Challenges and opportunities in tourism and linkage industries
LAST THURSDAY, the University of the West Indies, Mona-Western Jamaica Campus (WJC), hosted its first research symposium under the theme ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Tourism Linkages Industries’.
Prior to the commencement of the activities, Hospitality Jamaica spoke with Patrick Prendergast, campus director, about the objectives of the symposium. He said it was “essentially an opportunity for us to demonstrate how the UWI, Mona-Western Jamaica Campus in particular, needs to be engaged with the community”.
He reasoned that the campus does not exist in isolation, but is part of the city of Montego Bay, the capital of tourism in Jamaica. And so the campus needs to engage with the rest of the city as there is a “significant gap”, which the university is seeking to close, especially through research, as this drives academic and institutional development.
In essence, research carried out by the university should benefit the wider Montego Bay community from a developmental perspective. Research then, should minimise and find solutions to the challenges that exist between tourism and linkage industries such as agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and entertainment.
Prendergast also said that while people are focusing on the linkages between tourism and other mainstream industries, “There are linkages to be made in terms of education ... even the possibilities of educational tourism or tourism in education”.
The symposium also aimed to give an opportunity to young researchers at the university to expose the work that they are doing.
“This research symposium is ... a commitment to our academic staff, students, and the wider society that we believe in engaging the academic world with the practical world” Prendergast stated to the gathering.
In keeping with the theme, Robert Headley, chairman of the
From left: Richard Bourke of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce; Jamaica Tourist Board Regional Director Janice Allen, chairman of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association Montego Bay Chapter; Robert Headley; moderator, Patrick Prendergast; Hope Markes of Hope Markes Villas; and Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry third vice-president Brian Brown form the panel in a round-table discussion at the UWI Mona-Western Jamaica Campus research symposium on Thursday, October 13, in Montego Bay.