Tourism scholarships on offer again

The Ministry of Tourism Scholarship Programme is calling for scholarship applicants.

Caymanians wishing to pursue a Bachelor degree in a tourism or tourism-related discipline are urged to apply for one of the available scholarships. Also, secondary consideration will be given for tourism or tourism-related studies for Masters degrees.

Since its inception in 1996, this annual scholarship has awarded to over 50 students either full or partial scholarships.

Approximately 40 per cent have graduated.

This percentage is due to the fact that most scholarships have been granted in recent years, although from year to year the number granted can vary based on the quality of the applicants, explained Tourism Training and Development Co-ordinator with DoT, Patrice Donalds.

Not all those granted are full scholarships, she added.

Last year six scholarships were granted, while in 2004 there was a record of nine scholarships granted.

Of the students that have graduated so far, 38 per cent of them work in government (departments or statutory authorities).

Sixty two per cent work in the private sector. Of these, 46 per cent work in tourism industries (hospitality, marketing, retail), 54 per cent work in tourism allied industries (media, financial services).

Graduates were employed by various tourism and allied businesses which include the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Winner’s Circle and dms Broadcasting Group, explained Ms Donalds.

Graduates who are employed in the public sector are spread amongst such agencies as the Department of Tourism Boatswain’s Beach (or Cayman Turtle Farm), Heritage House and Nature Cayman.

Ms Donalds emphasised that since its inception, the scholarship programme has only stipulated that scholars return to work in the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry for a period of time equivalent to the length of their award.

Many of the students have gone on to work full time in the tourism industry and some of the graduates now hold senior positions at the Department of Tourism and other tourism establishments, most notably the Department of Tourism’s new Deputy Director of International Marketing, Shomari Scott.

The scholarship provides funding up to a maximum of US$25,000.

Candidates must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for consideration:

Be Caymanian or hold Caymanian status;

Provide proof of residence in the Cayman Islands for five years prior to application (although with a Master’s Degree there is a fair amount of flexibility with regard to this);

Be at least 17 years old;

Produce proof of acceptance at competitively ranked institution;

Be studying a programme in a tourism or tourism-related field.

Application forms are available online at www.caymanislands.ky/motscholarship. The deadline for turning in applications is 12 May, 2007.

For further information, contact Patrice Donalds at the Department of Tourism by telephone at 244-1280 or email at [email protected].

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