The brightest young talent in tourism gathered at a special reception and met with industry professionals on Thursday, 14 July.
The 2011 Tourism Scholar Networking Reception celebrated the beneficiaries of the Ministry of Tourism Scholarship Programme. Cline Glidden, councillor with responsibility for tourism, said he was a proud advocate of the tourism sector and the programme itself.
“The tourism sector is a strong and important performer for our economy and even in these turbulent recessionary times it continues to deliver.” Mr. Glidden referred to many recent accolades and awards the Cayman Islands had received and said they were testament to the quality of the product as well as an acknowledgement of the high standard of service.
Service was driven by people who must be trained to perform at their best, he added, so schemes such as the scholarship programme were important to tourism’s continued development.
“Moreover, we can recognise that this programme has made significant investment into our human capital, helping 119 Caymanians since its inception in 1996,” Mr. Glidden said.
There were 24 scholars and nine graduates at the event, which took the theme of Building Effective Partnerships.
“It is an effective summation of what this evening and indeed the scholarship programme is all about,” he said. “Through partnerships with the tourism sector, scholars, graduates and the ministry can focus on the areas of greatest need for trained and qualified individuals.
“Scholars and graduates can find work experience and eventually employment through such partnerships and opportunities for entrepreneurship in tourism and the wider economy,” he said.
Scholars were pursuing many diverse areas of study and Mr. Glidden encouraged them to recognise tourism was one of the most visible, dynamic and globally-competitive industries Cayman had.
“You cannot therefore be mediocre,” he said. “You must be courageous enough to strive for excellence in everything you do so that the Cayman Islands can continue to perform with distinction as a premier tourism destination.”
Stephan Cotterell came through the programme, studying entertainment business at Full Sail University. He addressed the scholars and graduates and gave insight into his own experiences.
“An effective partnership is an exchange of information and sharing of resources which enhances a partnership for mutual benefit to achieve common purpose,” he said. “True cooperation is a long-term process, often going through many changes as our relationship changes.” He said that the process was not easy as an artist to build partnerships in the music world whilst pursuing the education required to build a career. He thanked the support he had been given and said that the experience had made him stronger and more resolved to pursue his dreams and give something back to the Cayman Islands.
“To my fellow scholars, I implore you to strive for the best.” he said. “Choose those who have your best interests at their hearts. The time will go quickly and the decisions you make now will last for a lifetime.
“You have already taken the steps to make a difference to our country by educating yourselves and giving back. Keep focused on your goals and your country, in your interest,” Mr. Cotterell said.
The event was also attended by acting director of tourism, Shomari Scott, who also came through the programme, as well as Department of Tourism officials, MLA Mark Scotland and representatives from many tourism businesses and private sector stakeholders. The scholars were encouraged to mingle and meet industry representatives and collect their contact details in a special notebook they were given in a goody bag.
2011 Scholarship recipients:
Alyssa Manderson; Amy Bothwell; Andrew Carter; Anne Donalds; Christopher Roberts; Dalton Watler; Damara Jervis; Devonte McLaughlin; Dexter Benliss; Ethel Forbes-Dral; Jordy Rankine; Karen Eden; Lakeisha Watler; Lottaya Palmer; Mikol McLaughlin; Monique Jackson; Nadine Holness; Sarah Hydes; Senia Ebanks; Shantel Miller; Stefan Ebanks; Tawnie Tomlinson; Thulandra Forbes; Yannick Powell.
Bethany Ebanks; Deandra Ebanks; Eldon Chisholm; Erin Marshall; Joshua Clark; Melanie McField; Neolani Bothwell; Patrick Beersingh; Stephan Cortterell.