Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training in the Caribbean

Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training in the Caribbean

Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training in the Caribbean

Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training in the Caribbean

Synopsis

This comprehensive text is vital reading for managers, academics, consultants, and students involved in the growing tourism and hospitality sector in the Caribbean. In twenty-four articles, the book analyzes significant initiatives, trends and the challenges facing education and training institutions in the Caribbean. Chapters on sustainable tourism, environmental management and national resource development cover a wide variety of critical topics facing the industry. Case studies from The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands provide a diverse perspective for academics, policymakers and the regional tourism sector.

Excerpt

The University of the West Indies is pleased with the emphasis that is now being placed on the tourism and hospitality sector in the Caribbean which it serves and, in particular, the recognition being given the need for education and training in this most important bridgehead of the region's economy. As a lynchpin of development the tourist industry has gained a priority place in the checklist of policy options among governments throughout the entire region.

Half a century or more ago, the region was able to exist, and indeed flourish, at least in the minds of many observers, on the strength of its beautiful beaches, the ever-present glow of the sun, the tranquility of country life, and the fact that those who had access to travel were more limited in number. Consequently, the region dealt with a small, if elite, cohort of travellers.

Things have changed dramatically since those halcyon days. The succeeding decades have had island resorts transformed from beaches into countries tenanted by citizens who now claim ownership of former colonial-dependent spaces and who are energetically shaping new societies into feisty self-determining and by no means docile aggregations of souls. And as air travel and access to leisure funds by the democratized and more prosperous many of the North Atlantic have brought about a dramatic increase in the numbers that now frequent Caribbean shores, the competition among travel destinations for market share has intensified. The need for education and training for those who service the industry has increased accordingly.

Visitors now need to have a greater knowledge of the country that is being visited; the history that has brought the region to its presentday existence needs to be transmitted to avoid too great a cultureshock; and the rich, diverse and textured culture that helps to make the region the “tourist attraction” it has become in the minds of millions, demands of each visitor much understanding and empathy.

By “culture”, one must refer to all that encapsulates the region's form and substance in the food it eats, the art, dance, music, theatre and festival arts it produces, the religions it practices, the creole languages and linguae francae it speaks and the family patterns by which it lives. One must further ponder on where and how such items of Caribbean civilization originated and the many strands that have gone into the Antillean weave following on five centuries of encounters between diverse cultures from the Old Worlds of Europe, Africa and Asia and . . .

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