Junior tourism minister shines

In Puerto Rico for the 30th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference, Cayman Brac High School student, 17-year-old Myfanwy Leggatt, recently outperformed 15 Caribbean Junior Ministers of Tourism.

She won first runner up at the 2007 Caribbean Tourism Organization/Caribbean Travel & Leisure Youth Congress.

Seventeen high school students, representing their respective countries, were challenged to discuss health and wellness tourism and to suggest ways to increase intra-regional travel. They also debated a ‘mystery topic’ which focused on what they learnt at CTC-30: “What is one important thing you have learned as a result of participating in the events leading up to the Youth Congress, including your participation in this conference in San Juan?”

Patrice Donalds, Tourism Training & Development Coordinator for the Department of Tourism said, ‘Myfanwy did a fantastic job with both questions but sealed all doubt that she was a contender with her calm, thoughtful and exceptionally well delivered response to the mystery question.’

‘There are many things that I’ve had the privilege and honour of learning since I’ve been here,’ said Myfanwy in her response. ‘But perhaps one thing that stands out to me the most is the effectiveness that we have at any age. We are all still in high school and yet we sit here united around a table to discuss one thing in particular. We are young and inexperienced yet we have viewpoints which span far beyond our years. We have the power to change the future of our countries and collectively our region and this is perhaps the one thing that has impressed me the most about this conference.’

Ms Donalds said, ‘This is the first time, in five years of participation, that the Cayman Islands has placed in the top three. Congratulations to Myffie and her coach Yvette Gayle.’

Emerald Williams, 15, from Basseterre High School in St. Kitts emerged as the winner of the debate, with Rashad Rolle from the Doris Johnson Secondary School in the Bahamas, placing third. Emerald won US$1,000 for her school and US$500 for herself. Myfanwy won US$300 and the Rashad won US$200. Each student also received a laptop computer.