Chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in tourism and link­age in­dus­tries

Jamaica Gleaner - - AROUND JA WITH PAUL H. - Paul H. Wil­liams Hos­pi­tal­ity Ja­maica Writer

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.

ED­U­CA­TIONAL TOURISM

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

PHOTOS BY PAUL H. WIL­LIAMS

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.

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