Bahamas Tourism Debate Champions Win Regional Competition

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Photo of Team Bahamas from Patrick J. Bethel High School, Abaco: From Left to Right (1st speaker), Oshen Fox; (2nd speaker), Dinero Sainphar and (3rd speaker) Tianna Bootle.

The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation National Tourism Debate Champions emerged the 2021/2022 National Tourism Regional Debate winners after defeating Team Jamaica in the virtual finals held on Tuesday, 29 November. The three- member Team Bahamas of Tianna Bootle (1st speaker), Oshen Fox (2nd speaker) and Dinero Sainphar (3rd speaker), all students of Patrick J. Bethel High School in Abaco, went head-to- head against Team Jamaica arguing the opposing motion on the topic, “This house would implement a single visa regime for CARICOM countries to attract more visitors to the region”. This year was the very first time Team Bahamas competed in the regional competition.

The Regional Finals attracted students from 4 countries and a total of 11 schools that competed across 16 matches under the theme, “Airing Two Points of View on the #1 Industry”. Countries represented at the regional debate included Barbados, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

The Patrick J. Bethel School, Abaco students who represented Team Bahamas, previously competed nationally against 14 private and public schools and won the National Tourism Debate in February of this year before advancing to the National Tourism Debate Regional Finals.

Team Bahamas was awarded trophies, medals and an all-expense paid trip for a weekend getaway at any Sandals Resort location.

The Bahamas National Tourism Debate Team was prepared by a contingent of coaches including Ruby Rolle, Patrick J. Bethel High School, Abaco; Demetria Rolle and Charles Major, Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training; Antionette Fox, Toastmasters Bahamas; Samantha Cartwright and Kirkland Pratt, Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.

The National Tourism Debate was established in 2010, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The event grew rapidly in popularity in the ensuing years, attracting up to as many as 20 schools in competition. The “lockdowns” brought on by the global pandemic led to the debate moving to
the virtual stage.