University of Otago, New Zealand
MSc. in Tourism & Hospitality Management
University of the West Indies | Mona Campus, Jamaica
I am Johnnel Smith- a true fulfillment of the CTO’s mandate of developing future leaders for Caribbean Tourism. In 2005, I was appointed Youth Ambassador and “Junior Minister of Tourism” for Jamaica by the Jamaica Tourist Board and represented Jamaica in the U.S Virgin Islands at the CTO Youth Congress - a forum designed for Caribbean youth to express their opinions on salient tourism issues affecting our region. This phenomenal experience gave me a snapshot view of what a career in Tourism would involve and herein began my beautiful journey. I went on to pursue a Bachelors in the field and to enjoy many career and personal development opportunities.
In 2011 and 2012, I was awarded the CTO Foundation Scholarship to pursue and complete a Master’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. Attaining a Masters, has allowed me to make significant strides in the tourism and marketing industries in Jamaica and the Caribbean. I have unearthed my passion point(s) and developed an unwavering love for Academia- lecturing several tourism and marketing courses at the UWI Campuses in Jamaica and at several major universities and colleges across the Caribbean. I received opportunities to conduct industry research and worked to improve the marketing and sustainability of tourism in our region. I also had the privilege of working with many tourism organizations in Jamaica to include the Jamaica Tourist Board, Hilton and Sandals Resorts in capacities of marketing, management and human resources development.
Now in 2019, I am again benefiting from the generosity of the CTO. I have been awarded another scholarship to pursue PhD studies in the Pacific region. Driven by key outputs such as conducting/publishing impactful research, creating/executing models for optimal development/sustainability and forming greater alliances and networks- I take the next step in my career trajectory. I intend to learn from the best internationally and share these key learnings and best practices to further develop our region. Receiving these tremendous opportunities and assistance from the CTO through the years has made me the person I am today. From CTO Youth Congress to Doctorate- what an amazing journey it has been!
Thank you CTO for developing a future leader in Caribbean Tourism! Tourism is OUR business, let’s continue the GREAT work! We have ONE sea, ONE voice, ONE Caribbean. One Love from Johnnel!