Kelvin Archer, an eleventh- grade student of St. Anne’s School, walked away as the new 2022 Junior Minister of Tourism last Thursday, 30 June at SuperClubs Breezes after beating out 11 debate finalists in the highly competitive Ministry of Tourism Speech Competition Finals. Apart from inspiring confidence in young persons, the long-term goal of the Junior Minister of Tourism Programme, now in its 18 th year, is to generate a talent pool of young tourism professionals. The students’ participation in the programme heightens their awareness of the tourism sector.
Debating on the topic, “Tourism Beyond: Resilience, Innovation, Sustainability Empowerment”, Archer, along with the other debaters from Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Long Island, Mayaguana and San Salvador, reached the finals after advancing through inter-school competitions on each respective island.
Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Acting Director of Aviation, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, said the resurgence of the tourism industry in the country is in part attributed to the diligence and dedication of professionals in the industry, “who are passionate and motivated to secure the tourism workforce for generations to come.”
“I see the same passion in you; and in the coming years, you will join the ranks of these stalwart industry professionals,” said Dr. Romer. “You are the future of our industry.”
During the first round, speakers delivered a three-to-five-minute speech on the topic, which was followed by a second round of a one-minute delivery on a mystery question.
As the new Junior Minister of Tourism, Archer will serve as the voice of tourism to the youth of the nation. His duties will include making recommendations for the improvement of tourism initiatives specific to youth in the country; represent The Bahamas at the Caribbean Youth
Congress and debate other Junior Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism on tourism related issues; and spend one day shadowing the Minister of Tourism.
Finishing second place in the speech competition was Sarah McKinney of South Andros High School, and Dina Best of Cat Island’s Arthur’s Town Comprehensive School placed third. Winners all received cash gifts, other prizes and trophies; their schools also received cash prizes. In addition, Archer, the newly named Junior Minister of Tourism, was awarded the Patrick Bain Scholarship at the University of The Bahamas and presented with a floating trophy for his school.
The new Junior Minister, in his acceptance speech, said, “Participating in the Junior Minister of Tourism Programme was a great educational experience. I hope to make all of you proud and I hope to make The Bahamas proud as the new Junior Minister of Tourism.”
Archer will travel to the Cayman Islands in September to participate in the Caribbean Youth Congress where he will compete against fellow finalists throughout the region to contend for the title of Junior Commissioner of Tourism for the Caribbean.