The College Of The Bahamas Has Strong Showing In Extremely Competitve Caribbean Week Scholarship

Caribbean Students Colloquium Continues to Highlight Rising Stars in Tourism

A bright highlight to Caribbean Week, the Caribbean Students Colloquium, has been inviting and welcoming students from colleges and universities across the Caribbean and the United States, who are interested in sustainable initiatives in Tourism and have a desire to be involved in their implementation. Caribbean Week is the largest tourism activity in the greater New York region and US for the Caribbean tourism industry. In its 42nd year, this annual event draws thousands of participants each year, resulting in extensive media coverage of the various events in local, national and international press and reaching millions. Organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Caribbean week combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with food, fashion, entertainment, sales and networking opportunities to create awareness of the Caribbean’s diverse product and desirability through business development opportunities, consumer engagement and authentic cultural experiences. This is incredibly important as the Tourism and Travel Industry is a significant portion of each region’s GDP, and providing employment on-island. To encourage young individuals to improve sustainable tourism and provide much-needed support for these young students with scholarships, since 2011 the CTO has been hosting the Caribbean Students Colloquium.

The Colloquium challenges these students to research, present, free-style a practical sustainable tourism project for the Caribbean that, upon implementation, will provide a sustainable source of income. Sustainability is defined as the appropriate use of resources so that future generations may benefit from and enjoy them. The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that the development is a positive experience for local people, tourism businesses and visitors. A panel of judges comprising of sustainable tourism practitioners and educators pre-selects the best submissions for presentations, based on the business plans the teams submit. Teams are judged on the following criteria: creativity and persuasion, significance and practicality to the Caribbean region, originality, clarity of expression and overall communication, team spirit, quality of research and organization. Winners receive a scholarship to help them pay for their education.

The Colloquium’s purpose is to serve as a catalyst for creativity through competitiveness and scholastic research, heightening awareness of sustainable initiatives in the Caribbean, and provide a platform for promoting the Caribbean year-round. 

The panel of judges comprised of sustainable tourism practitioners and educators that pre-selected the best submissions for presentations and were 5 teams compete at the Colloquium for the year’s Championship title. The competition this year was particularly competitive, with strong presentations by each of the students. While Turks & Caicos Islands Community College won the title this year, The Islands Of The Bahamas are very proud of their students from The College of The Bahamas for placing third in this prestigious award category. Students from The Bahamas team who were selected to compete included Derencia Rolle-Davis, Travis Robinson, Leslie St. Albord 11 and Toni Bell.  The students were coached by Ruth Gardiner.  Present to support The Bahamas entry in the Colloquium were the Honorable Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu, who were both incredibly proud of their showing.

Said Hon. Minister Wichcombe afterwards, “The Caribbean Students Colloquium is one of the most important and exciting events of Caribbean Week as it highlights the rising talent in tourism that we have in our respective countries, providing very important and real support to the winners in their collegiate studies. The entire process is very competitive with only 5 entries being allowed to present at the Colloquium, so even being chosen to participate is an honor. It is a real feat and achievement to have been honored with third place. I am confident that they will have a bright and successful future in tourism – perhaps I will be calling one of them Minister one day!” 

Media Contact: Anita Johnson-Patty | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism |