Throughout the week, the Tourism Ministry and its partners planted over 100 trees in schools across the island, including Manchester High, Titchfield High, Sam Sharpe Teacher’s College, Iona High, and Excelsior High.
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, WESTMORELAND – The Ministry of Tourism and its public bodies successfully concluded Tourism Awareness Week (TAW) on Friday, September 29, with the final instalment of the island wide school speaking engagements and tree planting exercises at the Mannings School. The aim was to perpetuate the 2023 UNWTO World Tourism Day theme, “Tourism and Green Investments.”
Tourism Enhancement Fund’s (TEF) Executive Director, Dr Carey Wallace spearheaded the tree-planting ceremony at the Mannings School, supported by Junior Minister of Tourism, Deja Bremmer; Acting Principal of Mannings, Mrs. Sharon Thorpe; other executives of the MOT and the Forestry Department who addressed students on caring for the plants.
In welcoming the exercise, Mrs. Thorpe spoke of the importance of trees in preserving life and the environment. “Without trees we can’t survive. We need oxygen and it means then that when you plant a tree, when you preserve the environment, you are in fact preserving your life,” she told a gathering of 5th and 6th formers attending the event.
Dr Wallace used the occasion to underscore the value of the tourism industry as a major asset to transforming Jamaica. “You develop the industry so that you can earn from it, provide jobs, provide opportunities and pull wealth into the country for the people to live a good quality of life,” he posited.
Singling out some of the assets that make the county a lure for tourists, Dr Wallace mentioned having one of the top ten largest natural harbours in the world, having mineral spas that are rated among the top five worldwide, blessed with an abundance of mountains and alluring beaches, and an amazing people who, based on exit interviews conducted at airports, makeup “the number one thing that tourists like about Jamaica.”
“How are we so overly blessed? Our wealth is in our tourism asset,” he stressed.
He told the students that as bright, young thinkers they should direct their thoughts at converting Jamaica’s assets into wealth creating for the people and that the Tourism Enhancement Fund was engaged in determining “how can we make you more equipped, more skilled, with more resources to make tourism better and to make more from it for everyone.”
Imploring the students to get involved and seize the several opportunities available through various initiatives of the Tourism Enhancement Fund and its subsidiaries, Dr Wallace challenged the young men and young women to be agents of change and have an influence on their communities.
“My charge to you in wrapping up Tourism Awareness Week is that we have an amazing country, we have amazing potential, we have you the amazing young people; let us all pull it together, collaborate and let us make this Jamaica, land we love, a resounding success of a story,” he advised them.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.