MSc. in Hospitality and Tourism Education
The University of Surrey, England
I continue to be eternally grateful to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) for the first Michael Manley Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in Hospitality and Tourism Education at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom (UK). The experience at Surrey in 1998 opened a world of opportunities in terms of furthering my studies or pursuing other forms of professional development. I opted for the former, after having been awarded a full scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Tourism Education at the Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC) in the UK. My three years at BCUC, 1999-2002, cemented my interest and desire to explore the area of Tourism Education. While at BCUC I had the opportunity to lecture at the undergraduate level for two years, which has been instrumental in my career choices and development to date.
On completion of my doctoral studies, I accepted a full-time position at the Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies in the UK as a Tourism Lecturer. It was at this institution that I had the opportunity to develop my teaching skills along with receiving exposure to tertiary tourism curriculum development. My time at the College was short-lived as personal circumstances coupled with an offer from the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine for the position of Tourism Lecturer resulted in my return home to Trinidad in December, 2003.
I recently commenced my sixth year at the UWI where I co-ordinate the Tourism programme. To date, I have developed both an undergraduate degree in International Tourism Management and a Masters programme in Tourism Development and Management. I continue to research and publish in the areas of Tourism Planning and Policy Development, Tourism Education and Destination Marketing in the Caribbean. Currently, I am working on a text entitled ‘Strategic Destination Marketing: Case Studies from Small Island Developing States”.
During my time at the UWI, I have engaged in several consultancy projects with the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Development Company in Trinidad and Tobago. In keeping with my passion for education, I had the opportunity to deliver the feature address at the graduation ceremonies of five (5) different primary and tertiary institutions across the island. I am also a Director on the Board of Directors at the Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute, Tobago.
Without a doubt, the CTO has provided me with a solid foundation upon which I continue to build. It is my intention to continue working towards the further development of tourism education at all levels in the region. I look forward to partnering with the CTO as we develop tourism in a sustainable manner in the Caribbean.