PRESS RELEASE:-The Chief Executive Officer of Gems of Saint Lucia, Wilson Jn. Baptiste, returned to his alma mata, Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School, Campus B, on September 21, 2016, at 09:00 a.m., to give back. Mr. Jn. Baptiste lectured on the topic: “Tourism and Hospitality: Can this industry Solve the Social and Economic Challenges facing the Youth of Saint Lucia?”
The lecture took the form of a Power Point presentation where students were challenged to discuss what is known of the Caribbean and Global Tourism Industry. This was followed by a listing of the challenges facing the youth. Once these two areas were outlined, students used their knowledge to bridge the gap between what is known and the social and economic challenges facing the youth.
This lecture was aimed at presenting a practical perspective of the tourism and hospitality industry and led students to think of how and if this industry is relevant to solving the social and economic challenges facing the youth of the island. The youth also came up with strategies on how they would use the various components of the industry to solve problems.
The lecture was interactive and should left students better positioned to determine whether they will pursue careers in tourism.
Mr. Jn. Baptiste graduated from the then Vieux Fort Senior Secondary School in 1976. He has held many executive positions in the hospitality industry in Saint Lucia and has worked in diverse industries in New York where he currently resides. He holds an Aas in Travel and Tourism, from City University of New York, a Bs in Hotel and Tourism Administration from New York University and an Ms in Tourism Management from New York University. Mr. Jn. Baptiste now serves as an Adjunct Professor at New York University.
Mr. Jn. Baptiste also served on the Diaspora Committee of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) for a number of years. This committee has been responsible for the organization of meetings by CTO in the diaspora during tourism week.
He has also presented papers on the formation of Gems of the Caribbean, at CTO week, with his business partner, Ms. Cooman, in New York, Toronto and Ottawa. In 2015, Mr. Jn. Baptiste and Ms. Cooman presented a paper on Cultural and Heritage Tourism and Authentic Travel at the African Travel Association’s 40th. Congress in Nairobi, Kenya. Mr. Jn. Baptiste is currently vacationing on Saint Lucia and engaging the youth in a number of initiatives.