Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 01, 2017 (SKNIS): The inaugural Green Tourism Camp, which caters to children of the Sandy Point, Newton Ground and the St. Paul’s Primary Schools between the ages of 10-12, was launched on Tuesday, August 01, at the St. Kitts Eco Park, with the aim of showing students the closeness between the Ministries of Tourism and Agriculture.
“If it is one thing we are sure about is that our visitors must eat while they are here. The tourism industry depends on our farmers, our agro-processors, and those persons who deliver the fresh fruits, vegetables, seasonings and the related products,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carleen Henry-Morton. “In turn, the farmers and agro-processors depend on hotels and restaurants and our homes to purchase their products. Consequently, the farmers benefit, the hotels benefit, the restaurants benefit, because they are all supporting each other. We are able to feed ourselves and our customers delicious authentic Kittitian and [Nevisian] food. The farmers make money, they make a decent living, they are able to pay their bills and they are able to meet their commitments and the hotels and restaurants are able to feed their guests”
She welcomed the campers and wished them well throughout the week, as they engage in a number of tourism-oriented topics and planned activities.
“The topics being discussed during this week are customer service skills, agro-tourism linkages, plant propagation, as well as plants and the environment. I am indeed excited at the variety of experiences that you are going to get from the opportunity to visit a farm,” said the permanent secretary. “There will be practical sessions on art and craft… I am hoping that in some shape or form, we can begin to introduce that to our young people here because that might be another avenue to which some of them may end up making a living. A session on fruit carvings and a field trip to the agro-processing farm and lab will round off the week of activities.”
Mrs. Henry-Morton extended thanks and appreciation to all who played an integral role in ensuring the camp came off and who encouraged the children to attend. She specifically thanked Miranda Francis, Tourism Officer, for having the vision and foresight to create a camp for young people in the rural area.
She touched briefly on the ministry’s Tourism Education and Awareness Programme, which was rolled out in the Dr. William Connor and the Sandy Point Primary Schools, as well as the Basseterre High School, and the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC), with the possibility of extending it to all schools shortly. It is designed to highlight the importance of tourism to national development and to expose students to possible careers in the tourism industry.
“What we are trying to do at the Ministry of Tourism is to highlight the importance of tourism to our students and to expose them to careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors,” said the permanent secretary. “We want to ensure as well that from a very early age our young citizens learn about our rich heritage, our history, our culture and the many sites and attractions we have to share with our guests while they are here on island. Remember these things are not just for our guests, they are for us to enjoy and appreciate and we also want you to understand the ways in which you can showcase our Kittitian and Nevisian warmth and hospitality to our guests and to each other.”
The camp, which is an Agro-Tourism initiative, will culminate on Friday, August 04. It was organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the St. Kitts Eco Park.