for introducing the programme is to show the importance of tourism.
“We want to make sure that our young people recognise the importance of tourism to the socioeconomic development of St. Kitts,” she said.
Mrs. Morton explained that tourism officers go out to the schools and work with the teachers in teaching Tourism Education.
Social Studies teacher, who also teaches Tourism Education, Saros Hendrickson, said that teaching tourism in school is vital.
“I think a country’s valuable resource is its human resource and they need to understand the importance of visitors coming here into the country,” she said. “They need to be aware of what we have here to offer. They need to be aware of the responsibilities they have as individuals and we should start at a very young age.”
Fifth form students of the BHS, Alaric Arache and Lavida Webbe, said that their visit to the sites is an integral part of their lessons. They said that they and their fellow classmates will now have a better understanding of the tourism product.
The students said that understanding the tourism product will help them in sustaining the product for future generations.
Forty-seven students including those from 1st to 3rd and 5th form took part in the field trip.