The Government of Jamaica inks deal for hospitality school
The Government has partnered with professionals from international tourism training institutions for the design and development of a hospitality school, which is set to be opened in 2018.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said professor emeritus of management and tourism studies at George Washington University Donald Hawkins will be leading a team tasked with developing the design of the institution and its programmes.
Other members of the team are Project Manager Dr Tony Tse, facility designer Kaye Chon from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and hotel and curriculum specialist at George Washington University, Professor Larry Yu.
The team, at the end of its 50-day term, is expected to produce a business plan that will serve as a guide for the establishment of the school.
Minister Bartlett, along with Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid, and Professor Hawkins signed the agreement during Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. Bartlett said the hospitality school is central to the Government’s push to build out the tourism experience and the development of the country’s capacity to retain its position as a leading destination.
He said the instituion will focus on training people for middle- and upper-level positions in the industry.
“The focus of the institution will be heavily hands-on, and so we will be training for competence as well as for pedagogy,” he said, noting that the school will be constructed in close proximity to a hotel to allow students to have practical experience in the relevant aspects of the industry.
Cabinet, on Monday, approved arrangements for the establishment of the school, which will be the first of its kind in the country.
The facility is expected to deliver training on the five networks for visitor experience – gastronomy, knowledge, shopping, health and wellness, and sports and entertainment – on which the Government has placed strategic focus for the growth of the sector.