Jahmore Madden of Roxborough Secondary School is Tobago’s Junior Secretary of Tourism. Madden’s presentation of “Virtual Reality,” wowed the panel of five judges at the first Tourism Youth Forum and Junior Secretary Competition on Tuesday at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex.
Presenting on the topic , “Virtual Reality,” Madden spoke of a specialised app to show 3D pop-up information on history sites, local animals and the best dining places in Tobago. The app would also give the history and show photos/videos of places of interest when it is used to scan an area. The app will also allow visitors to choose which sites they would like to visit during their next visit to the island.
Students from seven schools participated in the competition - Pentecostal Light and Life Foundation, Speyside High, Scarborough Secondary, Signal hill Secondary, Roxborough Secondary, Goodwood High and Mason Hall Secondary. The judges focused on knowledge, preparedness, presentation skills and relevant context by the students with each participant given three minutes to express their ideas on a chosen topic, followed by a mystery question.
Tenomrette Pitcher of Scarborough Secondary, placed second. She chose as her topic, “The Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation,” and pointed to the clean, green and serene atmosphere of the island as being perfect for nurturing holistic health, with the destination as an ideal perfect location for a healthy and relaxing getaway.
Through partnerships with and support of the island’s entrepreneurs operating spas and gyms, personal trainers, those in the health and food sectors, and yoga teachers, Tobago could be transformed into a healing centre, she said. And while on the island, visitors would, of course, enjoy the culture, sites and local food, stay at resorts, guesthouses and inns.
Goodwood High School student, Ledel Jeffers, came third. She also chose the topic “The Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation,” seeing this field as a perfect opportunity for the island to diversify through state-of-the-art health care. She said the island was already equipped with high standard medical staff and equipment, coupled with the perfect relaxing environment. She said her plans would be to enhance health-related business to achieve top quality health services to deal specifically with hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
Among other students presenting, Kelisha Parks of Pentecostal Light and Life Foundation, also chose “Virtual Reality,” imagining a device for visitors explore the island virtually, once here, and also before visiting Tobago, which would allow them to choose a hotel. She said use of this device would positively benefit the island’s economy by attracting for new and regular visitors with the use of advanced technology in tourism and other sectors on the island.
“Tourist who are physically incapable of going to certain areas of our island can also enjoy the opportunity to see the beauty of the island,” she said.
Shanice Caesar, of Speyside High School, was a crowd favourite with her idea of using “Virtual Reality” to promote tourism. She said virtual reality would allow for exposure internationally of Tobago’s special events such as the Heritage Festival, Tobago Dragon Boat Festival and land air and sea wonders of the island. She said, using a drone, visitors could get a 360-degree view of restaurants and beaches.
From Signal Hill Secondary, Nkosi Waldron focused on the island’s beauty through the “Virtual Reality” topic. He also spoke on an app, like the Pokémon app, which will give users a fun experience as they explore the island, collecting points for various items. Another idea of Waldron was to install the longest zipline in the Caribbean passing through the Main Ridge Forest.
Amiya Reynolds of Mason Hall High School also focused on “Virtual Reality,” saying the island can highlight and sell its product virtually to international guests and the domestic market to boost tourist arrivals.