Visiting students exposed to Bahamian culture

Hospitality and tourism students visiting from Flemming Island High School in Jacksonville

Twenty-five aspiring hospitality and tourism industry major students visiting from Florida had the opportunity to not only travel to Grand Bahama to experience first hand our island and culture, but also hear a brief history on the country’s number one industry. 


The group along with their chaperones from Flemming High School was able to gain first hand knowledge from local tourism officials, about the island of Grand Bahama and how the industry works here on the island. 


Karenda S. Swain, Assistant Manager Training and Education, Ministry of Tourism noted the significance of the group’s visit. 


“Today we had the opportunity to host 25 students and their chaperones, 36 in total, from Jacksonville, Florida from the Tourism Academy at the Flemming Island High School. 


“They are here to learn more about the tourism industry and how it impacts our economy. They are here also to learn our history. They are all tourism students so we are so happy that they are here and we are able to assist as they continue to learn more about the industry,” said Swain. 


Questioned if this is the first time welcoming such a group, Swain answered, “This is our first time hosting such a group, but not our last. We are developing an awesome relationship, so that perhaps we can have students from our schools go over and participate in a session, as such, and their students can continue to come to our island as well. 


“In addition to that they are going to have the opportunity to visit some of the vendors and sites on the island. We will be stopping by the candle factory and the Perfume Factory. 


“They will also visit the Port Lucaya Marketplace to try some of the local, native Bahamian cuisine and they will probably have the opportunity to dip their toes in Taino Beach waters for a few moments, but they are only here for a short period of time, so we will try to give them the best of Grand Bahama Island, in a few hours,” noted Swain.  


Flemming Island High School Hospitality and Tourism teacher, Laura Kirk noted that as an educator it is always important to give her students hands-on learning experiences, something which they all gained during their short visit. 


“As a teacher, it is always important to give your students hands-on learning experiences. We have typically done a three day cruise, but this year we extended to a four day, where we are stopping here in Free-port, Grand Bahama Island and then over to Nassau. 


“It was important to give the students some learning experiences as we travelled here. Our cruise director called over to Grand Bahama Island and got in touch with your tourism department and asked what they could offer the students with some hands-on experiences and they came back with a very detailed and exciting itinerary for us today. 


“I am really excited for the students to learn more and get the hands-on experience and see tourism from a different aspect,” said Kirk. 


“Right now they are getting little bit of history on Grand Bahama Island and learning what we are going to do today. It was really nice for the students to be welcomed in the way they were once we arrived, learning about the history and how you develop and keep the relationship with hospitality and tourism and why they are so important in our industry.” 


Kirk disclosed that following their short visit to Grand Bahama, the students will have the opportunity to also enjoy some of the sites in the capital as well. 


“In New Providence they are going to have the opportunity to do some short excursions with some of the chaperones. Here, on Grand Bahama, I felt that it was important to look at the hospitality and tourism industry and there get to have a little bit of fun; so the educational aspect first of course, and then have a little bit of fun,” concluded Kirk.  


Published  Tuesday, February 21, 2017 


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