Bahamian Students Finish Second In Caribbean Student Colloquium

Chiccharney at Birds of Paradise Bed and Breakfast was the magnificent idea conceived by four College of The Bahamas students for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Student Colloquium.

The Student Colloquium, held on June 1st during New York City’s Caribbean Week attracted the finest future leaders from The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Jamaica.            

Represented by two former Jr. Ministers of Tourism and other COB students: Travis Robinson, Kendall Sands, Iant’a Stubbs and Keri Cartwright, The Bahamas placed second in the competition.

Challenged to creatively present on the topic of creating a sustainable bed and breakfast for the Caribbean that will become the new face of accommodation and small lodging establishments in the next ten years, the group opened the competition with a rousing performance.

The proposed bed and breakfast would be located in Andros with 8 cabins completely made out of trex material. The cabins would be energy efficient, generating electricity using blue energy. It had been suggested that the cabins sit on stilts, while the interior be filled with Androsia with a flamingo or Bahama Parrot room to display Bahamian culture. If the idea worked on Andros, plans to expand throughout The Bahamas, and eventually the Caribbean, would be implemented.

Iant’a Stubbs said the island of Andros was chosen because it was virtually untouched.

“We chose Andros because of its diverse, flora fauna and natural wonders,” she said. 

“We did a class, sustainable tourism and we always talked about how Andros had the third largest barrier reef and a carbon sequestration and we just fed off that idea and the space that it had for the renewable energy ideas that we came up with like blue energy and biomass.”

The Bahamas began its presentation with a video of the group brainstorming at Arawak Cay and continued the presentation in a similar format, while engaging each other on various parts of their business plan.

Although, the team did not win the competition, Stubbs said more energy should be given to young people as their ideas can benefit the Bahamas in the long run.

“I think that the proposed ideas were well thought of, they were innovative. It was a collective idea and I really think it’s something we can use to better The Bahamas in the future,” she said.

Ruth Gardiner, Associate Professor at the College of the Bahamas said while there are always ways to improve, her team glimmered.

 “There’s always more one can do and so perfection is as perfect as one can make it. I believe we can always aim to do better but I think my team did exceptionally well,” Gardiner said.

Joy Jibrulu, Director General of Ministry of Tourism said the team was truly brilliant.

 “Not only did the team do themselves proud, and do the college proud but they did all Bahamians proud. I was blown away by their ideas, the way they presented them, and their depth of knowledge about The Islands of The Bahamas,” she said.

Also attending the Student Colloquium was Junior Minister of Tourism, Gabrielle Josephs who was coaxed into saying a few words to the audience.

“To top it off our Junior Minister of Tourism, Gabriele Josephs demonstrated that he is more than a Jr. Minister of Tourism,” Mrs. Jibrilu added. “He was invited up to speak in a room of 200 people and he blew it out of the park so much so the moderator at the end had to say, we didn’t coach him and he’s not a politician.”

University of Technology in Kingston, Jamaica placed first, University of the West Indies in Trinidad placed third and in fourth place was Turks and Caicos Community College.

The Student Colloquium is one of several events that The Bahamas is participating in during Caribbean Week. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is also hosting two signature events during the week – Date Night and Party In Da Backyard - which will be attended by hundreds of New Yorkers, travel agents and media.

Caribbean Week ends on Sunday with the Caribbean Rocks Concert, which will feature several Bahamian performers and a Junkanoo performance.

Media Contact: Dawn Demeritte | ddemeritte@bahamas.com | (242) 397-2791