Master of Tourism Administration in Sustainable Destination Management
The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA
I received a CTO Foundation Scholarship to pursue graduate studies towards attainment of the Masters of Tourism Administration (MTA) degree in Sustainable Destination Management, at the George Washington University for the two consecutive years of this program. The funding provided by the CTO Foundation was timely and beneficial, as without this much needed assistance I would not have been able to fund my studies which would have hampered my completion of and thus graduation from the program. I was fortunate in that the CTO normally awards the scholarship for one year only, per applicant. However given the exorbitant cost for tuition, books as well as board and lodging, which had to be borne by me as an ‘International Student’ studying in the US, I applied requesting funding assistance for the 2nd year of study. Showing solid academic performance with top honors, in support of my application, my request was approved. I remain grateful to the CTO, as without the assistance provided for the 2 years of Grad School, I would not have been able to complete my studies.
I believe the CTO Foundation is extremely valuable as a resource for students from CTO Member States across the Greater Caribbean Region. The Foundation provides scholarships and awards to students seeking to pursue studies in the fields of Tourism and Hospitality which includes language learning. Many of the CTO Member countries are Small Island Developing States, whose citizens are often unable to meet the high costs of specialized education and/or to pursue higher education degrees. These countries are heavily dependent on Tourism and due to the industry’s divergent and multifarious nature, qualified and well-trained professionals are required at all levels of the industry. The CTO Foundation in providing scholarships and grants ensures that the Caribbean region’s most valuable asset; its Human Resource is capable, equipped and strengthened to the highest standards of proficiency.
The availability of the scholarships and grants funded by the CTO are invaluable in that they assist with making tourism studies more affordable, accessible and attainable by persons from CTO Member countries in the Caribbean region with an interest in tourism. As a CTO scholarship recipient the award made it not only possible for me to pursue higher education tourism studies, but it was an additional incentive for me in seeking to pursue tourism as a career prospect. Like many other CTO scholarship and grant recipients, I was very humbled having won the competitive CTO Foundation Award, and remain extremely grateful for the financial assistance provided. I am also very proud to be affiliated with the CTO and commend highly the ongoing work of the CTO in bringing validity to the pursuit of tourism as a career, and in generating resources to support the growth and professional development of students as well as persons working in the industry, to enhance their knowledge and skills in tourism, hospitality and related fields.
As the Sustainable Tourism Specialist at the CTO headquarters in Barbados, I have primary responsibility to coordinate the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Programme. My work entails designing and executing projects related to sustainable tourism and product development; advising on sustainability topics to inform the development of policies and strategies; initiating programs in areas related to destination management and product development; implementing capacity-building and knowledge-enhancing activities to enhance quality standards for Caribbean destinations and their tourism products and services; and providing technical advice/assistance to the wide spectrum of tourism industry stakeholders in the Caribbean, to increase the productivity, growth, competitiveness and sustainability resiliency of Caribbean tourism.