“Education Vs. Recession” – Sir Hilary Beckles Addresses Caribbean Tourism Organisation at UWI

While a Culture appears locked in its own miasma, change can happen with Education, Energy, Entrepreneurship and Evolution – this was the crux of Sir Hilary Beckles‘ address to Caribbean participants for the CTO’s 6th Annual Tourism Human Resources Conference at the University of West Indies’ Dr Henry Fraser Medical Facility’s auditorium.

The UWI Principal sees 17th Century slavery as a bad HR Practice, the style of administration still has its basis in modern day Tourism as far as Sir Hilary is concerned

Both Sir Hilary and Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation see Human Resources as a critical arm for enabling Tourism to forge a new path in the 21st Century and stop using a 17th Century attitude as a paradigm for paradise.

Before Sir Hilary stepped to the lectern, during Mr Riley’s introduction – he observed how the entire West Indies have 2 million jobs in Hospitality and related sectors; the CTO boss noted while many companies have a tendency to reduce both Marketing and Human Resource Management during tough times he opined this conference is clearly stating the opposite.

Tourism Minister of Barbados - Richard Sealy, as well as Dr Justin Robinson of UWI's School of Management also addressed participants - Dr Robinson's contribution will be in a separate video, while Min. Sealy is due to appear in Part 2

Sir Hilary addressed a varied audience from many Caribbean territories, and he emphasised that Tourism as it has been for the last half century must perform a radical divorce with its past if Tourism in the West Indies is to continue to be a major stakeholder as a foreign exchange earner.

Also interesting to note, is there were only about 7 HR males present in a course which nearly filled the room!

Rather than mandate a change in Culture, Sir Hilary wants to see gatherings such as the one he addressed to be more rampant so as to accelerate change via a natural process – in his view, it appears many current managers and owners in Tourism are not so far away from Plantation slave owners of the 18th Century.

The way to achieve such a rdical shift in thinking is just that, by adjusting the thinking of the young Caribbean, he says too few Caribbean people seek tertiary education when compared with Spanish, Dutch & French counterparts of the region, by extension, the Pro Vice Chancellor noted – the Caribbean has the fewest graduates from Universities in the entire Western Hemisphere.

Such a downward spiral can only augur disaster for the region, according to Sir Hilary, TO BE CONTINUED

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