KINGSTON, JANAICA - Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace, has announced that the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI), which was developed by Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett in 2017, will be offering thirty scholarships to hospitality workers and educators interested in participating in the newly launched Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) programme.
Speaking during the virtual launch of CHIA, Dr. Wallace said, "It has always been our mission at the TEF, through the JCTI, to ensure that certification is not only at international standards but is also widely accessible. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that we will be offering thirty free places to persons interested in receiving the CHIA certification. This will specifically be provided to 15 industry managers and 15 college tutors."
"I encourage our hospitality workers to take advantage of this opportunity to learn something new, which will help you harness your potential in this ever-changing industry and advance in your respective professions," he added.
These sentiments were supported by Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, whose remarks were delivered by his Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Jennifer Griffith, during the launch event.
“We recognise and appreciate that, notwithstanding the value of our physical assets as a tourist destination, it is the people and the professionalism that they bring to bear in the performance of their diverse tasks that are the deciding factors on whether a visitor returns or voluntarily promotes the destination to other potential travellers,” said Griffith.
“The role of the JCTI is crucial in this as it is tasked with facilitating the development of human capital and supporting innovation for the tourism sector. In fact, its function is enunciated in the Blue Ocean Strategy, which acknowledges that human capital represents the economic value of employees' sets of knowledge, habits, competencies, motivation, enthusiasm, and other personality attributes and underscores that the competitiveness of a tourism destination requires an effective human capital management plan,” she added, on behalf of the Minister.
CHIA, which is being offered in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and Smith Travel Research (STR), is an internationally recognised resource for managers in the tourism sector and a critical certification for final year students going into tourism and hospitality management. It will assist students and professionals in expanding their knowledge of hotel industry analytics, including foundational metrics, definitions, formulas, and methodologies.
Students will also learn how to analyse different types of hotel and market-level data and make data-driven decisions based on that analysis. In addition, they will gain a thorough understanding of the industry's benchmarking and performance reports.
“Over 37,000 students, professors and industry professionals have received the CHIA certification… Over 120 schools around the world offer CHIA training now to their students. That number continues to grow every year in many of the leading hospitality programmes of the world," said Duane Vinson, Vice President and the Assistant Director of the STR SHARE Center.
The STR will deliver the training over six weeks, from March 18 to April 8 of 2022, from 2-4 p.m. The training package will include power-point presentations, application exercises, supporting data and quizzes. Upon completing the workshop, students will be asked to take a 90-minute online exam.
"As our industry changes, we want to ensure that our people are ready to respond to the changes that are taking place. We are going to ensure that the 15 scholarships being offered to the industry professionals are spread across the sector – large hotels, small hotels, attractions, etc.," said JCTI Director CarolRose Brown.