Some MAC-CSE students with presenters and school representatives.
Presenters and one of the guests at the MAC-CSE event.
EBENEZER–Methodist Agogic Centre-Comprehensive Secondary Education (MAC-CSE) students learnt all about tourism during a special event held at the school on September 27 in observance of World Tourism Day.
The event, which was themed: “Tourism and the Digital Transformation,” featured several persons making presentations on the theme to students.
Speakers included United People’s party Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison, Tourist Bureau representative Lisa Noel and Junior Tourism Minister Kiara Meyers.
Special guests included MAC school board chairperson Reverend Patmore Henry; Executive Director Rose Hughes-Coram; UNESCO Secretary-General for St. Maarten Marcellia Henry; and School Chaplain Reverend Ruth Pratt. Tourism Minister Stuart Johnson was invited as a speaker but could not attend due to a scheduling conflict and instead submitted an address to be read at the event.
In his written address, Johnson highlighted the need for investment in the country’s tourism industry as a way of creating a tourist environment that is friendly in both innovation and entrepreneurship.
The finalisation and efforts being made to generate electronic data statistically, and Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) having digital kiosks and e-Gate service would make St. Maarten ready to become a leader in the Caribbean in digital innovation in the area of the hospitality industry post-Hurricane Irma, Johnson said.
There is the urgent need for completion of the airport to allow a fully operational United States pre-clearance facility, which would allow St, Maarten to increase its presence as a regional hub for airlift to and from the United States, thereby making it the preferred link in the region and the rest of the world.
There are opportunities to market already-annual activities such as the Heineken Regatta, Carnival and the Lighting Parade, and the recently started Oualichi Festival in July. These events will strengthen efforts to have a sustainable tourism product that would offer many attractions.
Rebuilding of the destination will allow opportunities and accommodations for those visitors with disabilities through methods of disseminating data, which would align with the international norms, Johnson said.
He encourages the rebuilding of the hospitality and tourism industry by the use of technology by industry partnerships and in turn delivers their services. “We should maximise technology as a way to disseminate the message about tourist products we have to offer and where people that use cell phones can depend on electronic devices to communicate, conduct research and make decisions, including where one goes on vacation,” he said. Brison spoke about the modern age of digital transformation and how it applied to the tourism industry. He give a description of what would make St. Maarten an excellent tourist destination by use of the five A’s (Accessibility, Attraction, Accommodations, Activities and Amenities) of tourism. Having WIFI available at the airport terminal served as one example of how tourism and digital transformation can be synchronised
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81365-mac-cse-students-learn-all-about-tourism-at-info-session